There have been two news items on my mind in the last few days.
The first came as a rumour and was quickly confirmed. There is to be an indefinite ban on laptops, iPads, cameras and most other electronics in carry-on luggage on non-stop flights to the US from Cairo, Amman, Kuwait City, Casablanca, Doha, Riyadh, Jeddah, Istanbul, Abu Dhabi and Dubai. As more and more news agencies reported on the story, more details became clear including the fact that the ban doesn’t apply to US carriers because no US carriers operate direct flights to these destinations. I saw a few cynical comments regarding the levelling of the competitive playing field for US airlines trying to compete against the ones in these Muslim majority countries where it is claimed that prices are subsidised by their governments. The UK was quick to apply a similar ban albeit on 6 countries instead of 8 and these are routes that affect UK Carriers. All jokes aside about the #firstworldproblems, if there truly is a threat and lives can be saved as a result of these new security measures, then of course I am a fan of them regardless of the inconvenient consequences that they will have on our journey.
The second story was the attacks in London only a day after the new security measures were announced. Whilst clearly tragic, I couldn’t help but be reminded of of the criticisms following various other terror attacks like the ones in Brussels and Paris. Where is the recognition of every incident where more than one person is killed in an attack? Where is Facebook’s ‘mark you are safe’ button in Tuekey or Afghanistan? When you look at the statistics, many more people die from firearms each day in the US than were killed on Wednesday. Scores more die in Syria each day. These people live in fear for their lives in every waking moment (and sleeping moments too I am sure).
This isn’t to take away from the trauma experienced by the those involved in the terror attack on Wednesday or the grief of those who knew one of the people who were killed. Just to say how lucky are we to be able to get up the next day and say we are not afraid.