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Thread: Guns in Cockpit

  1. #1

    Question Guns in Cockpit

    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.

    Other thoughts?
    ¡Que la fuerza te acompañe!

  2. #2
    I was thinking if they DO decide to allow guns in the cockpit, DON'T make it publicly known. Then the terrorists will have the advantage again. Knowledge of our policies and procedures is one of their greatest weapons.

  3. #3
    I think it's just not a good idea, for these reasons:
    • The pilot should be concentrating on the danged flying.
    • Handguns can be taken away from a pilot and put into the hand of an attacker.
    • A bullet fired from a gun can pierce the cabin of the plane causing explosive decompression which can cause the plane to lose control and crash.

    Sorry, but this idea doesn't work for me. I know tension in the cabin is really high right now, but this isn't the answer. IMO, the cockpit should be completely sealed from the rest of the plane once takeoff procedures have started until the plane has landed and powered down, the cockpit crew should have 100% video access to the plane, and if they see something going on, they could release a silent odorless sleep-gas into the cabin, then when everybody is knocked-out, land the plane and have the cops come in and lock up the attackers -- you can even use the video footage from the plane's monitors as evidence in court.
    Darth Vader is becoming the Mickey Mouse of Star Wars.

    "In Brooklyn, a castle, is where dwell I"
    The use of a lightsaber does not make one a Jedi, it is the ability to not use it.

  4. #4
    Sleeping gas is a good idea, tasers might work too.

    The only problem with the pilot carrying a gun is they are usually the last to know if a plane is being hijacked. However, if they are to allow pilots, stewardesses, marshals, whoever on a plane to carry a gun then make it publicly known, an excellent deterrant. One of the main reasons planes get hijacked so much is the terrorists know there will be no resistance, thus they act with impunity. Knowing there are trained, armed personnel on the flight might discourage a few hijackings.

    I think the same idea would work for the rash of school shootings that has plagued our country for the last few years. Allow the teachers to carry handguns, or have armed security guards patroling the hallway. If a (cowardly scumbag) kid brandishes a gun in school then shoot the kid immediately; the idea being if a kid is willing to endanger other lives due to his/her own mental deficinecies then their life is forfeit. I bet shool shootings would come to a halt within weeks.

    These may sound a little heavy-handed but we're not living in Disneyland here. It's an ugly world that demands ugly solutions.
    "To be concerned about being grown up, to admire the grown up because it is grown up, to blush at the suspicion of being childish; these things are the marks of childhood and adolescence… When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up." - C.S. Lewis

  5. #5
    Disneyland is a virtually-perfect Fascist environment, and it's the perfection of fascism at the Mouse House that keeps incidences like those you find at Six Flags Magic Mountain from happening at Disneyland. When Magic Mountain tries to curtail violence, they simply use racial profiling which doesn't work and gets them into trouble, when Disneyland does it, they use cameras, a trained private police and investigative force, and other methods they don't disclose. IIRC, the last incident of violence at Disneyland was like 10 years ago and was a shooting from the street outside Disneyland into one of the monorail cars that rides next to and above that street. However, fascism comes at a cost of personal freedoms, and is very expensive to keep running smoothly.

    That ultimately is where the rub lies, personal freedom and how much you're willing to give away to feel safe.
    Darth Vader is becoming the Mickey Mouse of Star Wars.

    "In Brooklyn, a castle, is where dwell I"
    The use of a lightsaber does not make one a Jedi, it is the ability to not use it.

  6. #6
    Freedom. Probably the most unsafe idea ever.

    I don't favor turning to a gun-toting, might-makes-right society; but remove all methods for people to defend themselves and you leave the door open for anyone to walk in and take control. (which I think was the point GL was trying to make in showing Naboo being overtaken so easily) So a happy medium needs to be found somewhere. The real question is, should politicians who care little for anything other than their own personal gain and wealth be the ones making those decisions?
    "To be concerned about being grown up, to admire the grown up because it is grown up, to blush at the suspicion of being childish; these things are the marks of childhood and adolescence… When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up." - C.S. Lewis

  7. #7
    I am pleased to see that the forces of reason are sounding off on this issue. This country is often enamoured of the gun. It's mere presence lends a sense of (false) security in the minds of many Americans. I'm sure we've all heard the arguements of those who buy into this way of thinking in regard to a mugging or bank robbery on the news, "If I was there with my gun I'd shoot the scumbag!" As JediTricks pointed out in regard to taking potshots on board an airplane, exposive decompression is a giant risk. Thought through, there are equal risks and liabilities involved with untrained individuals using the gun as the answer to potential violence, as in the case of a robbery. I say untrained in reference to handling a crisis situation, not in the use of the firearm. Many people who carry guns are trained, and perhaps even practice regularly on a firing range. But how many train themselves to confront an erratic target in a situation in which many are at risk. Guns in the cockpit are about as good an idea as a gun in the nightstand of a suburban family home full of kids of varied ages. Increase the instance of Air Marshals as these operatives are trained in the use of firearms in the unique conditions aboard an in-flight aircraft.
    "Does the name "Dingo" mean anything to you?" - Jedi Boulton to DingoDad at the October Dallas ComiCon.

  8. #8
    If every person who could possibly be endangered by others were given the right to carry weapons and the right to use those weapons, we'd live in anarchy. I think only trained law enforcement and military personnel should carry guns for any purpose other than hunting or defense within one's home.

    As for teachers carrying guns in schools--I'm not going to even start commenting on that because I'd be typing for several days.
    Tommy, close your eyes.

  9. #9

    Post

    Making the cabin more secure sounds like a good idea to me one way or the other. Cabin decompression seems to be the most serious issue in this debate. Jedi Tricks suggestion of allowing the cabin to monitor the passenger compartment, and emit a knock-out gas sounds very reasonable. I can only see one problem with this. If the hijackers had a way of breathing in such an environment, it would only prevent passengers from fighting back. Allowing the pilot to carry a taser/stun gun sounds like a reasonable alternative as well. I am not against a pilot who is well trained in the use of a fire arm being allowed to carry one. I also don't think that air marshals sound like a bad idea. Security should start on the ground though. If you want to kill or threaten someone (obviously) all you need is a (plastic) shiv/knife (whether you are in school, in a plane, on a bus, etc). Traveling by plane will never be the same again.
    Last edited by Jedi Clint; 09-25-2001 at 01:46 PM.
    ubi mel ibi apes

  10. #10
    Another problem with sleeping gas is passengers with asthma or any trouble breathing. Plus sleeping gas on young children and babies can result in death. I know tear gas on young kids can cause muscle spasms severe enough to tear muscle tissue away from the bone. The FBI learned that in Waco.
    "To be concerned about being grown up, to admire the grown up because it is grown up, to blush at the suspicion of being childish; these things are the marks of childhood and adolescence… When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up." - C.S. Lewis

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