airline safety hypocrisy

zimv20

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Jul 18, 2002
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story 1

U.S. bans lighters on passenger flights

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Airline passengers can no longer bring cigarette lighters onto planes or in any secure areas, the Homeland Security Department announced Monday.

Lighters were added to the prohibited items list because of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act, which President Bush signed on Dec. 17.

The Transportation Security Administration, the agency charged with prohibiting dangerous items on aircraft, said lighters will be banned from planes and areas beyond security checkpoints at airports.

"By creating policy to add lighters to the Prohibited Items List we are closing a potential vulnerability in air travel security," said Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security Rear Adm. David M. Stone.

The TSA said butane, absorbed-fuel (Zippo-type), electric/battery-powered and novelty lighters were included in the ban.

The rule will be enforced beginning April 14.
story 2

.50-caliber rifles called a threat

By Christopher Smith
The Salt Lake Tribune

WASHINGTON - From the headquarters of the Fifty Caliber Shooters Association in the central Utah town of Monroe, John Robertson publishes a magazine for the group's worldwide members extolling the virtues of the most powerful gun available to the public.

With a .50-caliber rifle, an experienced marksman can hit a rock the size of a Volkswagen Beetle from a distance of two miles. The gun can drop a bull moose dead in its tracks even after the bullet passes through a 5-inch-diameter tree branch. And a shot from the gun will pierce anything from a 3 1/2 -inch-thick manhole cover to a 600-pound safe or a stack of cinder blocks.

While enthusiasts revel in the gun's next-zip-code range and staggering impact velocity, those same features have some members of Congress declaring it a menace to national security.

"They are so accurate, so powerful and so deadly that they should only be used in a military setting," Rep. Jim Moran, D-Va., said this week on Capitol Hill, where he and other lawmakers introduced legislation to restrict sales of the gun made by several companies, including two from Utah.

Around a news conference table set with one of the bazooka-like rifles, Moran, the bill's Democratic co-sponsors, gun-control advocates and law enforcement officials discussed various potential terrorist scenarios using the gun, from shooting down airliners to detonating chemical weapons.

"If one of these weapons were used to puncture a rail car carrying a hazardous substance like chlorine gas, it would be catastrophic," said Moran, whose bill would require federal licensing of .50-caliber owners, similar to existing laws for machine gun owners.

The bill's chances of passage in a Republican dominated Congress are slim. All of Utah's federal lawmakers have at least a "B-plus" pro-gun voting record by the National Rifle Association and those House members contacted Friday said they had yet to see Moran's bill and had no comment on it.

[...]

Tom Diaz of the gun-control group Violence Policy Center said such charges are hypocritical coming from an industry that has fostered a paramilitary image for the .50-caliber.

"I've got several books marketed by these enthusiast groups and their 'sniper schools' that lay out elaborate scenarios of attacking airfields and shooting down helicopters, showing you exactly where to shoot to knock it down," said Diaz. "Yes, nobody has ever been killed by these things. But does that mean we can't have a public policy until people become better shots and hit a fully loaded jetliner on a taxiway?"
iow, the gun lobby is more powerful than the tobacco lobby.
 

blackfox

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Feb 18, 2003
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Can you bring matches on a plane? I know that wasn't your point, but I am curious? Just how much are they going to subject innocent passengers to?

How would they know, btw? Lighters generally don't set off metal-detectors, and I empty my pockets how I see fit.

Interesting info about the .50 cal weapon, I didn't know any of that.

Btw, you comment seems exactly right.
 

Dont Hurt Me

macrumors 603
Dec 21, 2002
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Why dont they just declare everything illegal and make us ride our flights Nude.? when is enough enough for the powermongers who want control everything? America has not had TRUE FREEDOM in a long time. We are being micromanaged by our govt reactionary beauracrats who really want to control all aspects of our lives. Do we need 50 calibers in the publics hands ? no, but if we pass enough laws then we all can be considered criminals because chances are you broke one..................were almost there. THE POLICE STATE. it looks to me like Bin Laden has allready won.
 

mactastic

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Apr 24, 2003
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Ok, so we ban the .50 caliber rifles. What next? The .475 and the .458? Can't those be used just as well? There are far more threatening issues than .50 caliber rifles that we can take up to protect our airplanes.

And that .50CaliberTerror site is just teeming with sensationalist crap.
 

zimv20

macrumors 601
Original poster
Jul 18, 2002
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toronto
blackfox said:
Can you bring matches on a plane?
if you go to this TSA page, you can d/load a pdf of prohibited items. it'll be out of date soon, this is what it says about carrying on lighters:
Up to 2 lighters or 4 books of safety matches are allowed in your carry-on baggage - NOT checked baggage. Disposable lighters and absorbed liquid lighters are allowed in your carry-on baggage. Lighters with unabsorbed liquid fuel are NOT permitted. Strike anywhere matches are NOT permitted.
 

Xtremehkr

macrumors 68000
Jul 4, 2004
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According to the link, you don't need to have one on a plane to shoot it down.

The point is, it can be used to shoot a plane down from the ground. Or explode the fuel tanks of any number of different vehicles. Or pierce containers that are used to transport dangerous chemicals.

The comparison shows the studpidity of current regulation, a lighter is considered dangerous (along with nail clippers and other small items), while this product is freely available in most states.

The .50 cal is clearly more dangerous to aircraft safety than a lighter is.

One of the reasons it was manufactured was to target vehicles, and aircraft. Getting your hands on one of these is much easier than getting access to an aircraft these days.

Considering what Lee Malvo and his associate were able to do by themselves with a much smaller weapon, I would hate to think about what they would have been able to do with a weapon like this one.

Link

“My spotter positively identified a target at 1400 meters carrying an RPG on a water tower. I engaged the target. The top half of the torso fell forward out of the tower and the lower portion remained in the tower.” 325th PIR Sniper

"There were other personal anecdotes of one round destroying two targets and another of the target “disintegrating.”

"The most pervasive negative comment was that snipers felt the Leopold Sight was inadequate for the weapon – that it was not ballistically matched. It the sight was zeroed for 500, 1000 and 1500 meters, soldiers did not feel confident in their ability to engage targets at the “between” distances (e.g. 1300 m). Snipers felt there were better sights available for this weapon such as the Swarovski. Sniper team spotters felt the tripod for the Leopold Spotter Scope could be better designed. COL Bray, Commander, 2d BCT, 82d Airborne Division supported an Operational Needs Statement for a Sniper Sight that would allow the sniper to identify targets as combatants or non-combatants out to 2000m."
Sure there are freedom issues here, but why aren't we allowed to own Tanks?
 

redeye be

macrumors 65816
Jan 27, 2005
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Here in BLGM both lobby's are nothing compared to yours.

Weapons: All firearms except for specific hunting guns require a permit (hunting guns are all registered i think). To get this permit the ppl that live in your house and some neighbours will be asked if they are OK with you having a gun. The fact that anybody of age can buy a hunting gun is now being discussed by the parliament. The plan is to only sell to owners of a hunting permit.
I do not oppose this
The only thing the weapons lobby does here is making sure FN can sell their machinery all over the world (parliament needs to aprove on sales).

Tobacco: Belgium was early in adopting a European law that limited/forbid commercials (and billboards and stuff - sry can't come up with a nice word for <dutch>reclame</dutch>). A lot of events here are sponsored by big tobacco companys. The Belgian F1 Grand-prix is just one of them. We thank the car lobby for presuring the government into making an axception to allow tobacco 'reclame' for international events.

Lobby's are kinda weak here although car manufacturers have much to say in belgium. I think we produce the most cars/head of any country in the world. That and our little country is basicly covered with highway.

Now stop playing with fire and go practise some target shooting in the backyard y'all ;)

EDIT: oops, on airline safety... Our national airline went bankrupt a few years ago, so i don't have much to say about that :eek:
 

Xtremehkr

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mactastic said:
So are you arguing that we should ban the .50 cals, or that we should allow lighters on planes?
One is allowed and the other is not, one appears to be much more dangerous than the other.

An airport check in process is a much more controlled enviroment than someone being able to take potshots from around an airport.

Why is there so much concern about one and not the other.

Again, it's not an easy subject to touch upon, freedom issues never are. But having these weapons so easily accessible on the open market seems to be a major faux pas to me.
 

blackfox

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Feb 18, 2003
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I am trying to imagine a scenario where a lighter could be considered a threat aboard an aircraft.

Even punctured/heated, the explosion is pretty small and likely to wound the instigator, leaving no clear greater purpose than random mayhem, which can also be caused by too many gin-and-tonics.

If it was to be used to light a fuse of somesort (nevermind how whatever it was attached to got on the plane), the same could be accomplished by matches, which are not yet mentioned as prohibited in the Intelligence/Terrorism bill referred to.

I frankly don't understand the reasoning here.
 

mactastic

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Apr 24, 2003
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Xtremehkr said:
One is allowed and the other is not, one appears to be much more dangerous than the other.

An airport check in process is a much more controlled enviroment than someone being able to take potshots from around an airport.

Why is there so much concern about one and not the other.

Again, it's not an easy subject to touch upon, freedom issues never are. But having these weapons so easily accessible on the open market seems to be a major faux pas to me.
Well that's not quite what I was asking...
 

Xtremehkr

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mactastic said:
Well that's not quite what I was asking...
I don't quite know how to answer the question. Why are lighters banned? (among many other silly items) and what purpose does a .50 cal sniper rifle serve society.

Sure, this is a "free" (see ordered liberty) society. But there are plenty of things that are illegal or regulated due to how they can affect the health and welfare of the public.

This would appear to be one of those items.
 

mactastic

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Xtremehkr said:
I don't quite know how to answer the question. Why are lighters banned? (among many other silly items) and what purpose does a .50 cal sniper rifle serve society.
Just wondering if you thought it would be better to resolve the hypocrisy by banning the rifles, or by re-allowing the lighters.

Sure, this is a "free" (see order liberty) society. But there are plenty of things that are illegal or regulated due to how they can affect the health and welfare of the public.

This would appear to be one of those items.
The problem I have is that many rifles can penetrate a plane's skin. Banning .50 caliber rifles is just a feel-good exercise that doesn't do anything to reduce the threat from .40 caliber rifles, not to mention the larger .30 calibers. I'm reasonably sure that with a well-placed shot someone with a 30.-06 could bring down an aircraft thats taking off or landing. Sure you gotta be a little closer, but that's not hard, is it? So where do we stop in the name of protecting the public? And how protection are we really offering by banning one weapon?

This just feeds into the right-wing propoganda machine that tells people 'look, liberals want to take your guns away'.
 

Dont Hurt Me

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Dec 21, 2002
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mactastic said:
Ok, so we ban the .50 caliber rifles. What next? The .475 and the .458? Can't those be used just as well? There are far more threatening issues than .50 caliber rifles that we can take up to protect our airplanes.

And that .50CaliberTerror site is just teeming with sensationalist crap.
This is why the NRA is opposed to everything because as soon as you open the door the govt will use a earlier law or ruling to create another law and another and another and the next thing you know BB guns will be outlawed, so will rubber bands,paperclips,box cutters,pocket knives, and that pen that can be used as a weapon.

Govt control freaks are allways looking for more control. example the idiot known as the shoebomber. we never had a shoebomber in almost 100 years of aviation but because of this one sole idiot, billions have had to remove their shoes everytime when flying. Even domestic flights. The shoe bomber won, sure he sits in jail but he won. we lost a little more freedom. If he ever gets out I would like to beat his arse for this inconvience to the world.

You cant create a law for every situation in the world but the reactionary congress is trying..... and we loose a little more freedom everytime. Cars have killed a million times more people yet we let people who couldnt catch a ball get behind the wheel and drive. We have enough Govt intrusion into our lives we dont need more. If someone gets their kicks out of shooting a 50 caliber let them. Passing laws just in case or as reactionary measures doesnt work and is stupid wasteful and grows the Govt. Are we about Freedom or are we about what the govt says you can and cant do. Wish i had a joint right about now. edit- forgot Govt say i cant have that either something to do with Mexicans and Dupont 50 years ago. :rolleyes:
 

Xtremehkr

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mactastic said:
Just wondering if you thought it would be better to resolve the hypocrisy by banning the rifles, or by re-allowing the lighters.


The problem I have is that many rifles can penetrate a plane's skin. Banning .50 caliber rifles is just a feel-good exercise that doesn't do anything to reduce the threat from .40 caliber rifles, not to mention the larger .30 calibers. I'm reasonably sure that with a well-placed shot someone with a 30.-06 could bring down an aircraft thats taking off or landing. Sure you gotta be a little closer, but that's not hard, is it? So where do we stop in the name of protecting the public? And how protection are we really offering by banning one weapon?

This just feeds into the right-wing propoganda machine that tells people 'look, liberals want to take your guns away'.
We're talking about the .50 cal here. Other guns come close but none has the fire power of an Apache attack copter. After 1.5 miles the impact of the round is greater than that of a .44 Magnum point blank. Enough to pierce .5inches of steel or 2 feet of concrete. This is an exceptional weapon. The Taliban acquired 25 during the 80s to use in Afghanistan, it is a highly valued weapon.

Banning is one thing, restricting access is another. Schwarzenegger decided that it needed to be regulated and in California you have to be registered to own one, it makes sense to track the whereabouts of weapons like these in case planes start getting downed and people cut in half from 1.5 miles away. Yes, plenty of guns can pierce the skin of a plane, but not with the distance, accuracy and force of this weapon.

Sure Republicans can overlook the fact that they have banned lighters and nail clippers from civilian flights to scream about the left wanting to regulate this weapon, but I think that even conservatives to a large extent will see that this weapon is out of the ordinary.

First, a police sharpshooter fired the NYPD’s own .30 caliber sniper rifle at a steel target. Downrange, three football fields away, the three shots from the .30 caliber rifle bounced off the half-inch thick steel.

"You can see it hasn’t penetrated it," says Kelly.

Then the sharpshooter fired three rounds from a Barrett .50-caliber rifle at the same target.

"Went right through," says Kelly. "It is clearly a weapon of war, a round to be used in a wartime situation. It’s appropriate for the military. The effective range is about 2,000 yards. It’s a very formidable weapon."

In other words, if the NYPD’s range had been 20 football fields long, instead of three, the .50-caliber rifle – firing ordinary ammunition -- still would have been devastatingly effective.

"Clearly, it is a very powerful weapon. We saw what it could do as far as going through armor," says Kelly. "It would be a weapon that could do a lot of damage – no question about that."

This is exactly what the FBI learned in 1993 at Waco when Branch Davidians fired a Barrett .50-caliber sniper rifle at them.

In response, the FBI deployed Bradley fighting vehicles for protection. But even that wasn’t sufficient, and heavier armor was brought in.

What happened at Waco was one of the arguments made for banning the weapon in California. Other states are now considering a similar ban for fear of potential terrorist attacks.

"If you go through virtually any industrial state, you’ll see right off the highways all kinds of highly toxic and or flammable materials stored in big tanks. These are ideal targets," says Diaz. "The point is you can plan your attack from a longer distance. It’s the combination of range and power."

The standard .50-caliber bullet is four times heavier than the .30-caliber bullet, and 10 times heavier than the M16 bullet.

In addition to the standard .50-caliber bullet, some bullets are designed to pierce armor, some to set things on fire. Those are all legal to buy. But the most devastating .50-caliber bullet is an armor-piercing, incendiary and explosive round sometimes called Raufoss, after the company that makes it.

Barrett says he’s not concerned about Raufoss because it’s illegal. "It's a high-explosive round," he says. "It’s not available commercially. I can’t even buy it."

In fact, 60 Minutes found a number of sites on the Internet that claimed to be selling the explosive Raufoss ammunition. On one site, it witnessed someone making an apparent transaction of the illegal round.


Where do you draw the line?Link
 

Xtremehkr

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Dont Hurt Me said:
This is why the NRA is opposed to everything because as soon as you open the door the govt will use a earlier law or ruling to create another law and another and another and the next thing you know BB guns will be outlawed, so will rubber bands,paperclips,box cutters,pocket knives, and that pen that can be used as a weapon.
Because this could clearly happen right? Slippery slope arguments are ridiculous, there is a difference here. The NRA is unreasonable, perhaps due to where their funding comes from. Those who run the NRA also make pretty good money playing on peoples fears.

I've never been for an outright ban on guns, but some weapons are so potentially detrimental, there has to be some kind of regulation.

And of course, this is from the party that would regulate a womans right to choose, decides what drugs you can and cannot take, and promises to appoint tougher judges and more laws to regulate ordinary citizens. Not to mention the Patriot Acts, violations of constitutional protections conerning right to trial and telling you where you can buy your medicine and where you can't.
 

Xtremehkr

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mactastic said:
How many civilian airplanes do you know of with 1/2" of steel for a skin?
That is what it is capable of. I don't imagine fuel tanks are made of paper, nor are rail cars containing dangerous chemicals. They may not be .5 inches of steel, but anything with less armor than .51 is vulnerable to this weapon.
 

mactastic

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Xtremehkr said:
That is what it is capable of. I don't imagine fuel tanks are made of paper, nor are rail cars containing dangerous chemicals. They may not be .5 inches of steel, but anything with less armor than .51 is vulnerable to this weapon.
Ok, but what do you propose to do about the rifles that shoot a .458 Win round? Or a .45-70 Government round? Will you be telling me that anything with less that .40" of armor is vulnerable? And just how thick is the skin on planes?

And if you're worried about the effects on a rail car, we've just seen a MUCH more effective way to breach a car containing a hazardous chemical - you derail it. And derailing a train does not require a gun, does it? Hell, a 1/2" steel plate would probably be more effective at derailing and dispersing a dangerous chemical than a Barret. Or you could just park a large SUV on the tracks...

My point isn't that .50 caliber rifles aren't dangerous. They are, no question. But 9/11 was carried out with boxcutters. My point is that terrorists will simply use a different method, and if we've given up more of our freedoms to try to compensate, we're losing. I don't see banning or restricting ownership of a $10,000 gun saving us from any terrorist attack.
 

Dont Hurt Me

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Dec 21, 2002
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Xtremehkr said:
That is what it is capable of. I don't imagine fuel tanks are made of paper, nor are rail cars containing dangerous chemicals. They may not be .5 inches of steel, but anything with less armor than .51 is vulnerable to this weapon.
Let me remind you that the thugs(terrorist) used box cutters. not 50 calibers to take out Jets. Face it anything can be used as a weapon why dont we outlaw EVERYTHING! or how about a govt camera at every corner?? why not just put a cop in every house? better yet why dont they just arrest everone? In the end its what they want. Control over everything you think say or may do. But in the mean time while going crazy passing all kinds of useless law we have 5 million illegals walking across our border and many of them are allready criminals and this same Govt ignores it. Its so much easier going after the law abiding citizen isnt it.
 

Xtremehkr

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Jul 4, 2004
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That's besides the point. It is interesting how you both made the same point however, same source? Regardless, Box cutters are one method, .50 Sniper Rifles are another.

.50 Sniper Rifles are what is at issue. Because box cutters were used the first time, does it mean that .50 cals won't be used at some other time?

The use of box cutters still does not cover the merits and potential threat of having .50 caliber rifles available on the free market available to anyone at anytime with no knowledge of where they are and who is using them.

Face it anything can be used as a weapon why dont we outlaw EVERYTHING! or how about a govt camera at every corner?? why not just put a cop in every house? better yet why dont they just arrest everone? In the end its what they want.
This is not a realistic argument. You are on the right track though, the actions of our government overseas through corporate influence has brought many of the problems we are facing concerning terrorism, if not all. But for some reason, no one wants to acknowledge that and elect someone who would make the appropriate changes to how foreign policy is executed.

My point is that terrorists will simply use a different method, and if we've given up more of our freedoms to try to compensate, we're losing. I don't see banning or restricting ownership of a $10,000 gun saving us from any terrorist attack.
Then to be fair we should do nothing at all, because everything done so far is just as bad.
 

Xtremehkr

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Just to reiterate, nobody ever claimed that anyone would try to use a .50 cal to hijack an airplane. Ever, ever, ever.
 

blackfox

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Xtremehkr said:
Just to reiterate, nobody ever claimed that anyone would try to use a .50 cal to hijack an airplane. Ever, ever, ever.
There are lighters for that.