As If Traveling Weren’t Bad Enough Already

The Department of Homeland Security is looking into requiring all airline passengers to wear a special bracelet that would allow the crew of a plane to cause an “electro-muscular disruption” (EMD) to immobilize disorderly passengers.

What about people with pacemakers? What about the small percentage of people with undiscovered conditions who may be killed by such a device? And who decides the sufficient level of disorderliness to justify the use of EMD? What about particularly paranoid airline crews? What happens if somebody is immobilized and mass hysteria breaks out among the paranoid passengers, who then beat the living daylights out of the immobilized person, causing severe injuries or even death? And if you’re worried about terrorists on airplanes, does this just invite them to figure out a way to immobilize people easily to avoid another one of those “Let’s roll” incidents?

As the legal threshold for government detainment and infliction of force against citizens seems to be falling, things like this do not bode well for freedom.

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