Thursday, December 23, 2010

Treating the Symptom, Not the Disease

Photo from The Examiner
Around here in our fair nation's capital, Metro has begun searching bags at random spots and intervals.  This is a treatment of the symptom, in which terrorists may use bags to place a bomb in a train.  What needs to happen is a treatment of the disease, which are the terrorists themselves.  This is the same problem we saw with the whole TSA debacle over the full-body scanners and 'enhanced' pat downs.  

In order to stop terrorism, you need to find the people responsible.  People place bombs and carry out acts.  Bags don't.  It's a similar phenomenon to reading news stories about how "SUVs" killed pedestrians.  No vehicle has ever killed anyone; it takes someone operating that vehicle.  Ditto weapons.  Of course, admitting that vehicles and guns in and of themselves don't actually hurt people would eliminate the narrative, but I digress.

These forms of security are just another form of scorched-earth policy that America has seemed to raise to an art form, mostly in the name of not offending people. In the meantime, they offend all of us.  Checking bags of old women and young children don't solve the problem.  You need to stop the people who are most likely to place bombs in bags on trains.

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