Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Guns on aircraft...

So I’m having this disagreement with Nicki regarding the carrying of firearms on commercial airliners.

I am just fine with the idea of sworn police officers—be they federal, state or local officers—carrying their issue firearms on aircraft while on or off duty so long as they’ve taken and passed the FAA’s “Flying While Armed” class that teaches them what to do and not do in flight. (It’s actually a pretty comprehensive class. I’ve taken it, but I won’t divulge what it consists of because terrorists and Democrats may read this blog.)

Nicki, on the other hand, thinks that pretty much anyone with a concealed weapons permit (CCW) should be allowed to tote their loaded guns onto commercial flights.

Sorry, but as much as I support gun rights and concealed carry for law-abiding citizens, I can’t go there.

I support armed professionals on aircraft as a deterrent to hijackers. The Air Marshals are a good start, even though the FAA did water down the program in their rush to hurriedly get as many as possible on board as many aircraft as they could. Extending it to other armed professionals—trained police officers—only makes sense. These are people who have been vetted by background checks, trained in police academies and continuing in-service programs, and monitored by supervisors and their peers from their first day on the job. They are people that we already know and trust with the ability to use deadly force for the protection of others, and they don’t become any less trustworthy just because they are on an aircraft.

When it comes to John Q. Citizen, however—the ones that people like Nicki want flying armed—I have to draw the line for a few reasons, the first being that few of them have the same level and type of training and experience that the average law enforcement officer does. Yeah, I know—there are people reading this who will tell me how they go to the range three or four times a week and punch hundreds of holes in paper targets. But speaking as someone who has also spent many hours on the range AND been through actual police training, I can state that they are in no way comparable. The paper targets don’t move, shoot back, or otherwise work to stress you out. There’s a major difference between the two, and the average CCW holder just isn’t up to that level. Sorry, folks.

My second reason is that in much of America today, practically anyone without a criminal record can get a CCW. Frankly, I could see an al Qeada sleeper terrorist or muslim convert like Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad, John Allen Muhammad or John Walker Lindh getting a CCW for the express purpose of boarding an airliner. What a coup that would be for their cause. However, common sense suggests that they’re much less likely to get hired by a police department and make it through the training and scrutiny that recruits are subjected to.

But my biggest reason—and one that really saddens me because I have to feel the way that I do: Gun owners themselves.

I have, over the years, come into contact with thousands of fellow gun owners, both police and civilians. And while the police community has a few goofballs in it, the gun owning community is unfortunately rife with them, and these days one need go no farther than their computer to see what I mean. The internet contains countess pro-gun discussion forums, and almost without exception, every single gun-related forum out there contains a number of total jerks who seem to do nothing but brag and bluster about their plans and desires to shoot other people, from the burglars that they lie in wait for, to the muggers that they pray will attack them, and even American military and police personnel on the day that the civil war that they long for kicks off. These idiots are a small minority on most boards, and they frequently annoy everyone else with their obnoxious behavior, but they also set the tone for this debate by virtue of their mentality, behavior and very existence. And if you’ve ever logged on to any discussion board, you’ve doubtless seen them--they’re usually anti-government, often anti-police, frequently Libertarians or Ron Paul kool-aid drinkers, and they do little more than make the forums and gun owners in general look like perpetually angry hicks and losers. Sure, they’re almost certainly bolder on the internet than they are in real life because they feel safe in their anonymity, but there’s no doubt that most of them are immature assholes in real life too. If you’ve spent any time on boards like AR15.com, FALfiles, Uzitalk, Glocktalk or Gunboard Forums (just to name a few—no board that I’m aware of is free of infestation), you’ve undoubtedly run across these types and if you’re like me, you wouldn’t feel comfortable having them around you or your family with a loaded gun. However many of them have concealed weapons permits by virtue of the fact that they’ve not been convicted of a serious crime yet. That being the regrettable case, I for damned sure don’t want tools like that on an aircraft that I’m on. Sorry, but gun owners tend to be their own worst enemy at times, and I’ve encountered enough of them who refuse to live up to the responsible, mature image that we’re supposed to idealize that I’m no longer willing to automatically give the “thumbs up” to any joker who has a gun or even a CCW—particularly when we still have states that don’t even require mandatory training to get a CCW. While gun owners, like every other segment of the population, fall under the 10/80/10 rule, with 10% being exemplary, 80% being average, and 10% being folks who should never be allowed to own a gun, until we can find a way to grant the ability to fly armed to that top 10% who would be an asset on any aircraft, I have to side with those who say that we need to protect ourselves against that latter 10% as much as we do the terrorists (probably more so, because I suspect that there are more of them in America today), even if it’s to the disadvantage of the other 90%. Like I said—I’m seriously pro-gun, but as far as I’m concerned, the lowest common denominator in our midst is literally wrecking it for everyone.

Perhaps when enough other gun owners band together to police the pro-gun community and shun or drive out the morons and take other steps—like supporting mandatory training for CCW issuance—designed to enhance and elevate our credibility, I’ll change my mind. But I don’t see myself changing it today.

36 comments:

  1. I agree 100%. Just one question is there much of a difference between most DemocRats and terrorist?

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  2. I don't have a problem with CCW's carrying on planes. I think a civilian version of flying while armed class could be easily pulled off and taught at gun ranges, like CCW classes.

    Even the nut jobs manage to CCW on a daily basis without being stupid.

    Once off duty cops and CCW's carry on planes there will never be another hijacking attempted again.

    Rather than screen everyone getting on the plane now we should concentrate on detecting bombs. The guns on the plane will deter hijackings.

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  3. I wouldn't mind CCW's carrying on planes provided they've taken the course...
    Otherwise, I'm with you.. I'd rather not have 'good-old-honest-but-not-too-bright' firing off his six-shooter inside a pressurized plane at 50,000 feet..
    Nor do I want 'the-nutso-without-a-record' (only because he hasn't been caught doing anything yet)flying heavy in the seat beside me either!!!
    And if I've offended anyone who might resemble these descriptions, tough... :)

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  4. Sorry Charlie, but I am disagreeing with your opinion here. Granted there are a handful of losers on the forums, but that is really only a minor percentage of the numbers of actual ccw holders. Often times those jackalopes tend to do most of the posting, but their high volume of posts are not necessarily indicative of their representation in the CCW community as a whole. I would bet that 75% of gun owners/ccws don't give a hoot about online forums and chatting about guns in cyberspace to a bunch of strangers and most probably are not even aware of "forums". Not to mention that many of the trash talking buttheads on the websites you cite don't even have their ccws, but just like to talk smack on the net. For most ccw holders, it is just that...Concealed. There is no discussion about it to strangers, they walk softly and carry a big stick so to speak. They don't go around bragging about it nor arguing their opinions with faceless strangers. They keep it a secret.

    Anyway, I think that there is no reason why a law abiding CCW holder can't take the exact same training course as any police officer for the express purpose of aircraft carry. I know you believe that officers are better trained than your average joe but that is because it is part of their job. I am better trained at MY job than you might be in MY job, but I would not say that you are somehow at a disadvantage to learn it because it is not your day to day grind. Police officers are not inherently more able to complete such a course by the mere fact that they are cops. Your implication is that people who decide to become police are somehow more qualified to learn such tasks because of the profession they CHOSE. Just because one person decides to choose a different career by no means implies that they COULD not have just as successfully become an officer and be just as good at it if they applied themselves equally. Maybe the "non police" CCWs just CHOSE NOT to enter the LEO field for whatever reason and it may have nothing to do with ability. It certainly doesn't imply that their potential gun skills could not be brought up to snuff and that they could not be taught just as well as any recruit if they so desired.

    So, in a nutshell..I am agreeing with Nicki. Two points for her. But, you own cool Lagniappe, so that counts for something. I guess you're both evenm then. ;-)

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  5. I actually plan to address this issue on my own blog later tonight. I'm off to my son's baseball game right now. On the whole, the CCW holders are a law-abiding, decent, responsible, trained bunch, who take responsibility for their own training. There are morons in every group, and I would think that denying otherwise qualified, responsible, lawful, skilled citizens who take the initiative to train themselves and even pass a civilian version of the Flying While Armed class the opportunity to help in an emergency situation due merely to a few idiots would be counterproductive.

    Laura, I have a VERY cool black lab! He and Lagniappe are getting to be buddies. Do I get points for that? ;-)

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  6. Anonymous5:36 PM

    I'm more well-trained in pistol shooting and tactics than most police officers. I've even been practicing on the Federal Air Marshal's Service qualification course -- not because I ever want to be an Air Marshal, but because it's a lot of fun.

    I don't see any reason that folks who are willing to train, qualify, and be subjected to a thorough background check shouldn't be allowed to fly armed.

    Getting cops carrying on planes would be a great step forward.

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  7. You may shoot at a lot of paper targets and do just swell. That's great and I don't mean to downplay that or discourage you, but there's a whole lot more involved in using a firearm in an actual shooting situation, especially one as dicey as would exist on an aircraft filled with people. Police officers work in a world where they develop a mindset and analytical abilities that differ from the average joe who goes around in Condition White most of the time. You may be a good shot, but that doesn't qualify you to assume law enforcement duties, nor does it mean that Larry, Darryl and Darryl--three guys who also have CCW permits but haven't the slightest clue about gun safety or the laws of deadly force--should be granted that responsibility. How would you suggest deciding who gets to and who does not?

    And then there's the whole ID issue. We KNOW who every police officer in this country is. But anyone with a valid driver's license and no criminal record can get a CCW in many states. Let's not forget that several of the 9/11 hijackers had valid Virginia drivers' licenses, even though they were not even citizens.

    I support allowing citizens to defend themselves with firearms but I don't personally think that the threat of a hijacking--remote as it now is--justifies letting any and every person with a pistol in his pocket carry it on board or warrants deputizing him/her as a junior air marshal.

    Just my humble opinion.

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  8. Regular citizens use firearms to deter crimes every day. They use them in real life. Why limit that ability on an airplane? With proper training they can be a huge asset.

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  9. Regular citizens use firearms to defend themselves...that does not mean that we should make them all pseudo-law enforcement officers, only without any standardized training or authority.

    Why don't we just give every citizen with a CCW a police car and send him/her off to enforce traffic laws? Oh that's right...they aren't police officers just because they have a gun. They aren't ready to assume police responsibilities. And the same holds true when the average citizen gets on an airplane--he or she does not automatically become a skilled law enforcement officer.

    Want police powers on a plane? Great. I'd like you to have them. Apply for an Air Marshal job and get through their training program--a program that consists of a lot more than learning how to stay awake for the entire flight and hit a stationary paper target on your local indoor range.

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  10. You don't have to be a law enforcement officer to take responsibility for your own life and the lives of those around you. It has nothing to do with making deputies out of CCW holders. It is simply giving them the tools to do what they would do anyway if they were on the ground.

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  11. Mr. Kent8:08 PM

    I agree, there are too many want-a-be-cops, With proper training often a situation can be defused without ever pulling a gun, plus the innocent passenger is at a greater risk with the untrained cop. Police officers trained to handle many different types of situations including the terrorist or nut case

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  12. "Why don't we just give every citizen with a CCW a police car and send him/her off to enforce traffic laws? Oh that's right...they aren't police officers just because they have a gun. They aren't ready to assume police responsibilities."

    Police responsibilities? Okay I do understand we aren't going to be expected to perform police responsibilities...there is a lot more to that than a weapon issue. A LEO is more than his gun No?

    I am not discounting the training that police are given in anyway, because I beleive it is thorough as it should be...but I know for a fact that not all LEOS take advantage of the training they are offered. Some don't even go to the range on a weekly basis to do their required maintenance to keep their shooting skills up despite the fact that they get free ammo for this purpose.

    However, we are talking about the actual use of a gun on a plane...not just pulling one out and pointing at someone...but actually having to kill another human being. How many times in an officer's career do they have to not only draw but fire and ultimately kill a bad guy in their careers? I have heard of many who have never. If you gave the same aircraft training course to LEOS and joe CCW, they are now both in the same boat IMO. The LEO may or may not have to USE his gun in his career just like the CCW. Sure the LEO is more *likely* to run across that situation though. The bottom line though is Training is still just that...simulated training and mindset. Quite frankly, if I had the choice to have a 20 year veteran on the force who never once actually *used* his gun, but had 1000's of hours of training, and a CCW citizen who actually did defend his or a loved one's life in his past, I'd be just as comfortable with the CCW person defending me. He's been there, he knows what it means to take another life. For all intents and purposes, the CCW is just as qualified *for this instance*...again, just my opinion.

    I compare it to the soldier who goes through basic training and never actually goes to combat. I don't care how much "training" you've had...when was the last time you actually had to USE that thing in a REAL situation?

    How does offering this type of course to both a ccw and leo diminish the leo in any way?
    It does not. It does empower the average joe and that's a good thing for everyone involved if you ask me.

    But, for all this discussion...the only person I really wish would be REQUIRED to train and carry is my pilot.

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  13. Sorry , I say no to CCW holders carrying on a plane. As reasonable as most are , they still might tend to imbibe before taking off or while inflight and that to me is a significant issue. There could also be meds and what about firearms retention ?

    There would be no way to police alcohol/med consumption by those carrying.

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  14. If I understand your point, you're saying that because LEO's have had training at some point, they are qualified to carry on an airplane. To me the issue is what is your current training level? All too many cops only fire their duty weapon when they have to qualify to maintain their certification. (Watch a group of cops shoot sometime) To me the solution is that everyone who wishes to fly while armed takes the same training and is held to the same standards of marksmanship. If you don't pass, you check your gun whether you have a badge or not. The qualification course could include a background check and should include an annual refresher in order to maintain "flying while armed" status. This would also discourage the "wanna be" types because the training would cost money and they would have to perform to a standard rather than talk.

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  15. But the issue isn't just guns. A gun is not all that's required to handle sitations in flight. Police are trained to deal with people short of shooting them, be it verbally or by going hands-on. Shooting someone is a seldom-used last resort that too many in the civilian gun community seem to want to rush to because it's the only tool in their tool bag. But if the passengers have all been screened and there are no other weapons on the plane, then deadly force from a pistol is rarely going to be required. So letting any citizen cart a pistol on a plane is really a solution in search of a problem, isn't it?

    There's no real need, and it doesn't make sense to introduce numerous weapons into countless flights for no real reason. Airline passengers don't face that sort of threat now and I'm not willing to allow joe citizen off the street to exercise any sort of law enforcement authority over me and everyone else on the plane just because he arbitrarily decides that someone on the plane strikes him as suspicious.

    Airline security is a job for professionals, and letting anyone who wants to cart a gun onto a plane do it just complicates that job.

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  16. The point you're not dwelling on is experience. For instance, if I take 5 years of karate classes but never actually fight anyone, how much use am I going to be when this weekend's cultural high point starts up in a red neck bar?

    I want experienced people carrying weapons on commercial flights. Amateurs have never pulled their gun during a real life scenario, and they'll be disposed to shoot when they shouldn't, and not shoot when they should be emptying the gun into a terrorist. They likely have the idea that their gun is a kind of badge of authority, and that everyone will just do as told once they pull it and wave it around a little. That kind of behavior is a problem.

    An experienced person will recognize the situation and understand what to do because they've been there before. I like older, experienced people. If I get sent to the emergency room, I do not want a young, pretty nurse to draw my blood. I want an older looking forty something nurse who is a little cranky and who will get my blood out of me with a bare minimum of fuss. In the case of a terrorist scenario, the experienced person will draw, aim and shoot when it's necessary, and that will be that.

    Then there's the program problem. I really don't know how police deal with this, but presuming that a terrorist incident starts (anywhere, not just on a plane), how do you tell the good guys from the bad guys? Not everyone is in uniform and whom ever scheduled the event forgot to give you a program. Now what?

    The real solution wasn't implemented, thanks to a spineless US Congress and King George II. Arm all the pilots. Sidearms along with sawed off shotguns mounted somewhere close to hand. Reinforce the cockpit door and issue the order that no one gets into the cockpit. Tell anyone or any country that objects to shove a sock in it.

    I'm a CCW holder and a good shot. Given the opportunity to carry on a plane, I'm not sure if I'd carry my pistol or not.

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  17. As much as I'd love to have a trained professional on the plane with me, matter of fact is that less than 1 percent of flights currently have said armed professionals. Letting any other LEO carry MIGHT bump that number up to maybe 3 percent. And in the absence of said professionals, which is the case more often than not, an armed and responsible CCW holder increases the chance of survival. A small chance of stopping a crazed terrorist is better than no chance at all.

    Superman brought up a good analogy on my blog. If you're in a bad car crash, and there's no doctor available - no trained professional - are you really going to demand that a certified Army Combat Lifesaver who tries to help be prevented from doing so because he doesn't have the training and expertise in trauma and emergency medicine, or will you hope that he may be able to do even the slightest something to save you?

    Combat lifesavers have about as much initial training as CCW holders, and much less regular practice. And yet, in an emergency, would you stop them from trying to save you because they could mess up and make things worse?

    In an emergency such as a hijacking I'd rather have a CCW holder on the plane than no one at all.

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  18. All the reasons to disqualify CCW's on planes disqaulifies them everywhere else too. Either they are law abiding and trustworthy with a gun or they aren't.

    Either we trust them not to indiscriminately open fire in 7-11 or we don't. If we can trust their judgment there, why not on a 747 with some training?

    And as for drinking and flying armed, we can use the same laws that some states already have. If you are CCW you must be 100% sober. We don't have CCW's getting drunk and shooting up bars so I'm not worried about that.

    As for the ID issue for cops, every department makes its own. I could make a police ID on my computer and nobody will know whether it's for real or not. Get a toy badge on the internet and go pass yourself off as a federal task force member and go on raids with the locals. It's been done.

    It would be very easy for CCW's and cops to take flying armed courses and get an endorsement or card from the FAA that easily identifies us to airline personnel.

    Once this happens we'll never have to screen passengers for guns and knives again. Any potential hijacking threat will wither on the vine and die.

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  19. Roanoke Cop - Agree 100 percent. I forgot to address the whole drinking thing in my last comment, but I'm glad you did.

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  20. I need to add that I think this debate is purely academic. It will never happen unless there is a national conceal carry permit. With the mishmash of reciprocity, nobody is ever going to put the effort to figure out if someone from PA can fly to Atlanta, connect to Houston and legally possess everywhere they go. Even then it will be a huge hurdle, police now have national CCW and they won't even let us fly armed unless it's on official business.

    I firmly believe that opening flying to CCW's and cops will reduce the need to screen passengers for anything but bombs. How much money and time will we save on TSA gropers and all the other nonsense that you have to go through to get on a plane.

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  21. I am on the fence with this one...... I agree all LEO's should be allowed to carry on planes. And at times I think civilians should too, BUT then again civilians are always the hijackers, and we do have the towel head extremists invading our lives now. So for safeties sake I would say just LEO's carrying.

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  22. Interesting. You apparently trust a CCW holder to protect themselves on the ground, but not on a plane. Is there some evil magic that surrounds planes, the same way there must be some evil magic that surrounds bars, schools and a number of other venues, that will take a member of a group that is provably the most law-abiding group of citizens in the country, and turn them into some sort of murdering maniac? I keep asking this question, and I never seem to get a reasonable answer. Either we are trustworthy, or we aren't. So which is it?

    I understand that the average CCW holder doesn't have the amount of tactical training that the average cop has. I also know without a doubt that there are more CCW holders than police officers, and that we are bleeding near everywhere (with the exception of a very few backwards states).

    Let us be on planes and after the first few hijackers are shot, my bet is that there would be a precipitous drop in hijacking attempts.

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  23. Freeholder, you make it sound like aircraft are getting hijacked every couple of days. and it'll only stop when we start letting anyone who can qualify for a CCW carry guns onto the planes.

    But the truth is, they aren't being hijacked every day, and none has been hijacked since 9/11. You're trying to offer a solution to a problem that doesn't exist.

    Now that said, it's not a trust issue, either. it's a risk-balancing issue. People are safe on aircraft today because nobody is allowed to bring weapons on. everyone is equally disadvantaged, with the sole exception of those who have been tasked with maintaining law and order on the aircraft. So where's the need for random passengers to all carry guns on the plane? Your desire to protect yourself--the reason that you get a CCW--now has to be balanced against the right of every other passenger to be protected. Your CCW class doesn't give you the training or the authority to assume the role of protector and guardian over hundreds of other people on board that aircraft. That is the government's job and the airline's, and they've decided that it's much easier to just create a place where no one will have a weapon. It's working, so I see no reason to change it. If you want to be armed at your destination, just check your unloaded gun with the rest of your luggage. But there's no need for you or anyone else to have it on the aircraft. You aren't supplemental to the air marshals, you're not the equivalent of an air marshal, and I as a passenger on that plane don't want a weapon on that aircraft unless it's under the direct control of a law enforcement professional. Sorry.

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  24. "That is the government's job and the airline's, and they've decided that it's much easier to just create a place where no one will have a weapon. It's working, so I see no reason to change it." -- Again. Correlation does not equal causation. Firearms have been banned on planes since the 1980s, and yes, we've had hijackings since then.

    "Your CCW class doesn't give you the training or the authority to assume the role of protector and guardian over hundreds of other people on board that aircraft." -- No, but it gives him an advantage over a hijacker on a plane of hundreds that most likely does NOT have an armed professional aboard.

    Again, you either trust someone to use the weapon responsibly or you don't. If you trust CCW holders to be responsible with their weapons, you trust them to do so everywhere.

    "You aren't supplemental to the air marshals, you're not the equivalent of an air marshal, and I as a passenger on that plane don't want a weapon on that aircraft unless it's under the direct control of a law enforcement professional." -- You're extrapolating information that no one has presented. CCW holders are CCW holders. They are not air marshals, and no one has claimed that. But in the absence of trained law enforcement professionals (which is the case on the majority of planes), they are the next best line of defense. And even if it gives the good guys a marginal advantage against an armed terrorist, I'll take it.

    PS - I think Roanoke Cop and I will get along just fine, Superman. Be skeered. Be very skeered. ;-)

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  25. Blah, blah, blah...

    You still haven't told me how you plan to ensure that no terrorist ever gets or forges a CCW and walks onto an aircraft armed to the teeth.

    And are you going to tell me that a guy who has already decided that he's happy to die it only he can crash the plane is going to be deterred by the thought of someone with a gun possibly killing him in the process? Hello...??

    Personally, I could think of few better ways to bring down an airliner than to allow an armed terrorist onto a plane where he can spark a gunfight in which several Walter Mitty types all jump up and begin blazing away at the terrorist and, of course, at each other since no one of then will know which of the other armed shooters is a terrorist and which is just another trigger-happy gomer who passed an NRA 8 hour class.

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  26. In a nutshell, letting permitted people carry on board would give the evil ones a way to get weapons on a plane..
    I remember pre-9/11 travel. How many more freedoms would we give up should something like this occur? Getting on a plane now is a hassle. Adding this would only increase the trials/tribulations you go through just to get from Atlanta to Indianapolis.. And for what? I wouldn't feel any safer. Mostly, I'm more worried that the pilot is inattentive because he's pissed off with spouse rather than worried Abdullah is plotting to fly us into a building..

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  27. "Blah, blah, blah..." -- nice rebuttal. *snort*

    "And are you going to tell me that a guy who has already decided that he's happy to die it only he can crash the plane is going to be deterred by the thought of someone with a gun possibly killing him in the process? Hello...??" -- Hello!!! He will be deterred from bringing the entire plane with him! DUH!

    "Personally, I could think of few better ways to bring down an airliner than to allow an armed terrorist onto a plane where he can spark a gunfight in which several Walter Mitty types all jump up and begin blazing away at the terrorist and, of course, at each other since no one of then will know which of the other armed shooters is a terrorist and which is just another trigger-happy gomer who passed an NRA 8 hour class." -- You must not think very highly of me and thousands upon thousands of other CCW holders to think that any of us will just start firing willy nilly with no forethought. Glad I've joined the ranks of "trigger happy gomers." Hate to tell you this, but these "trigger happy gomers" are all around you. Most of them you will never know are carrying. Most of them are quiet, law-abiding citizens who dread the idea of shooting someone dead, but are prepared to do so in an emergency. And I resent the implication that we are not to be trusted merely because you happened to have run across some that have given you heartburn.

    And police officers obviously never make errors, right?

    Bottom line is this: Given the indisputable fact that the vast majority of planes will not have law enforcement professionals on them, I'd rather have one CCW holder there who may be able to resolve the situation by either brandishing a gun or killing the terrorist outright, than no one at all.

    Out.

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  28. Oh, stop. The fallacy in your argument is that you seem to be asserting that anyone who can get a CCW is as responsible and safe to be around as you are. Well that's not the case. Maybe you'd want this dumbass CCW holder flying on the same plane with you and your family?

    No thanks.

    There's no need for guns on aircraft that justifies letting pretty much anyone who has one pack it along.

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  29. "The fallacy in your argument is that you seem to be asserting that anyone who can get a CCW is as responsible and safe to be around as you are." -- I have never asserted that. The fallacy in your argument is that you're asserting the exact opposite. Neither is true.

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  30. No, that's not my argument. (Reading is fundamental...) My argument is that there is no reason to allow practically anyone to carry guns on aircraft that outweighs the risk of allowing practically anyone to carry guns on aircraft.

    It's really just that simple.

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  31. Yes, reading IS fundamental. So don't accuse me of maintaining something I never maintained.

    "My argument is that there is no reason to allow practically anyone to carry guns on aircraft that outweighs the risk of allowing practically anyone to carry guns on aircraft." -- And my argument is that there is no reason to disarm everyone, even CCW holders, knowing that an armed person could possibly be an asset in the absence of law enforcement officials, which is the case in nearly every flight.

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  32. So what if a terrorist forges a CCW or somehow smuggles a gun on a plane. As soon as they stand up and start the hijacking the've signed their death warrant because of the other armed passengers. Just like a felon who buys a gun on the street and announces a robbery in 7-11.

    I've seen some non-shooting cops who are complete dumbasses. I don't trust them with a gun behind me going through a door yet they can fly armed legally. Their dumbassery doesn't disqualify the rest of us from flying armed when we need to. I don't see why we disqualify every CCW based on a few nut cases in their midst. Especially since we don't disqualify all the cops based on the few dumbasses among us.

    Either we trust people with guns or we don't. It would not be difficult to set up flying armed training for CCW's and give them an endorsement card or some other ID for flying armed.

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  33. "Freeholder, you make it sound like aircraft are getting hijacked every couple of days. and it'll only stop when we start letting anyone who can qualify for a CCW carry guns onto the planes."

    I beg your humble pardon. Planes aren't hijacked every day, like they were when I was a kid (Thank God!). I guess I'm just a little over-sensitized due to that last round of hijackings where they flew them into buildings. I don't fly too often these days, but every time I get on a plane, you can expect that I very carefully scope out my fellow passengers. I also take a complete inventory of anything that could be used as a weapon. This goes along with knowing how many rows I am from the emergency exits. The less left to chance, the better I will fare in the event of an emergency. I may die, but it won't be from a lack of trying to survive.

    "Now that said, it's not a trust issue, either. it's a risk-balancing issue. People are safe on aircraft today because nobody is allowed to bring weapons on."

    Unless, of course, they are a criminal and decide that the "no weapon" thing is just one more pesky law they're going to ignore.

    "everyone is equally disadvantaged, with the sole exception of those who have been tasked with maintaining law and order on the aircraft."

    Or those dang criminals, again. Do you also believe that "gun free zones" in malls, schools and so on actually work? They don't, you know. I can give references to the literature....

    "So where's the need for random passengers to all carry guns on the plane? Your desire to protect yourself--the reason that you get a CCW--now has to be balanced against the right of every other passenger to be protected."

    I'll call BS on that one. If you believe that, then my right to CCW anywhere is subject to the right of everyone else to be protected. I don't think so.

    "Your CCW class doesn't give you the training or the authority to assume the role of protector and guardian over hundreds of other people on board that aircraft."

    I never claimed it did. (IMHO, my CCW class was very close to a joke.) I just ask to be allowed to protect myself. If my doing that happens to benefit my fellow passengers, well, I'm OK with that little free rider problem.

    "That is the government's job and the airline's, and they've decided that it's much easier to just create a place where no one will have a weapon."

    Really? Courts across the US disagree with you, having held that the police have no duty to defend anyone.

    "It's working,"

    Until it doesn't.

    "so I see no reason to change it."

    We've already established that. I'm just trying to get you to see the inconsistency in your position.

    "You aren't supplemental to the air marshals, you're not the equivalent of an air marshal,"

    And I never claimed to be. Of course, it would be hard for me to take that POV, since there are marshals on less than 1% of flights. Of course, I never think of myself as supplemental to the police, either. I'm just assuming responsibility for my own safety.

    "and I as a passenger on that plane don't want a weapon on that aircraft unless it's under the direct control of a law enforcement professional."

    I can respect that POV. However, you could also make that argument for anyplace where I can legally CCW, and I think it would be just as specious.

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  34. Not sure if this was addressed, but one problem with a CCW is that, often times, you are flying to a destination that may not recognize your permit.

    Quote from Roanoke Cop: "Once off duty cops and CCW's carry on planes there will never be another hijacking attempted again."

    Pure nonsense. If anything, allowing CCW's to carry would increase the likelihood of a hijack. CCW's are very easy to obtain, and I've seen way too many morons with CCW's that have no business firing a pellet gun, much less a handgun.

    To conclude, I'll never have to worry. CCW's will never be allowed on planes, and off duty officers will not be allowed to carry either. It won't happen, not in my lifetime and probably not in the next few. The risks tremendously outweigh the rewards. We don't have a plane hijacking crisis that is out of control, and there are much more effective ways to control air safety as opposed to arming as many ordinary citizens as possible.

    Also, comparing Democrats to terrorists really weakens the subject you're discussing. I could just as easily compare redneck CCW permit holders to terrorists, expect the terrorists are (unfortunately) usually a lot more intelligent.

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  35. Quote from Roanoke Cop: "Once off duty cops and CCW's carry on planes there will never be another hijacking attempted again."

    Quote DLT: Pure nonsense. If anything, allowing CCW's to carry would increase the likelihood of a hijack. CCW's are very easy to obtain, and I've seen way too many morons with CCW's that have no business firing a pellet gun, much less a handgun.

    You're right. All those CCW's shooting up the streets everywhere are also going to be a danger on flights.

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  36. FYI, I have carried my sidearm on aircraft when off duty numerous times back when I did that sort of work...and it wasn't that long ago. Police officers can and do carry concealed on aircraft today, and I have no problem with that. They (unlike the average CCW holder) are trained and commissioned to protect and serve.

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