Am I a bad person because my first thought after hearing about the latest terrorist attempt to take down an airplane was, "oh great, now we'll be banned from bringing any powders on board." Not that I can think of any powders I would want to carry on the plane, but you know it'll be coming. Along with who knows what other security theater measures TSA comes up with after conducting the thorough review President Obama is asking for now.
The answer is, of course, yes, I am a bad person. Those thoughts should have been of gratitude that Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was caught in time, that no harm came to anyone on that flight, that the friends and loved ones greeting that plane could do so with joy instead of horror. And I am thankful for that, of course. But I think this article hits the nail on the head: "Despite the billions spent since 2001 on intelligence and counterterrorism programs, sophisticated airport scanners and elaborate watch lists, it was something simpler that averted disaster on a Christmas Day flight to Detroit: alert and courageous passengers and crew members."
For those courageous passengers and crew members who stopped a terrorist in his tracks on Flight 253 last week, and for the unbearably courageous passengers and crew members on United Flight 93 who saved countless lives with their actions even as their own were lost, I am filled with gratitude. I'd like to think I could be so courageous under similar circumstances, but I don't know. I hope no one ever again has to find out. Somehow, I doubt that banning baby powder will get us any closer to that goal.
For a lighter take on terrorism (and yes, there is one), check out The Borowitz Report's Department of Homeland Security Issues Terrorist ID Cards