Saturday, February 05, 2011

Hey, idiots! Stop pointing lasers at planes!

Recommended article from Time where I admit I tend to agree that creating another law doesn't appear to be the real solution. Though as the daughter of a former pilot I completely understand the dangers, this part was entertaining as a visual:

It takes only about five seconds of thought to see that Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse's amendment to impose federal penalties — up to a five-year prison sentence — for attempted plane zapping would be completely useless. How exactly would it be enforced? Would pilots who get lasered in the air contact a federal anti-laser-pointer task force on the ground? Would Tommy Lee Jones be recruited to lead the manhunts? And if a local cop somehow caught a 12-year-old goof-off trying to Luke Skywalker a 747 with a laser pointer he stole from his corporate mom, would the kid go to the federal pen? Sure, it's conceivable that someone with truly menacing intentions would point a laser into a cockpit. But does Congress think there's nothing in the existing federal code that would allow him to be prosecuted for trying to blind a pilot in midflight?

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