RE: Analysis from a JHU CS Prof

Federal penitentiaries have among the best security in the world, and
use highly invasive searches combined with a very limited access policy
and severe limitations about what may be brought into a prison. Weapons,
edged and blunt, are still quite common.

Any security policy that doesn't put into place measures to deal with
threats as they arise is ineffective by definition. Talking sternly to
the offender is of questionable value when the offender is a crabby
stockbroker annoyed about the inflight meal.

Personally, I have a ticket to fly somewhere next week that I purchased
for the dirt-cheap price of $140 round-trip. I'm beginning to think I'd
be much happier spending twice that to fly on a half-empty plane with a
couple of really short-tempered marines sitting towards the back of the

Would you want the Marines armed?

I think a big concern about putting Marshalls on the planes is whether they
should be armed or not.

If you let an enforcement official on a plane with the only [theoretically]
gun on the plane, it could also [theoretically] be taken from them [say by
overpowering them..].

I personally find it comforting that the hijackers weren't able to get guns
on the plane, or at least couldn't count on getting them on the planes. That
says something about the security checkpoints established thus far.

Deepak Jain

Armed Terrorist vs Marine (armed or unarmed), I'm putting my money on the
Marine. I'm biased of course.

The terrorist is very emotionally attached to the situation at hand. The
Marine is acting on instinct and training. (Emotions come later when
you're trying to wash the filthy terrorist blood off you hands and

I'm inclined to agree. Especially if the Marine is specifically trained for
air-terrorism scenarios, but I can't imagine that is the solution we as a
country will adopt.