Last winter, when federal transportation security officials began discussing a ban on cigarette lighters in airline cabins, they warned that the lighters might slip past their screening equipment. Some airport managers were skeptical for the same reason.
Turns out they were right, at least if the recent experience of a handful of Twin Cities air travelers is any indication.
A dozen times in the past several weeks, those passengers sailed past airport screeners with at least one lighter in their carry-on bags.
“They really can be somewhat dangerous on a plane,” said Roth, a former Secret Service agent. “But the ban [also] is like a no-parking sign — if you find a lighter, it gives you an opening to look for something else that isn’t supposed to be in the luggage.”
One of the strongest congressional advocates for the lighter ban was Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., who cited shoe bomber Richard Reid’s attempt in December 2002 to blow up a plane using matches.
If Reid had used a lighter, “the FBI said he would have blown up — the shoe bomber would have blown up the airplane,” Dorgan said during a Feb. 15 hearing.
Dorgan spokesman Barry Piatt said his boss “is keeping his eye on” the lighter ban but has indicated no dissatisfaction about its comprehensiveness.
“Nothing works 100 percent,” Piatt said. “That doesn’t mean things aren’t significantly improved. I think he wants to allow them time to work this. I don’t think anyone expected perfection in the first couple of months.”
‘Improved’? Yeah, right. They only lighters they are finding are the lighters people forgot about. Anyone with a room temperature I.Q. can hide one such the screeners won’t find it. Hence they are taking lighters from people that had no plans to do anything wrong with them. The only ‘benefit’ to this policy is making some candidates for mental help feel better–and that especially applies to Sen. Dorgan.
As for Roth–Ayn Rand has him pegged.