Zapping the Passengers

In news from the h.S.S. today, we see that « the first Taser stun guns will be allowed on airliners »:

‘Stun gun maker Taser International Inc. on Monday said it won U.S. government approval to use its products on some commercial airline flights to protect passengers from potential harm. … Taser, based in Scottsdale, Arizona, said the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Transportation Security Administration approved a “major international airline’s application” to let specially trained personnel use Taser conducted energy weapons on flights to and from the United States. Tom Smith, president of Taser, said in a statement the approval is the first to allow the personnel to use Taser technology on U.S. commercial flights. Taser did not identify the airline or how many orders for its products may have been placed.’

The Orwellian language being employed in news like this is always stunning to me. There’s no reason to use a Taser on board a flight except to zap passengers. How is that protecting ‘passengers from potential harm’? Why, airliners are full of terrorists, of course. If the ‘Let’s Roll!’ people had a Taser on board United 99 11-Sep-01, they might not have impacted into the Pennsylvania dirt.

Or so goes the theory.

The reality, of course, is that there will be major lawsuits, confusion and injuries, and even deaths, from this. Flight attendants won’t hesitate to use the things to zap drunk and disorderlies, people who are upset at being treated like cattle and so on. And what happens if terrorists themselves get hold of them? No word on that one.

I suppose that top secret procedures will exist to ensure that only a 5’5”, 100-pound, blond flight attendant will be the only person who can access a Taser and use it. Naturally, four or five swarthy Ay-rab terra-ists won’t be able to overpower her and grab it.


This one should be fun to watch.