When Unethical Meets Stupid

Cuation! Moron at Work.

Pilots flying multi-million dollar aircraft to Navy Air Station Oceana say that beams coming from laser pointers are blinding them as they make their approach. The Navy says there has been a sharp increase in the number of laser sightings within the last 18 months. “You’re getting ready to land–you’re getting ready to go through a number of steps configuring the airplane to touchdown. In the two-seaters, there aren’t any sticks in the back. So if you lose the ability to fly it in proximity to the ground, it gets pretty dangerous,” says Webb. In short, the laser pointers are risking military planes and lives.

It is believed that the source of the beams  are people standing on the balconies of the hotels at the Virginia Beach, Va. oceanfront.
Because there no federal or state laws that protect military planes from lasers, lawmakers having reasonably assumed that no human being would be so simultaneously irresponsible and moronic as to risk bringing down a Navy jet and killing a pilot, you know, for the sheer fun of it.

To protect his pilots, Captain Webb contacted Virginia Beach’s city council, and is asking them to take action and bring this issue to the general assembly. I confess that I have been accused of being excessively harsh in my assessment of pointless, ransom, potentially destructive conduct  like this. I don’t think a person who aims laser pointers at airplanes should just be handed a citation and a stern lecture about the dangers of blinding pilots in flight. I think anyone apprehended doing something like this is a double menace, too devoid of ethical values to be trusted, too stupid to be allowed around sharp objects, children, traffic, helpless animals and old people. I think they should be hauled off to jail in handcuffs, charged with a felony, fined a bundle,  to serve jail time, and banned for life from getting within a hundred yards of a laser pointer.

Too harsh?

3 thoughts on “When Unethical Meets Stupid

  1. This is why the public schools, in that same city, ban laser pointers under their weapons policy. Because many of the same morons who will point lasers at Navy pilots would point them gladly at teachers.

  2. Jack,
    Not that I disagree in principle, the problem is what can reasonably be done? Short of banning ALL laser pointers, or at least all the high-energy ones, any laws to address the problem would be near unenforceable. Aside from the inherent problems associated with trying to figure out where the beams originate, the pointers themselves are so small as to be easily concealable in clothing, luggage, vehicles, etc. Thus, aside from increasing education about the dangers, I fear there’s little in the way of practical rule-making that’s going to have any real affect.

    This is one of those times when the honor system fails us completely ..


  3. For something like this, I wonder if it’s possible to make a laser pointer that maintains its fidelity across a room (or even across a stage or ballroom) but won’t reach hundreds of feet away.

    Do those things yet carry labels that say, “Don’t shine these at people, airplanes, grass-fed cattle, my bald spot, etc.”?

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