The Lamperd EMD Safety Bracelet
As everyone in the world is aware, on11 September 2001several sets of essentially-unarmed men – they had mat cutters whose blades were shorter than the length allowed by FAA regulations, and significantly shorter than your kid’s Swiss Army knife – took over aircraft which they ran into the Pentagon and the World Trade Center. The fact that they did not bother to arm themselves shows an astonishingly good, albeit contemptuous, insight into the way Americans had been trained never to fight back, instead leaving this to law enforcement. The danger of a reoccurrence ended that day, since passengers will no longer allow that to happen, no matter what government regulations say.
In another aircraft, a bunch of vigilantes decided to fight back in spite of decades of law enforcement orders to never fight back, likely causing the plane to crash in Pennsylvania. This act of lawlessness on the part of passengers prompted rules and procedures to make sure that in the future passengers will not be able to illegally take matters into their own hands. When push comes to shove, we are confident these rules will be ignored.
This tragic incident was used to develop a politically powerful albeit largely ineffective federal agency – they are the folks that handled Hurricane Katrina – that revitalized a number of agencies whose utility had become questionable since the end of the Cold War. Because so many people now choose to drive rather than fly, one of the direct results has been an increase in deaths of American travelers.
In keeping with their current approach, the Washington Times has reported that DHS has expressed an interest in the Lamperd EMD Safety Bracelet, which you can think of as a wrist-worn stun gun. If you become troublesome, a crew member can shock you into unconsciousness.
This is an interesting approach, assuming you have no knowledge of, well, anything. It certainly fits in with the agency’s view of the American way of life, and is appropriate to their current level of understanding of risk and risk management. And yes, apparently research has been funded.
While the Lamperd EMD Safety Bracelet has no value as a counterterrorism device, we don’t think it should be dismissed out of hand all that quickly. Its primary value, as we see it, is that it could be used to render crying babies unconscious, not to mention children who kick the back of your seat. And on a recent trip to China, a man who was terrified of flying was being fed a lot of coffee by his daughter. Not only did this increase his level of agitation, but, because he apparently had a bladder the size of a pea, he kept getting up to go to the bathroom, each time pulling this editor’s seat in front of him. In this case, too, the Lamperd EMD Safety Bracelet could have been used to render him unconscious for the duration of the flight.
While obviously some kinks need to be worked out – for example, should you, as a passenger, be able to zap only those annoying children and adults directly behind you – we can see that installation of the Lamperd EMD Safety Bracelet could make flights much quieter and more restful. A more cost effective alternative approach suggested by some reviewers would be to have all passengers fly nude, thus precluding, after an obligatory cavity search, transport of any weapons. In addition to the security benefit, there would be a public health benefit. As anyone who has ever traveled throughout the United States knows, there is an epidemic of obesity, which manifests itself, according to the CDC, in a number of health problems, including Hypertension (high blood pressure), Osteoarthritis (a degeneration of cartilage and its underlying bone within a joint), Dyslipidemia (for example, high total cholesterol or high levels of triglycerides), Type 2 diabetes, Coronary heart disease, Stroke, Gallbladder disease, Sleep apnea and respiratory problems, as well as some cancers (endometrial, breast, and colon). It is posited that the embarrassment of flying nude while overweight might provide the push needed to get people to watch their weight. Not to mention early detection of prostate cancer!
Of course, we still need to deal with children and babies. Perhaps we could reserve the Lamperd EMD Safety Bracelet for them.