Washington Times – EDITORIAL: Guns on a plane

Washington Times – EDITORIAL: Guns on a plane
After the September 11 attacks, commercial airline pilots were allowed to carry guns if they completed a federal-safety program. No longer would unarmed pilots be defenseless as remorseless hijackers seized control of aircraft and rammed them into buildings.

Now President Obama is quietly ending the federal firearms program, risking public safety on airlines in the name of an anti-gun ideology.

The Obama administration this past week diverted some $2 million from the pilot training program to hire more supervisory staff, who will engage in field inspections of pilots.

Well, now I feel safer.  Those renegade professional pilots won’t be armed any more.  What a relief.


  1. Meh. It was always a dumb policy from the beginning. I’m not anti-armed-pilot per se, but definitely pro-pilot-in-the-pilot’s-seat-driving-the-plane. IMHO, there are two things that are likely deterrents to future 9/11-style attacks. 1. locked, fortified cockpit doors, and 2. Passengers’ willingness to throw themselves on anyone with the temerity to try to hijack the plane. It just never made a damn bit of sense to have the pilots getting out of their seats to go all mano-a-ano with the bad guys. Stay behind the door and get the plane on the ground in one piece!

    But that’s just me.

    I have a buddy who’s an air marshal. Boy, he’s got a lot of good stories.

  2. Aerospace Genius says:

    Not that it will do any good, but now we will know exactly who to blame for the next day of horror.

  3. Yikes! All this liberal (socialist) agenda is coming at us at warp speed. Watch out, your guns are next. Look at HR45, Blair Holt Firearm Licensing and Record of Sale Act of 2009.

  4. Let me understand. If you walk into your local Dairy Queen and you know half the customers are packing heat, are you likely to hold up the joint?

  5. That’s right, lets put the guns where they will help the most, in the hands of the passengers. Pass them out with the pretzels and pillows. Have a Weaver stance demo on the preflight video.

  6. Maybe Tasers on the plane would be a good idea.

  7. I gotta agree with Shadow on this one… securing the doors to the cockpit would make more sense than arming a pilot. Plus, given that TSA is busy searching for 4 ounce bottles of shampoo, how easy would it be for a pistol packing pilot imposter to get on an aircraft?

  8. I actually liked the armed flight officer policy. I hope it returns.

    The first people killed on 9-11 were pilots.
    When the pilots are over-run the best you get is a draw (Let’s Roll).
    There is no such thing as an impenetrable barrier.
    The last plane I was on was filled with people that had trouble getting organized to find their seats and get in them. The let’s-roll fire isn’t nearly as prevalent it used to be.

    I have no knowledge of the rules of engagement for armed flight deck officers, but would be very very surprised if they would ever leave the cockpit armed. Their weapons were/are point defense last-ditch efforts.

    If this is progress I’m glad I’m not a progressive.

  9. TheNewGuy says:

    Give the pilots a bloomin’ flamethrower for all I care… but let them have something in case the cockpit gets breached.

    I guess they don’t trust the pilots with those eeeeevil guns… why, they might hurt somebody! Never mind the fact that the pilot can kill everyone on board with a flick of the stick. They’ll trust the pilots with that kind of responsibilty, but not with a gun?

    Good Lord… where do we get these people?

  10. That is like saying make armored cars more fortified and take away their guns. That will prevent a lot. The guns are the last line of defense for safety of the crew and passengers.

  11. Goatwhacker says:

    I agree with arming the pilots. Gun laws are about keeping the guns away from bad guys, not good guys.

  12. racheleh says:

    Your pilot may have a gun, but the “approved” holster is a suspected safety hazard.
    Any way your pilot is probably still pissed off because the minimum wage illiterate at the TSA counter took his favorite butter knife because it wasn’t approved.
    Please note the “fire ax” comment. had me snickering for quite a while.

    Guns don’t make you safe. Rules dont make you safe.
    The willingness to stand up and say ‘No’ in the face of any odds raises your safety.
    Being aware of your surroundings makes your safer.
    Having a gun just means you have another option.
    If your first or only response to a dangerous situation is “shoot” you have severely limited yourself.

  13. Armed or unarmed, nobody can really tell whether safety is guarantied at any level. Best way is to give the guns to somebody who’s responsibility doesn’t include landing the plane safely and keeping everyone on board alive. Oh, sealed cockpits is a good idea.

  14. I always wondered, what if the passengers on 9-11 had just had their standard issue, Southern-man kind of pocket knives? I used to carry a knife whenever I flew, and never attacked anyone; but I’d sure be happy to demonstrate my knowledge of anatomy in a terrorist situation.

    It’s all ideology. Let select passengers carry guns for all I care; if they have a CWP and pass certain criteria. I’ve served in the ANG where I qualified, I’ve taken civilian combat shooting courses and have passed two CWP classes. And yet, the average yahoo in many armed security services and police departments cares far less about his firearms proficiency than I do.

    I was at a gun show last week. The standard sign on the venue said, ‘no concealable weapons allowed,’ but it was, of course, suspended for the show. Hundreds upon hundreds of men and women with every kind of gun, ammunition and knife imaginable. Deaths and injuries? Zero.

    It all makes my Appalachian blood boil.



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