No Guns In The Cockpits

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A good, common sense essay.... -------------------------------

No Guns In The Cockpits Charley Reese

Our federal government gets awfully quirky at times. Take the issue of arming pilots with pistols so they will have a chance if terrorists breach the door and get into the cockpit.

The federal government opposes the idea. Too dangerous, it says.

On the other hand, the same federal government proposes to put armed air marshals in with the passengers, as well as have fighter jets on standby. The job, of course, of the air marshals is to shoot the hijackers, and if they fail, the job of the fighter jets is to shoot down the passenger plane if it veers from its flight plan. Not only that, but the government has stationed armed National Guardsmen in the airports. Personally, I don't fancy the idea of dodging ricochets if a poorly trained National Guard soldier decides to have a shootout with a terrorist.

Maybe I'm missing something, but I don't see that a pilot shooting a terrorist in a cockpit is any more dangerous than air marshals having a gunfight out amongst the passengers. And certainly a gun in the cockpit is less dangerous than being blown out of the sky by an F-16.

Furthermore, it seems absurd to trust pilots with an aircraft full of passengers, but not trust them to have a pistol. Most commercial pilots are ex-military and have had ample training with firearms. And all commercial pilots are people who know how to stay calm in a stressful situation. A hefty majority of the pilots want to carry personal firearms. They should be allowed to do so.

Just as it is now a given that passengers and crew will resist the hijackers, you can be sure that it is now a given among terrorists that mere box cutters will not be sufficient to take over an aircraft. The flaw in airport security is that the screening stations are well away from the boarding areas. Between those screening areas and the boarding areas are long corridors with offices, restrooms, shops and snack bars. It does not require much imagination to persuade one of the hundreds of people in those areas to plant a firearm for a terrorist who can retrieve it after he's been screened.

And if the government is really serious about Americans being on continuing alert and watching out for terrorists, then it should encourage firearm ownership and pass a national right-to-carry law. A very scholarly work proves that privately owned firearms prevent more crimes than there are crimes committed with firearms. In Israel, private citizens wielding their own firearms have often cut terrorist attacks short.

Encouraging the public to go about their daily lives while armed would also greatly cut down on the crime rate, not to mention improving people's manners. Two of the most famous outlaw gangs, the James Gang and the Daltons, were shot to pieces not by lawmen or Pinkerton detectives, but by the citizens of the towns they tried to rob.

If you want to know how little that elitists think of us common folks, just watch the reaction to this suggestion. The whole business of gun control is based on the fear of the common people by the elite. Maybe the elite have a guilty conscience and want to keep the common folks unarmed in case the folks figure out how they've been taken advantage of.

When the Florida Legislature was debating a right-to-carry law, I had to listen to really ridiculous predictions from my elitist comrades in the news racket. "Oh, if people can carry guns, there will be shootouts in the supermarkets and at every traffic signal." It was all rubbish. The law passed. A couple of hundred thousand people have permits, and the violent-crime rate has gone down, not increased.

I asked one of my elitist friends, "Do you really think your fellow citizens are stupid and mad?" The answer was "Yes." Nothing is so conducive to making a fool of oneself than a small brain and a big ego.

I say, arm the American public and then watch our country become safe and peaceful once again.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Charley Reese can be contacted at briarl@earthlink.net. 2002 by King Features Syndicate, Inc.



-- P-T (tmblweed@wtrt.net), March 23, 2002

Answers

I heard a little while ago that Mexican pilots were wanting electric tasers (sp?) in the cockpit. In close quarters I would think they would be better than guns. No flying bullet: just ZZZZAP! No holes in the controls, either. I never did hear if they got their tasers, though.

-- Terri (hooperterri@prodigy.net), March 23, 2002.

Pilots used to carry and did in fact thwart several hijack attempts in the past. Don't remember the details of the story, but a pilot w/ his airline ID got on a flight w/ his gun and went stupid. I think it was about 1973? Maybe someone else can fill in the details of this event.

Taser's are nice but..............Remember the "Human Pinata" Rodney King? He was zapped w/ a taser 2-3 times. Naw, Glazer safety slugs in a .45 sounds better to me.

-- John in S. IN (jdoofus@hotmail.com), March 23, 2002.


Don't know about a pilot going nuts but, in 1978 a former airline worker who still had his id got aboard a flight in California either heading to or from LA and shot the pilots and crashed the plane. I beleive it was a PSA flight.

-- tony suggs (tonysuggs@sbcglobal.net), May 02, 2002.

Downside of this is obvious - if a pilot decides to commit a spectacular suicide all he has to do is shoot the other pilot (ala 737 crew) and fly that bad boy right into the sears tower. To deny this distinct and very doable possibilty is to deny reality - think Egypt air. No guns in the cockpit will at least give the other pilot(s) a chance to fight off the suicidal pilot and, worst case, crash the plane in a lightly populated location.

The whole thing boils down to having 100% trust in 100% of American pilots.

-- (kale@ieee.org), February 19, 2003.


"To deny this distinct and very doable possibilty is to deny reality -" Therefore: If it is possible,it is real. What color is the sky on your world, Kale?

-- Zen Clown (martys@iland.net), February 20, 2003.


It seems to me that pilots have a lot more knowlage than the average citizen about guns ! Therfore,they should get them,No question about it !!!!!! C MAIO

-- Carlo Maio (musicman916@yahoo.comCarlo), May 31, 2004.

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