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This is your captain...........I'm armed!

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  1. #1
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    Angry This is your captain...........I'm armed!






    Given the amount of energy required for thinking, and my aptitude for staring into middle space, I confess to an affection for no-brainers, such as: Should airline pilots carry guns?

    Wait, wait, I'm tearing myself away from a mesmerizing galaxy of dust particles to make this public service pronouncement. Yah. Why not? Terrorists have box cutters and nefarious plans for murdering thousands by taking out helpless pilots. Here's an idea: Let's give pilots a way to defend themselves!

    OK, that's a wrap. I'm exhausted. See you next week.

    Would that life were so simple. Instead, during more than nine months since the savage attacks of Sept. 11, we've acted like we checked our brains curbside.

    Anyone who has flown in recent months knows the drill: Little old ladies, comely blond women and Al Gore get frisked and searched while government decoys carrying fake guns and bombs slip through the gate 25 percent of the time, according to recent nationwide tests.

    At the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), the slip-through rate was 41 percent. LAX, you'll recall, is where Egyptian gunman Hesham Mohamed Hadayet mowed down two travelers at the El Al ticket counter on the Fourth of July. It doesn't take much of a stretch to imagine that a madman who takes a gun to an airport with a 41 percent slip-through rate could wind up on an airplane.

    But not to worry; we're in safe hands. Our security folks are on top of this one: Hadayet is Egyptian; may have terrorist ties; is believed to have met with Osama bin Laden; is a known anti-Semite, and picked a national U.S. holiday to attack people at the Israeli airline ticket counter. They'll be closing in on a motive any day now.

    Let's tighten our little thinking caps a minute. Guns and bombs get through; security checkers are busy fondling the random paying (duped) customer; pilots are defenseless. That's not an ellipsis, but the dots that need connecting.

    Fortunately for those still forced by business or circumstance to fly, some members of the U.S. House of Representatives sharpened their pencils this week. Wednesday, the House voted 310-113 in favor of a bill that would allow commercial pilots to sign up for an armed-pilot program.

    As proposed, the program would be voluntary. Some pilots might opt out, but those comfortable with the idea of having a final shot at life -rather than being carved up by hijackers or radically deplaned by the U.S. Air Force -may take a training course and lock and load.

    The bill still faces the Senate, where it isn't likely to do as well owing to fierce opposition from key players combined with an uncharacteristically wimpy White House. Both Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta and Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge are against arming pilots, as is John W. Magaw, head of the Transportation Security Administration.

    Why? I'm not sure. Dots too small? Logic too obvious? Politics too hot? From where I sit back in coach class, nothing is hotter than a radical, Koran-chanting Islamist who thinks that killing Americans is a sacrament and that 72 virgins awaiting in heaven is a fair trade off for ramming an airplane into a tall building.

    That's also the sort of heat a fruitcake pilot could inflict any time the mood swings. As commander of a 400-ton missile loaded with explosive fuel, a commercial pilot is already in charge of a significant lethal weapon. By inserting ourselves inside said missile, we've already put our lives into his hands. And we're worried about a gun in the cockpit?

    Given a choice between trusting the screeners, whose "security measures" would get them indicted for sexual assault in any other workplace, and a trained, armed airline pilot, in whom I already have placed my trust, I'll go with the latter.

    In the nightmarish event that an armed lunatic takes over my airplane, I am fundamentally not interested in handgun-control rhetoric or in slippery slope arguments that, golly, before you know it, bus drivers and train engineers and who knows who else will want guns, too. Give a mouse a cookie and, barring literary interference from E.B. White, he runs away.

    What I am concerned with is just one thing: stepping over a dead hijacker as I exit my safely landed airplane. Given the weaknesses in our current security system, arming pilots is the best insurance we have against another slaughter like Sept. 11. Given the obvious simplicity of this no-brainer, don't count on it.
    Rules? You mean we have RULES for that???

  2. #2
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    I agree.

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    HOLY HAND GUNS! I am in total agreement ALBOB! you put it eloquently!!

    OOORAH!!!

    Erilay'a

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    As long as the bullet travel into the body and not through the plane! Oh, make sure you don't miss and hit another person!

    Yikes! I'm jumping on a plane in 6 days!!!

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    Originally posted by Erilaya you put it eloquently!!
    Caveat: This was cut and pasted from a newspaper article. I could have written it if I'd wanted to.
    Rules? You mean we have RULES for that???

  6. #6
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    Handgun? Hell!! Give'em a HK MP5 full auto and not only the pilots, issue them to the whole flight crew as well, now let's see if they (terrorist) have the balls to try some $hit.
    MAX. Q
    by Howard Balzer

    "Roughly one minute after the space shuttle launches, it must withstand a condition of extreme force known as Max Q. Mission success demands that all systems perform at the highest level.

    In life, Max Q demands the same commitment to success. It requires choosing greatness, personally as well as professionally. It depends on balance, passion and courage and the wisdom gained from adversity. It is an outcome as well as an attitude."

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    I have one problem with pilots carrying guns: what if the highjackers take a few people hostage, either passengers or flight attendants, and they put a knife to their throats? What do the pilots do? Watch them slice their throats then shoot them? Or hand over their guns?

    think about it.





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  8. #8
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    Let's see....on one hand we don't arm the pilots and when a terroists comes on board and highjacks the plane, the government will send a F16 to shoot you down!

    On the other hand we let pilots carry and give them and the passengers a chance to tharwt the attack and save their lives.

    Damn, no biggie to decide for me! The more guns the merrier!
    I say get reciprocity for all carriers of concealed weapons to carry on airlines, then the highjackers won't know who has guns and will not even try!

    BTW DJ, In a recent report I saw,it is highly unlikely that most modern bullets of handguns will penetrate the skin of the aircraft. Even if it does, the hole will be so small, that it poses no threat to cabin pressurization!




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  9. #9
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    Originally posted by Prince
    I have one problem with pilots carrying guns: what if the highjackers take a few people hostage, either passengers or flight attendants, and they put a knife to their throats? What do the pilots do? Watch them slice their throats then shoot them? Or hand over their guns?

    think about it.
    Damn Prince! Don't tell me your one of those that ask what if everything. Go back and read my previous post and that would solve the problem! Which is very highly unlikely to happen though!If the pilots couldn't save a life or two, wouldn't it be better than none at all! I would take the chance. If you don't, you will certainly die in a highjack!




    Disclaimer: All health, fitness, diet, nutrition, anabolic steroid & supplement information posted here is intended for educational and informational purposes only, and is not intended as a substitute for proper medical advice from a medical doctor. We do not condone the use of anabolic steroids (AAS), all information about AAS is for educational and entertainment purposes only. If you choose to use AAS it's your responsibility to know the laws of the country that you live in. Consult your physician or health care professional before performing any of the exercises, or following any diet, nutrition or supplement advice described on this website.

  10. #10
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    <<what if the highjackers take a few people hostage, either passengers or flight attendants, and they put a knife to their throats? What do the pilots do? Watch them slice their throats then shoot them? Or hand over their guns?>>

    God forbid if you are taken as a hostage about to die or the pilot who has to make a decision, just remember this:

    "We will not tire, we will not falter, and we will not fail"

    "I will not yield; I will not rest; I will not relent in waging this struggle for freedom and security for the American people. "

    G.W Bush, President

    or how about....

    "Ask not what your country can do for you, but ask what you can do for your country"

    J.F. Kennedy, President

    If I'm being too patriotic about this, then please excuse me, it must be my prior military mentality acting up again....
    MAX. Q
    by Howard Balzer

    "Roughly one minute after the space shuttle launches, it must withstand a condition of extreme force known as Max Q. Mission success demands that all systems perform at the highest level.

    In life, Max Q demands the same commitment to success. It requires choosing greatness, personally as well as professionally. It depends on balance, passion and courage and the wisdom gained from adversity. It is an outcome as well as an attitude."

  11. #11
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    No brainer. Give the pilots guns and don't worry about it. If you have a terrorist with a knife to your throat or whatever, I say that one life, unfortunately, is worth the lives of the rest of the plane. I may be of a different mentality but that is how I feel. I had a "job" in the military (Navy) that those were the types of choices that we had to make. Sometimes the loss of one will save many others, so to me at least it is not a hard choice to make. It sucks but it may come down to that.

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    Yeah... I'd take a bullet to save everyone else on the plane!!!
    ~Ann
    We must teach our children to dream with their eyes open.
    -Harry Edwards

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    so you open up the argument "the greater good for the many".

    sacrifice one life to save how many? sacrifice 5 lives, when do you stop? kill one innocent child to save 10, right. how about kill 5 children to save 10.....etc.

    what if they grabbed your two 5 year old kids and put knives to their throats? would that change your opinion here? or would you still say slit their throats? anyone that's a parent might have some different thoughts with that scenario!

    sorry, but it's not that black and white of an issue....there is a lot of grey area. I know it's sounds logical, but there are implications that go beyond the obvious logic here.





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  14. #14
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    Terrorists have no morality and have one agenda in mind. That is evident from what they did on 9/11. There will be no reasoning with these animals. In all likelihood if they did have the kids, and you handed over the guns, they'd slit the throats anyway or nose dive the plane for all to die.
    MAX. Q
    by Howard Balzer

    "Roughly one minute after the space shuttle launches, it must withstand a condition of extreme force known as Max Q. Mission success demands that all systems perform at the highest level.

    In life, Max Q demands the same commitment to success. It requires choosing greatness, personally as well as professionally. It depends on balance, passion and courage and the wisdom gained from adversity. It is an outcome as well as an attitude."

  15. #15
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    Prince: No matter how logical or rational one can make this argument , there will always be the "human element" in this or any other equation. I did not mean to imply that this is just a simple walk in the park decision. I have children, and I would hope that no matter what decision I would make at that time that it would be the right one no matter what the outcome. I would not wish that situation on anyone.

    Having said that, seeing that you either firmly believe what you said or are just playing devils advocate, just what would you do in this type of situation?

  16. #16
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    I'm not sure. It seems like the logical thing to do, arm the pilots, but it could end up being worse than if they were not armed. Either way, it will be the pilots choice to be armed.

    As far as the terrorists and them killing the kids and nose diving the planes, yes we now know that's what they would do. Prior to 9/11 no one on those planes (or on the ground) thought that's what they were going to do. From all of the knowledge they gained except for that one plane where they tried to take over and they crashed in a field, all other planes just thought they were going to land them and make demands like usual. The only reason that that last plane knew their agenda was because the passengers were calling home and talking to their families on cell phones and they told them about the planes hitting the trade center.

    I would like to know why United and/or the government did not act sooner when they discovered that their planes were off course. If I remember correctly the planes flew west for around an hour before they turned back east, so they were going in the opposite/wrong direction for an hour, why the hell didn't anyone know this? The military could have had an F-16 up there tailing them and prevented them from ever hitting the trade center.





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  17. #17
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    You are correct in the fact that prior to 9/11 I don't think that anyone would have thought that someone would have done what happened in Sept. It really is beyond comprehension as to why anyone would do such a thing.

    As far as why no one noticed the planes that far off course for such a long period of time I wish I had the answer to that one but as best as I can remember I don't know if there was even an excuse for missing all of those planes, at least initially anyway. They put the F-16s up only after the first plane hit the WTC and they were 400-450 miles away, and were only 20 minutes out when the second plane struck. Even at Mach 1.9 (?) they could not get there fast enough.

    As sad as this is we have all learned something from it and hopefully this type of incident will never happen again. The things that man does to another man is getting more and more unbelievable all the time.

    I'll still stand firm in letting the pilots carry guns if that is what they choose to do. Sometimes the consequences may not be to everyones liking but in this day and age some choices are forced upon us. Let us not forget that there are now federal Air Marshalls on flights also. It may not even get to the point that a pilot even has to make the decision to use his/her gun at all.

  18. #18
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    The planes from what I heard turned off their navigational equipment. The Faa literally lost the plane in the sky. They were literally thousands of planes in that area of the northeast that day so even if they had gotten a F16 up earlier it would have been like trying to find a needle in a haystack.

    Prince, as far as the greater good for the many, god forbid that ever happen, I think you must do something. It's alot like police work in many ways. When things like that happen, they happen so fast, you don't have time to think. You just react to the situation the best way you can. If that meant some of my family dying, then that is the way it was meant to be. But you can bet one thing for sure, I'm not going down without a fight.....that's just me.
    And as far as the marshalls go, there are thousands of flights in the USA everyday that don't have a marshall on it. They interviewed an US Air pilot that had been flying for 18 years. He has never seen a marshall on his flights. So don't count on them. They are quitting by the thousands I hear. Bad hours, long hours you name it!




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  19. #19
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    I knew that not all flights would have the air marshalls but I was not aware that they were quitting at that rate. I mainly put the air marshall comment in to try to state that it may not always be the pilot that will have to make a decision. I along with many others would love to see people allowed to legally carry guns at all times which would greatly diminish anyones attempt to do something stupid. But this is another argument to cover at some other time.

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