I just saw a news story where the commercial pilots' union wants its members to be allowed to carry guns in the cockpit on commerical airlines.
As I have just seen this, I really have to think about this one.
My first reaction is what qualifications do the pilots have to carry a firearm (training, background checks, possible legal problems that would disqualify them from carrying)? Also, how would firearms be secured? Just having them onboard makes their accessability possible by unauthorized personnel when before there were none.
I know they are concerned about their safety (as well as the passengers' I should hope) but I'm not so sure at this point that this is the answer to the problem. I'm not sure what the remedy is. I know I'd rather have a Delta Force/SEAL/SWAT type-trained person onboard to make me feel at ease. The pilots will not be so trained nor certified. Many pilots are ex-military (I worked for American Airlines years ago and are familiar with the make up of the flight crews) but I don't that necessarily makes them qualified to carry.
I have worked in law enforcement for the past 16 years and believe very strongly in a person's right to self-defense. But the environment of an airplane at 40,000 feet creates an unique senario that contains its own set of special circumstances. I hope the FAA really takes a long, hard look at this one. Maybe it's time to mass-hire more qualified individuals into the Sky Marshalls ranks. I just dunno.
This is making me pause for some serious reflection.