We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]


Professor Reynolds weighs in to the ongoing debate in the USA about arming airline pilots

“I trust airline pilots — and for that matter airline passengers — to protect me far more than I do underperformin’ Norman Mineta, or Tom Ridge.”

I am only too well aware of the number of calls for allowing passengers to arm themselves following 9/11. I was one of those voices. However, on second thought and third thought, I’m wondering if it may not be a bit of a ‘Naomi Klein’ (i.e. a ‘No-Brainer’).

Now before anyone starts calling me a ‘gun-grabber’, let me categorically confirm that my unambiguous support for RKBA remains undiminshed but having your sidearm on an aircraft does not, sadly, make you any less of a sitting target. If we agree to armed passengers then surely it must be all passengers or none and if all passengers can carry guns then what is there to stop, say, three or four terrorists carrying their ‘toolbag’ onto the flight as well? The answer is, nothing. This gives us a very thorny problem when it comes to the kind of slime who crash passenger jets into buildings: it is not just that they are murderous, they are suicidal as well. That makes them very difficult, nay impossible, to deter.

The world of heavily armed passengers is a gilt-edged invitation to Islamofascists whose only desire is to kill as many Westerners as possible. Just how breathtakingly easy would it be to arrange for a team of these nuts to board a 747 with all their automatic weapons and, following take-off, at an appointed moment they all get up, take their catches off and let rip?

I realise that the Islamofascists would themselves get cut down by return fire but two points to note: a) they will not mind in the least. Indeed they will expect it and b) just how many sleepy/drunken/canoodling/reading/slow-witted/elderly/very young innocent people will be slaughtered in a surprise attack, trapped in a steel capsule where they have they nowhere to run and nowhere to hide?Also, whilst one or two bullets piercing a fuselage may not cause the plane to crash, we’re talking about a serious fire-fight here and surely that could.

Some may suggest that strict racial profiling would plug this gap but I rather fear not. Even supposing the killers match the profile (which they may not) many Egyptians, Saudis, Iraqis could easily pass for Greek, Portuguese, Spanish, Brazilian or Italian (with fake passport to match).

No, I regret to say that the idea of arming passengers would work as a very effective deterrent to your average dorky white European terrorist who is happy to see other people die for the ’cause’ but is rather more precious about his own worthless hide. Nihilistic Islamofascists with a death wish are a different order of animal who might gleefully see a measure like this as a golden opportunity to unleash carnage at 30,000 feet.

Comments are closed.