Another blogger makes many good points about airline security. There just isn’t enough actual threat to warrant the spending we do on TSA.
In terms of my life being brought to a sudden, firey end in an aircraft, the cause is far more likely to be mechanical failure on the airplane or human error in the cockpit or in the airline traffic control room than it is to be a terrorist act. The airline security measures put in place shortly after 9/11 reduced the risk of dying in a terrorist attack well below the non-terrorist risks we accept every time we step on an airplane. There is absolutely no rational reason for the current level of panic-driven insanity, which as far as I can tell, having made many international trips in the past year alone, is not found in any other country, including the world’s number one potential terrorist target, Israel. The only reason I can think of for the panic in the United States is a fundamental failure to appreciate the risks.
The truth is that crap can happen whenever it wants to. TSA is wasting money going after the potential for needles in hay stacks. The constant Orange threat level is definitely the boy who cried wolf.
I have flown on a commercial flight without any security and I survived. It was Sansa down in Costa Rica. From San Jose they wanded me and flipped through my bag, but from Golfito you just showed up and hopped on the ~15 seat Cessna. All they cared about was weight for weight/balance.