The government is now seriously studying how to protect airliners from shoulder fired missiles. While it’s hard to argue with the intent of the investment, you have to wonder if this is really worth it don’t you? I fly more than the average American, and I’ve never once thought how much safer I’d feel if the plane had a missile defense system. In general, I’m content if the pilots are sober and there isn’t a really wide person sitting in the next seat.

Now granted, on that one day a missile is fired at my plane, I’m gonna wish I had the system. But then on the day I’m shot, I’m gonna wish I’d worn the kevlar vest. But in reality, I don’t own one. I’m not in a position where I’m personally a high profile assassination target. I’m not in a job where I routinely encounter armed people. If I’m shot, it’s likely a random event. And the chances are low enough that I really don’t take precautionary measures to avoid being shot.

Isn’t adding missile defense to passenger planes the same deal on a larger scale? Having such systems on Air Force One makes sense. It’s a high profile target. Having such systems on military planes make sense. People shoot at them. But if an airliner is shot down, while a tragedy, it would be a random event. Now it’s true that the terrorism level in the world makes such an event more likely, but planes are still more likely to crash because of mechanical failure than missile attack. You’re more likely to die in an automobile accident than a plane crash of any kind.

Perhaps the government should take all the money ear-marked for airline missile defense and spend it teaching all those “other people” out there how to drive…

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