Wednesday, December 07, 2005

A Little Prediction

I just caught the news about the airline passenger shot by air marshals after he claimed to have a bomb, refused to follow the air marshals' commands and ultimately reached into the bag that he said contained the bomb. I noticed this man was from Costa Rica and that he is said to have had bipolar disorder. I have a prediction.

First, I will say that within 48 hours, this story will turn into a blame game where the air marshals are labeled as racists who shoot first and ask questions later. It will be said that this man was shot because his skin was darker than that of white Americans. It will be said that the marshals should have assessed his mental condition prior to shooting. Secondly, I predict the lawsuits will begin in months. This will be done by the same groups who would be jumping up and down screaming about the incompetence of the air marshals, had they hesitated and a bomb was detonated. These are the same who would claim that the skies are not safer since 9/11 and the President is to blame.

What you probably won't hear is this. This event is unfortunate but demonstrates how effectively our air marshals neutralize a potential threat to the safety of passengers, crew and countless citizens on the ground. It demonstrates a high level of vigilance dictated by the condition of today's world. I feel safer on an airliner as a result of this event. None-the-less, this will be portrayed as a mistake, a malfunction and, as a result, policies will be implemented that hinder air marshals from protecting the skies so efficiently. The skies will become less safe.

My heart goes out to the family of this man, if he was mentally disturbed and died as a result. If this is the case, it is simply a sad, unfortunate event that resulted in a man's death due to his mental illness. There is nobody to blame. Unfortunately I predict that there will be plenty of blaming going on in the near future. Let's hope I am wrong.

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