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Gas masks, guns enjoying brisk sales these days

They said gas masks are selling well in America these days.

THURS: They said gas masks are selling well in America these days. At least one television network came out to say that this was true in the city, too.

Crop-duster planes have meanwhile been placed under heavy guard.

They are small single-engined airplanes used to spray insecticides and fertilisers in farms. They are widely used in America since farms here can be as big as small island nations in the Pacific.

In investigating the recent terrorist attacks on America, law enforcement agencies discovered, among others, crop-dusting airplane manuals from a few suspects.

Someone even came forward to say that one of the terrorists made enquiries about such planes not long ago.

The crop-dusters look the least menacing among airplanes. They are small and unsophisticated.

But it seems whoever was so interested in the planes had aeronautical sophistication last on their minds. It is the planes' spraying capability that interests them most.

Immediately, security warning bells were sounded for reservoirs, townships and even cities.

Although the small crop-duster planes may not have the capacity to poison the huge reservoirs, they may be modified to carry poisonous gases or even cultured germs instead.

That and the discovery that some of the suspects rounded up have made applications for licences to transport hazardous materials made the threat even more credible.

So the Federal Aviation Administration has grounded crop-dusters immediately.

It seems that all types of guns are also enjoying brisk sales in America.

So at times it can get confusing. In New York City, Mayor Rudolph Giuliani has been assuring folk it was safe to return to their normal lives.

But then again, maybe some still doubt. After all, there was a general security failure in America which made it easier for the terrorists to hijack four jetliners simultaneously.

So there remain some sense of insecurity out there. And what with the Federal Bureau of Investigations saying some terrorists could still be buried deep in society, nobody wants to take any risks.

So maybe a gas mask is not a bad idea at all.