Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Pilots, Guns, and Public Safety

The Washington Times has a great editorial on Obama's ending the federal firearms program, that is, that pilots may carry guns if they completed federal safety programs.

After 9/11, commercial airline pilots were allowed, once trained, to carry guns in order to help prevent future, similar attacks. There are currently about 12,000 pilots who participate in this program.

The Times suggests that Obama is risking public safety in favor of an anti-gun ideology. The whole thing has done with a bit of stealth in this oh-so-transparent administration. Pilots report that since the election the approval process for the permits has slowed significantly and now has "stalled out." In addition, pilots are worried about speaking out "for fear of retaliation from the Transportation Security Adminsitration." Yikes.

The anti-gun ideology certainly seems to be there as we learned earlier this week of the DoD's new policy on the sale of expended brass. Slowly, but surely, the administration is working on gun control.

The editorial closes with this point:

"Frankly, as a matter of pure politics, we cannot understand what the administration is thinking. Nearly 40 House Democrats are in districts were [sic] the NRA is more popular than House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. We can't find any independent poll in which the public is demanding that pilots disarm. Why does this move make sense?

Only anti-gun extremists and terrorist recruits are worried about armed pilots. So why is the Obama administration catering to this tiny lobby at the expense of public safety?"

A good point.


G. R. said...

Think about this. Here we have a person who is evidently college educated, probably flew multi-billion dollar planes in the military, and has had extensive training in flying multi-million dollar aircraft for airlines. He/she are trained constantly in flight simulators to make decisions like landing a powerless plane into the Hudson River.
Every day Mr or Ms Pilot puts the lives of countless hundreds of people in their hands and do a remarkable job of taking them to their destinations. Yet they can't be trusted to carry a firearm to fight off terrorists (oops, not politically correct word) errrr! Mr. Really Not a Nice Person, who wants to take over the aircraft and kill all on board and in some building?
Gee! What a bunch of idiots we have running this country. The good guys are bad and the bad guys are good? Don't make any damned sense to me.

Anonymous said...

Please. We are such an isolated country. Europeans have MUCH higher percentages of Muslims (or what you would call enemies) in their countries than we do. So why do we feel so threatened? For some reason, we feel like we are protected when we have more guns. what a joke.

When the horrible socialist English were bombed DAILY by the Germans. They carried on with their daily lives in defiance of the attacks. We were attacked ONCE, 8 YEARS AGO, and we still try to scare each other into believing that the rest of the world is out to get us, so GO GRAB YOUR GUNS!

Conservative America - Quite being scared.

Rick said...

I guess it's true.
If you can't dazzle them with brilliance,
baffle them with bulls***. Right Anonymous?

A Retired Army Veteran said...

First let me say, the only person whose comments I've read in this post who mentioned Muslims is you.
Yes, I do fear for my country. I have spent almost my entire adult life protecting it, and even you, from people who want to do us harm. Yes, there are people out there who want to do us harm. And I lost friends, in the course of their duty, to protect you from people who want to do us harm.
I am very much aware that there are things out there that go bump in the night, and that some of those things are nothing at all, but others are very dangerous.
Now for the comment about being an "isolated country", if we were so isolated 9-11 shouldn't have happened. Right?
If we were so isolated, then the terrorists that were picked up coming into the states on a ferry on the Pudget Sound years ago, shouldn't have happened. Right?
I do have a couple of questions you an clarify for me.
Which time did the Germans bomb the English are you referring to? WWI or WWII. They did it both time you know.
Just how does the Germans bombing the English 60 or 90 years ago have to do with contents of Pat's post or this country protecting itself from people whow? Just curious.
Also, today, I went out and enjoyed the freedom of the Second Amendment. I fired a .44 caliber revolver, .380 semi-auto, .752 caliber rifles, and a bb gun (which one of my friend's son had, we're teaching him to be a future member of the NRA). Maybe, just maybe, when the day comes that you need someone to protect you from bad people, he will be prepared to do the job. I know I am.

G. R. said...


After reading your comments I can only assume you are in need of some history lessons.

You stated, "When the horrible socialist English were bombed DAILY by the Germans. They carried on with their daily lives in defiance of the attacks. We were attacked ONCE, 8 YEARS AGO, and we still try to scare each other into believing that the rest of the world is out to get us, so GO GRAB YOUR GUNS!"

Let me break this down for you. Before Great Britain went to war with Germany, their Prime Minister was a man named Neville Chamberlain. You can read more about Chamberlain in the comments I poted in Pat's blog entry called
Is Your Head in the Sand?

Now to respond to your comments,"When the horrible socialist English were bombed DAILY by the Germans. They carried on with their daily lives in defiance of the attacks."

No they didn't. Hilter defied the "Peace Treaty" he made with Chamberlain and invaded Poland, Russia, the Netherlands, France, etc. The English, or the British people, didn't go on with their daily lives. They forced Chamberlain to resign and elected Winston Churchill as Prime Minister.

Churchill led Great Britian (which includes the socialist English) to victory over the Germans, and the Italians, and the Japanese.

That's what the horrible socialist English did when they were bombed DAILY by the Germans. They got rid of a weak pacifist and elected a man who had a warrior spirit and steel in his spine.

But socialists being socialists, after Churchill led them to victory over the Germans, wanted to go back to being socialists. To thank Churchill for what he did for them they failed to re-elect as Prime Minister. But a few years later, when things weren't going too well for the socialist English (Great Britain), they did return him to the office. (I can't remember the exact year).

The second part or your comment "We were attacked ONCE, 8 YEARS AGO, and we still try to scare each other into believing that the rest of the world is out to get us, so GO GRAB YOUR GUNS!"

Yes, we were attacked, we grabbed our guns (U.S. Military, and started kicking some Taliban and terrorist butt, and we weren't attacked while that rascally Bush was President."

So, here'sy my suggestion. You need to read some factual history. You'll be surprised to what you may learn.

Anonymous said...

A history lesson. Thank you. Although nothing in that lesson had anything to do with the argument.

To answer ARAV's questions - The pilots didn't start arming themselves to protect us from the Canadians on our flights. Radical Muslims are currently viewed as the top terrorist threat. I assumed we all knew this.

No, being isolated doesn't prevent attacks like 9-11, it makes them less likely to happen. Meaning, the implication that we all need to arm-up to fight the terrorists who are crawling all over our country is simply misleading. If we were Israel, then yes, we'd have more reason to worry. Which, by the way, how do they survive without a gun in every israeli citizen's hand?

And to clarify what my comment has to do with Pat's post: Americans backed the war in Iraq because our President told us they were a threat to us and somehow connected to 9-11. Neither were true, but enough bought it to keep him in office for 8 years. These people, i believe, bought it, not because they were stupid, but because they were fearful of a threat to their lives. Yes, threats exist, they always will, but when one decides that they need a gun, pilots with guns, stewardesses that know kung-fu, and a war in a desert halfway around the world to protect them, some of us call it nonsense. In case you don't realize, the people that are screaming about imminent threat and the need for their guns are living in the LEAST threatened spots in the country. Its conservatives in middle america who are expressing the same views which Pat purports daily. People in New York, Boston, Washington DC, San Francisco, LA, Seattle, Chicago, and pretty much any other place which would be the target of the real threats that exist, are not calling for more guns and more wars to protect them. Doesn't that strike you as odd? Are all of these people just too dumb to know how threatened they are? I doubt it. Maybe, like the English to which i originally referred, they simply refuse to live in fear despite a realistic danger.

You can have all the guns you want, i don't think you're fearful for having something which you obviously enjoy, just don't try to fool anyone into thinking that our country is safer because the pilots of our flights have a gun on them.