Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Using Tasers to Secure Airplanes

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If every adult sober passenger is issued a specialized taser as they enter a plane, and has to return it at the end of the flight, it might discourage hijacking.

Only one in every six tasers would actually be capable of a full stun charge. Every taser would have a disable button, that the passenger could depress at any time. Thus if the passenger didn't want to be part of the defense team, they could hit the button. If a passenger felt that they were about to be overpowered, they could hit the button. There would be no indicator on the device to tell if the button had been pushed.

In addition, there would be an initializer sequence button, which would prevent the unit from being used for 20 seconds. This would be a double interlocked system requiring both hands to operate. Any taser in the process of setting up for use would immediately sound alarms throughout the plane, and would flash red lights in the general vicinity of the soon to be activated taser.

The end result of this would be that the element of surprise is taken away from the terrorists, should they try to use the tasers. Inadvertant activations are virtually eliminated, yet the power of several hundred suddenly armed passengers can be brought to bear on the terrorists. All in all, coupled in with the secure cockpits, it makes it very hard to use the plane as a guided missile, 9/11 style.

Other than booking half the flight, it would be very difficult for a terrorist to take control of a plane, regardless of any weapons they get past TSA. And, for good measure, keep those armed sky marshals flying.

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