If one is smart enough or devious enough just about anything the airport security lets through can destroy an airplane or harm its passengers (naturally doing one likely does the other). Just about everything they confiscate cannot or simply would not be used to betray the common public trust.

The common public trust is that sort of faith that your average American has that the person walking behind him will not suddenly speed up, back-stab, and lift the Wallet of the Dying. We believe that our fellows are not Out To Get Us, by and large, which is why the people who suspect other human beings of acting true to nature are called “paranoid” by nearly everyone else. I suspect the paranoid are less prone to suffer from identity theft but I doubt they live as long.

I never knew that you could do this with a laptop battery but xkcd knows more than I.

So what if a laptop battery (maybe not mine) has the same amount of potential energy as a hand grenade? The common man does not know how to weaponize it and the common man would not consider weaponizing it for use against his fellow citizens, or in any case, innocent people.

But naturally any thing that can be brought onto an airplane, or an office, or a home, or a public gathering place can be used as a weapon (and I will not call that a “misuse”). It is not a great idea to institute the common faith in humanity in every social situation yet it is still incredibly stupid to level suspicion against everyone. For one reason it creates a false sense of security; it also riles the populace against institutions and authorities it need not rebel against, or should not feel the need to rebel against. It does not help to create or foster blind resentment of the common folk towards authority figures. I believe the best attitude to create is one where we do trust people not to make bombs out of computers, knives out of nail clippers, incapacitants out of fluids; most importantly I trust most Americans, but not all, to be able to judge when we can use these weapons and when should we these use these weapons.

Obviously trusting everyone is like sending a nudist down a “rape trail“… it is an invitation for really bad things. However I do not see the point of allowing people to board the plane if we do not trust them. We disallow their accoutrement yet if they are really out to get us they likely are not thwarted by losing something obvious. Should we simply limit the passenger manifest to those people we trust and then those we’ve searched to an ugly extreme?