Relentless Pursuit of Wisdom and Liberty

The weblog companion of, dedicated to pondering, "If Patrick Henry could see us now..."

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Effort to arm pilots still dragging, due to TSA not lack of interest

Mineta, Bureaucrats Stall Effort to Arm Pilots:
Three years later [after Congress passed legislation requiring the TSA to provide pilots the opportunity to carry firearms on commercial flights - JT], only an estimated 4,000 of the more than 95,000 commercial pilots have participated in the Federal Flight Deck Officer (FFDO) program. But this lack of participation does not indicate a lack of pilot interest, proponents say. They claim the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has intentionally stymied the program.

A soon-to-be-released poll from the pro-gun Airline Pilots Security Alliance indicates upwards of 50,000 commercial pilots would like to become FFDOs, but are reluctant to participate because, as the program has been implemented by TSA, they can only train at a remote desert facility in Artesia, N.M., and they aren't allowed to carry their firearm in a holster outside the cockpit of their plane. Instead, they must carry it around in a bulky 6-pound lockbox.
In September I sent a LttE to the LA Times on this topic (not that I expected to breach that publication's editorial armor). If there's a simple solution to the problem of terrorists gaining control of airlines, and carrying by CCW-permitted members of the public is just too horrible to consider, then arming pilots is it. We already trust them with our lives - not just every time we board a flight, but every time any flight takes off and flies over our heads - why can't we trust these intensely trained, incredibly skilled and professional, vastly experienced men and women with the means to ensure our safety while we're 30,000 feet up?


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