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Posted: 4/6/2002 6:39:31 AM EDT
I received this in an email; perhaps one of the moderators could tack this up? Thanks. ACTION ALERT! Immediate Action Required! Pass This Alert Along To Everyone You Know! The April 5, 2002 edition of USA Today reports that President Bush is opposed to arming pilots sighting an anonymous White House official as their source. We suspect, based upon White House people willing to go "on the record" that this report might be false, but just the same the White House needs to hear from us RIGHT NOW! We need to tell them that we hope the President is in favor of arming pilots and we need to urge him to move quickly on this before we face another terrorist attack on our airliners! THIS IS A MATTER OF HIGHEST URGENCY. DON'T LEAVE THEM WITH THE MISTAKEN IMPRESSION THAT WE DON'T CARE! RIGHT NOW, TODAY, CALL THE WHITE HOUSE OPINION LINE AND TELL PRESIDENT BUSH YOU WANT AIRLINE PILOTS ARMED WITH FIREARMS, AND THAT ALL PILOTS AT ALL AIRLINES MUST BE ELIGIBLE TO VOLUNTEER TO BE ARMED AND DEPUTIZED. WHITE HOUSE PHONE LINE: 202-456-1111 THEN FOLLOW THAT PHONE CALL UP WITH AN EMAIL AND/OR FAX. WHITE HOUSE EMAIL: [email]president@whitehouse.gov[/email] WHITE HOUSE FAX: 202/456-2461 The White House has been hearing from us, let's make sure that they continue to do so. Pass this APSA Alert along to everybody in your address book and make the call/send the note to our President. We are making a difference; thank you for your relentless support! APSA Board [url]www.secure-skies.org[/url]
Link Posted: 4/6/2002 6:54:50 AM EDT
Let me play devil's advocate for a minute here: In addition to knowing how to fly big jets, knowing how to operate these increasingly complex airplanes, and all that technical stuff that is constantly being updated, these guys want ALL pilots to also become experts in the use of firearms and the application of deadly force? Have you ever seen most of these pilots? They look alot like engineers, with pocket protectors and everything... (no offense to engineers). They're science/math geeks with good vision and better-than-average hand-eye coordination, right? How many have the "warrior mentality" or physical skills required to take on this role of sky-cop? Just curious- not intending to offend anyone (pilots or engineers, for instance).
Link Posted: 4/6/2002 8:46:02 AM EDT
A valid question. I don't think that pilots want to carry firearms to act as law enforcement. They want them as a last resort if the cockpit is invaded. If they can pilot a modern airplane, they can learn to effectively handle a firearm, which is vastly simpler than an aircraft.
Link Posted: 4/6/2002 8:54:34 AM EDT
So simple in fact, that they often shoot their owner or innocent by-standers all by themselves. The media tells us this all the time so it must be true, right?
Link Posted: 4/6/2002 9:23:10 AM EDT
The idea is not to arm ALL airline pilots, just the ones that are willing and able to undergo the training required to be competent and safe. As far as the comments about pilots being unsuitable, that's pure BS. About 50% of us were former military and a good percentage of those fighter pilots. Many still are in the reserves or guard. We are a very diverse bunch of individuals and some are suited for this idea and some aren't but to say that none of us are is pretty unbelievable in a forum like this. I'd expect to hear comments like that on CNN or CBS. Flying the jet is not that tough. One pilot is more than enough for 99% of the flight. The other has all the time in the world to defend the cockpit if that ever became necessary. Besides how well do you think two unarmed, defenseless pilots will be at flying the jet while they are being overrun by suicidal attackers attempting to take control of the aircraft. I can't think of anything more distracting. This is a no brainer, support it and tell your friends to.
Link Posted: 4/6/2002 12:01:50 PM EDT
Originally Posted By DScott: In addition to knowing how to fly big jets, knowing how to operate these increasingly complex airplanes, and all that technical stuff that is constantly being updated, these guys want ALL pilots to also become experts in the use of firearms and the application of deadly force? Have you ever seen most of these pilots? They look alot like engineers, with pocket protectors and everything... (no offense to engineers). They're science/math geeks with good vision and better-than-average hand-eye coordination, right? How many have the "warrior mentality" or physical skills required to take on this role of sky-cop?
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I'm an airline captain. I'll use myself as an example, because I'm not too out-of-the-ordinary: I've shot competitively, taken a number of defensive handgun courses, and hunted dangerous game in Alaska and Africa. During seven years in the Marines, I did an infantry tour, flew fighters off carriers, and graduated from Topgun. Yes, we have the "warrior mentality and physical skills required". And as Fingers pointed out, it would be a voluntary program contingent upon the completion of appropriate training. Right now, we're being treated as part of the problem instead of as part of the solution. There will never be enough Air Marshals to go around, but pilots are "required equipment" on an airliner. Arming them would be about as cost-effective as a security program can be. The terrorism problem is a long way from over. Pilots and their passengers are likely to be combatants again - or, if we continue to make ourselves defensless, casualties. Once the wheels come up, an airline crew is on it's own. Should our last line of defense be the skill and cunning of the metal-detector operators? If we're willing to shoot down hijacked airliners, shouldn't we give them the means to avoid being hijacked? Our government holds pilots responsible for their aircraft and passengers, while simultaneously denying them the tools to carry out that responsibility. If the pilots on September 11 had been armed and had known what we now know, could they have prevented those hijackings? Probably, and they certainly had nothing to lose by trying. More importantly, if the cockpits had been armed, would the hijackers have even tried? As Benjamin Franklin said, "If you make yourselves sheep, the wolves will eat you."
Link Posted: 4/6/2002 1:26:53 PM EDT
sure, so the pilots can have another 25%-30% pay raise next contract... hmmm CB
Link Posted: 4/6/2002 2:15:45 PM EDT
Well , to be honest I'm not sure arming pilots is a good idea . I'm as pro gun as you can get BUT I do understand the level of competance in which a pilot will have to acheive in order to be armed on a plane. The best idea is controlling acces to the airplanes and reinforcing cockpit doors.
Link Posted: 4/6/2002 2:26:25 PM EDT
i dont think it is a good idea for pilots to have a firarm in the pit. Close quarters+gun+20,000-40,000Ft up + ists = bad things!! i didnt say i dont agree with arming them, i just dont agree with arming them with guns. it is my view, that if another ist tried to take another plane hostage, the passengers who get up and kick ass. as a pilot and gun owner, i dont think it is the most wise move to have pilots with guns in the pit. this is just my .02
Link Posted: 4/6/2002 2:52:56 PM EDT
If they volunteer, are educated and qualify to high standards such as the Air Marshall's program which I understand to be very high, and requalify on a regular, say monthly basis, give em the gun. Being armed is not just being able to shoot well, it involves high level decision making. Sometimes it involves split second decisions. Pilots have to make those decisions or be able to on a regular basis. Fortunately most flights are routine but emergencies can occur. Too, ask a Pilot how routine it is when they have to qualify or requalify in a simulator. Consider yourself a hostage and your life depends upon the perp taking a head shot, would you rather have that done by a well trained pilot or a cop. If the cop were winner of the Bianchi Cup, pick a winner. If it's a cop who figures he'll never need a gun, is apathetic or demoralized with the job, takes 3 times to requalify once a year, cleans his gun with WD-40, I vote Pilot. Isn't one of the most often seen accidental shootings that of cops shooting themselves in the leg or ass when reholstering a Glock. The more who are armed saves money on Marshals, and hopefully swells our ranks.
Link Posted: 4/6/2002 3:03:11 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/6/2002 3:03:43 PM EDT by schapman43]
Originally Posted By Citabria7GCBC: i dont think it is a good idea for pilots to have a firarm in the pit. Close quarters+gun+20,000-40,000Ft up + ists = bad things!! i didnt say i dont agree with arming them, i just dont agree with arming them with guns. it is my view, that if another ist tried to take another plane hostage, the passengers who get up and kick ass. as a pilot and gun owner, i dont think it is the most wise move to have pilots with guns in the pit. this is just my .02
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You trust a pilot to fly you around 10's of thousands of feet above the ground but you dont trust them to have a handgun? Not all the police on the street are competent with a gun but they still have one. Better for them to have one than to not have one. Its all about deterance.
Link Posted: 4/6/2002 3:56:55 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/6/2002 4:03:19 PM EDT by Rodent]
Originally Posted By ColtM4: Well , to be honest I'm not sure arming pilots is a good idea . I'm as pro gun as you can get BUT I do understand the level of competance in which a pilot will have to acheive in order to be armed on a plane. The best idea is controlling acces to the airplanes and reinforcing cockpit doors.
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Access to the cockpit IS controlled, and the doors ARE reinforced. Terrorists, however, seem to lack respect for our regulations and equipment. No one's talking about pilots leaving the cockpit to blaze away in the passenger cabin. The idea is to stay behind a reinforced cockpit door and maintain control of the aircraft at all costs so that it's not used as a guided missile. Turning anyone who breaches the door into a carpet stain is not a complicated or difficult scenario. At that point in a hijacking, you have nothing left to lose by fighting back.
Originally Posted By Citabria7GCBC: i dont think it is a good idea for pilots to have a firarm in the pit. Close quarters+gun+20,000-40,000Ft up + ists = bad things!!
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Explosive depressurization and people being sucked out because of bullet holes is a Hollywood myth. Airliners will maintain differential pressure with a couple windows missing. Remember the Aloha 737 with the top peeled off? Holes don't get any bigger than that. And again, if there are terrorists breaching the cockpit door, there's nothing left to lose anyway. Sorry guys, I knew the entire crew of Flight 11, and I've reached a kind of saturation point of frustration with airport security procedures that are expensive, embarrassing and inconvenient without accomplishing anything.
Link Posted: 4/6/2002 5:12:51 PM EDT
It continues to amaze me that folks trust pilots like myself to fly them all over the world in all kinds of weather and handle any sort of aircraft emergency but think its too scary for us to have the capability to defend the cockpit from attack with a firearm if the need ever arose. I'd expect that from people that are afraid of guns but not from people that should be more rational. Do you think the majority of commercial pilots would be asking for this right if it put the aircraft and crew in danger? Like the saying goes, we are the first ones at the scene of the accident. The firearm would only be used as a last resort to defend the cockpit by very well trained pilots. We are voluteering for the job, so we have the proper mindset and motivation to do the job effectively and safely. Why deny us that right?
Link Posted: 4/6/2002 5:52:13 PM EDT
Originally Posted By CB1: sure, so the pilots can have another 25%-30% pay raise next contract... hmmm CB
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While the mechanics that keep their butts in the air continue to earn 1/5 what a high and mighty "captain" does. [>:/] Sorry guys, just a little of my 18 years in aviation maintenance showing thru...
Link Posted: 4/6/2002 6:25:50 PM EDT
Good points, guys, and I do appreciate the pilot's perspective. If they can qualify and are willing to take the training, perhaps it's not such a bad idea- just seems like a whole 'nother skill set to acquire and maintain. Then, the potential terrorists would never really know who they're dealing with, would they? How many pilots are shooters and would be interested in this FLEO-A idea do you think (percentage-wise)?
Link Posted: 4/7/2002 12:50:08 AM EDT
Originally Posted By ipschoser1: While the mechanics that keep their butts in the air continue to earn 1/5 what a high and mighty "captain" does. [>:/] Sorry guys, just a little of my 18 years in aviation maintenance showing thru...
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Why don't you become a pilot?
Link Posted: 4/7/2002 3:06:27 AM EDT
I'll support the pilot's RKBA on the f***ing job when they absolutely go to the wall for mine. Sorry, Im feeling like crap and just had to show my honest opinion once.
Link Posted: 4/7/2002 3:28:37 AM EDT
Originally Posted By ckapsl: I don't think that pilots want to carry firearms to act as law enforcement. They want them as a last resort if the cockpit is invaded.
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Exactly. That is what a family friend who is a pilot for United told me. Thanks for the heads up.
Link Posted: 4/7/2002 4:07:10 AM EDT
Link Posted: 4/7/2002 5:41:47 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/7/2002 5:43:38 AM EDT by holes45]
I'm an airline pilot at a large one and I can say that things will always get through. There is no way that there will be unpenetrable security, even if we had competent security personnel, in which we don't. El AL had a Jewish man travel from Israel to NYC on them and upon his arrival in NY at his hotel, he finds that he forgot to remove his handgun from his carry on luggage. He was very sorry and actually immediately made his way to an Israeli Consulate or Embassy (something like that) and fessed up that he screwed up. Who really screwed up? Who knows? Just goes to show you, security checkpoints are just one of the circles of protection. As a pilot, I see that the cockpit door is the last circle. And once they penetrate that, it's hand to hand. Now, I consider myself pretty good at fighting with my hands and feet, being trained most of my life, but I would be a liar if I said I could take on two bad guys at once. Much less one. It's already been proven that even the blast/bullet resistant doors they have on and are getting ready to put on are not impenetrable, just resistant. Richard Reid carried enough c-4 like explosives to make a sizable hole in the fuselage. Government and Airline security people have found that there were plans on putting that on doors. C-4 travels at a super fast rate and acts like a cutter and could cut through the cockpit doors so quick, but not necessarily destroy the cockpit. Then where are we? Watching another plane go into another building. Why don't we put real security in place and arm dedicated and motivated pilots. These pilots would already be the type that see there needs to be a real solution to our security problems. Not just a looks-good-to-passengers feel. Some of us don't want to be involuntary sheeple. BTW, I would guess that anywhere from 5-25% would want to be armed, even though about 75% want FLEO-A's (Federal Law Enforcement Officer-Aviation). Just my guess. (edited to add content)
Link Posted: 4/7/2002 10:16:18 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Rodent:
Originally Posted By Citabria7GCBC: i dont think it is a good idea for pilots to have a firarm in the pit. Close quarters+gun+20,000-40,000Ft up + ists = bad things!!
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Explosive depressurization and people being sucked out because of bullet holes is a Hollywood myth. Airliners will maintain differential pressure with a couple windows missing. Remember the Aloha 737 with the top peeled off? Holes don't get any bigger than that. And again, if there are ists breaching the pit door, there's nothing left to lose anyway. Sorry guys, I knew the entire crew of Flight 11, and I've reached a kind of saturation point of frustration with airport security procedures that are expensive, embarrassing and inconvenient without accomplishing anything.
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i didnt say anything about e depressurization. i am just saying, with all those extra factors, small confined areas, high up, etc. i wonder how hard it would be to fly a plane if a ist got in and a struggle insued in the pit and they were stuggling over the gun. then somehow (this is a WHAT IF type of thing.) the gun shoots the front window. would it cause depressurization? then if the pilot and co-pilot were able to control the aircraft, wouldnt it be hard to fly without a windshield. at however many Knots they are flying i would assume so. this is just my take and one of many senarios(sp). Sure i could be wrong. but it is in my opinion that guns and pilots are a bad idea. there is a good point that pilots do have the responcibility to the aircraft and passengers. i also hear a company is coming out with a new bullet which wont pierce the airplane. if this is so, it would be a LITTLE more acceptable to me. in every situation there are positives and negitives. i just thing there are to many negitives in this type of situation. well thats just my .02
Link Posted: 4/7/2002 10:23:32 AM EDT
Originally Posted By holes45: I'm an airline pilot at a large one and I can say that things will always get through.(edited to add content)
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that is true, after sept. 11 i was on my way to Canada, and i had taken all my flight gear out of my flight bag, and i used it to go to the range. after i was finished at the range, i emptied all the gun stuff and put in the flight stuff. after i got to canada, i was going through my bag looking for a pen. what i found was 2 5.56Nato, Full Metel Jacket rounds. i disposed of them properly. I learned a big lesson there. 1: use a different bag for . 2: make sure you go through your bag very well, before taking it! 3:never trust airport security.
Link Posted: 4/7/2002 2:41:48 PM EDT
The way I see it.... I carry a concealed firearm becuase I like having the ability to protect myself should the need arise. How can anyone here in good consciousness deny that same right to our airline pilots? Our argument has always been more guns = less crime. Arm em and let's prove it!
Link Posted: 4/8/2002 8:40:34 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/8/2002 8:43:59 AM EDT by Fingers]
muzlblast- Well Said! Citabria- You shouldn't spout off about things you know nothing about. If having firearms in aircraft was a danger to the aircraft the majority of pilots wouldn't be asking for them and they wouldn't already be there in the hands of LEO's every day. Flying the jet and defending the cockpit is not a problem. Flying the jet unarmed while some POS terrorist is trying to cut your throat is a very big problem.
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