No Guns for Pilots; They're Too Busy, or Something

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by Tom White

A story by Jim Burns of CNSNews on May 21 said, "The federal government Tuesday said pilots will not be allowed to have guns in the cockpit on commercial airline flights." The main reason given seems to be that the pilots are too busy up there, intently studying dials and levers and all, such that to shoot at anybody who might want to steal their airplane would be a dangerous diversion.

This is another instance of the wonderful appreciation shown by Their Imperial Majesties of the average intelligence of the average voter. You know, IQ maybe 64. Their spokesperson on this latest outrage was John Magaw, an undersecretary with the Department of Transportation.

Anybody who flies at all knows that take-offs and landings require concentrated attention; but once up, the plane virtually flies itself. Remember that Lear jet that went for a couple of thousand miles without anyone alive on board before crashing finally somewhere up north when it ran out of fuel?

“After a lot of consultation and realizing my experience in law enforcement, I will not authorize firearms in the cockpit,” Magaw told the Senate Commerce Committee. Note the easy assumption of imperial authority and the diktat tone (didn't we used to have a Congress tasked with defending the Constitution and making laws?). It appears that Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta and Homeland Security Chief Tom Ridge have also said they oppose the idea.

The pilots as a group are all for their carrying guns, and I feel quite sure all of us who fly would feel better knowing they are armed. We are all keenly aware we place our lives and fortunes in their hands as the door to the plane is bolted shut. What, then, makes them unworthy of having guns?

I think I know. They are not government. The rulebook for life in the New World to Come reads "Guns belong to government; the people should not be armed." That of course directly violates the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and even violates the spirit of John Ashcroft's recent statement in defense of the people's right to be armed. But this administration (like, I admit, most others) has no trouble with taking actions directly contrary to its words.

The CNS story quotes one Bob Taubert, a former FBI agent and now a security consultant for the Committee for the Armed Defense of the Cockpit, said, "You have people in government that have this visceral gunphobic attitude, and I also think some of the government agencies feel threatened.”

He said arming pilots might infringe on the turf of the federal air marshal program. “The federal air marshal program might actually feel threatened with armed pilots on board because it would detract from their empire.”

I think Taubert's aiming too low. A bunch of hired guns probably doesn't make policy and doesn't have much of an empire separate from the empire Big Government already has over everything in general. The problem is at the top.

There is some fight left in Congress: "Sen. Bob Smith (R-N.H.), sponsor of legislation allowing properly trained pilots to carry guns, said he will be introducing a bill with a bipartisan coalition, including Sens. Zell Miller (D-Ga.), Conrad Burns (R-Mont.), and Frank Murkowski (R-Alaska) to create a voluntary program to arm pilots," the CNS story said

And Smith said, "This is the primary option to implement the program that was called for in the Aviation Security Bill. The pilots want this program, and the American people want additional means to be protected against future contemplated acts of terrorism. Armed pilots are the first line of deterrence and the last line of defense.”

Anybody taking bets? I'll bet that this opposition has no legs. There'll be no guns for pilots under Emperor Bush. Not this week.

The Gun Owners of America said Bush ought to "take some officials to the political woodshed, or else people are going to start wondering where he stands on the important right of self-defense.”

I don't think they need to wonder very long or very hard. The Bush family subtends from the Rockefeller-Morgan interests; they won't fall far from the Tree called "New World Order," and in that Order, there is no plan to have popular pressures divert the Leadership from its already settled policies. I suppose I hope I'm wrong on this one. Let's wait and see.

Tom White [send him mail] writes from Odessa, Texas.

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