Reflections on the Russian plane disaster

86542463_029932319Since the latest airplane crash, in which a Russian airliner went down on the Sinai peninsula killing all 224 people on board new questions on airport security have been raised.

Before the Lockerbie bombing in 1988 suitcases were not scanned for bombs and the rule that if the passenger isn’t on board the suitcase gets offloaded wasn’t in force.

Then following the terror attacks of 9/11 the amount of security has increased considerably. The foiled attempt of bombing the transatlantic planes from London to the U.S. resulted in the prohibition of passengers transporting liquids of a greater quantity than a 100ml in their hand luggage.

The latest bomb that involved the Russian airline from Sharm El Sheik to Saint Petersburg will push for a further tightening of security amongst the airport staff and stricter controls on suitcases.

I for one, believe that current security is already very high and that a further increase could bring a greater invasion of our privacy and peace of mind. Although I am perfectly aware of not being a terrorist, I still feel uneasy about the policemen with their machine guns casually walking around public places. What if one of them goes crazy and starts shooting everybody, it would be a massacre! The intense scrutiny at passport control when entering the UK also makes me feel uncomfortable. Perhaps my old passport photo and the tatty cover are elements that make my experience particularly tricky but I can only imagine what an Asian person must go through.

Overall, on a pessimistic note, there will always be a way of killing people en masse, even in civil aviation. There are measures we can take to make it harder, but there is no guarantee that this will prevent another attack. We need to fight the cause at the root and accept the fact that by living our day to day lives we put ourselves at risk. This risk, however, must not deter us from being human and living our lives to the full. Only this will make us resist the terror that the extremists want to inflict on society.

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