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July 14, 2006 at 4:33 pm #30126
PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sheep on passenger vehicles is a deadly situation, says activist.
Philadelphia, July 13, 2006 – The epidemic of sheep riding on planes, trains and buses is so bad that the nation’s passenger transport system is at risk, one civil rights advocate has declared. So he’s become determined to spread the word about the problem.
“Every day, sheep travel on commercial airline flights, trains and buses. Surprisingly enough, the public doesn’t even notice what’s going on,” said Philadelphia resident Michael L. Bane. “Nobody recognizes the danger.”
Bane’s use of the word “sheep” doesn’t refer to actual animals, but to the passengers themselves. He calls them sheep because they just go along with the security procedures, searches and the government bureaucracy established in the wake of September 11th. More importantly, Bane says, they don’t realize that not being allowed to bring weapons onboard actually does more harm than good. Without weapons, Bane says, law-abiding citizens can’t defend themselves and their fellow passengers from criminal and terrorist attacks. “You shouldn’t have to surrender your basic human right of self-defense just because you are traveling,” Bane says. “On September 11th, thousands of sheep became sacrificial lambs while a small group of terrorists got around airport security.”
Bane points out the heroism of the people on United Flight 93 to make his case. “Those passengers took action to stop the terrorists. If they hadn’t, who knows where the hijackers would have crashed the plane? Flight 93 is proof that passengers can stop hijackers. But we need to ask whether they could have done more and saved themselves and the plane by using weapons against the perpetrators.”
To let people know about this issue, Bane has created http://www.armedpassengers.org. It contains advice on things people can do to promote the cause. At the top of the list is boycotting travel as much as possible, especially by airplane. If people don’t fly, Bane says, the TSA doesn’t get the revenue from the security fee that is added the ticket price. It is this revenue that funds TSA’s operations. The sight also contains links to news articles, including negative pieces about the TSA and air marshals. Bane hopes that reminding people about all the problems will cause them to think twice about whether they should trust the government to provide transportation security in the first place.
This isn’t Bane’s first involvement in political issues. His history of activism includes a run as an independent candidate for judge in traffic court and election to his local civic association board of directors. He has had letters and political cartoons published in Philadelphia area newspapers, and volunteers his time to several nonprofit organizations.
Bane practices what he preaches on his website. His job doesn’t require traveling for business purposes, and plans his vacations as driving trips. He’s even traveled cross-country by himself. While more time consuming and costly, Bane feels it’s worth it as a matter of principle. “I have a good feeling knowing that my money contributes to the local economies I travel through, and not to the government or big companies.”
Bane realizes the controversial nature of what he’s proposing, but says it’s important to get it out there. “People have been so conditioned to accept the conventional wisdom about transportation security,” he said. “It’s understandable that some people will have trouble with this idea. But we need to look at the message we’re sending with our current transportation security policy. We wouldn’t tell the family of a September 11th victim it was better their loved one died in the name of national security and political correctness. That would add insult to injury. So why is it OK to support laws and rules that promote the very same principle? Well, it isn’t OK; it’s just wrong. And in the case of the September 11th victims, it’s dead wrong.”
Contact: Michael L. Bane