In a move of extreme brilliance, US Officials removed the ban on lighters for commercial flights. When asked why this move was made, Kip Hawley, the Assistant Secretary for the Transportation Security Administration said,
Taking lighters away is security theater. It trivializes the security process… The No. 1 threat for us is someone trying to bring bomb components through the security check point. We don’t want anything that distracts concentration from searching for that.
While I applaud the general idea of getting rid of the obscene clutter of useless security theatrics, I have to question the logic of someone who thinks that passengers should be allowed to bring pressurized explosives on a flight, but not toothpaste, mouth wash, or Diet Coke. Furthermore, unlike common toiletries, there is absolutely no need for someone to bring tiny frangible containers of butane on a flight, given that all flights have been non-smoking since 1989.
I applaud the savings this move will bring to US tax payers (an alleged $4 million annually), I think we would all be safer and more secure if the US Gov’t would cut the entire $6 billion waste it is currently funneling into the Theatre of Security Administration every year. I mean, it isn’t as if our bags weren’t x-rayed prior to the creation of TSA, after 9/11, and I can think of plenty of safety features which could be purchased for $6 billion a year that would be far more productive than the current stage production.