Bush Administration Shoots Down Guns In Cockpit

Bush Administration Shoots Down Guns In Cockpit
— Pilots will not be allowed to have firearms

(Tuesday, May 21, 2002) — The Bush administration today slapped millions of Americans in the face when it announced that pilots would not be allowed to have guns in the cockpit.

Polls have shown that seven in ten Americans support arming pilots and that seventy-five percent of pilots support the idea as well. Further, a majority of Senators and Representatives have endorsed the concept, as evidenced by the fact that Congress passed legislation last year allowing pilots to carry guns.

But despite the tremendous support in this country for what is really a very simple idea, the Bush administration has said “no” to arming the pilots, and “yes” to relying on an F-16 fighter jet to shoot down the next commercial plane that gets hijacked by a terrorist.

Speaking for the administration, Transportation Undersecretary John Magaw (who was formerly the head of the BATF) said that pilots need to just focus on flying the plane. Of course, a pilot can’t fly the plane if someone is crashing through the cockpit door and slitting his throat. Pilots have admitted the cockpit door does not stay closed the entire flight as they must inevitably make use of the bathroom.

The President signed legislation last year allowing pilots to carry firearms for the defense of the cockpit. Obviously, there is need for much stronger legislation. Right now, there is a bill in Congress which would mandate that the administration put armed pilots in the air within 90 days.

In the House, Representatives Don Young (R-AK) and John Mica (R-FL) are the chief sponsors of this legislation (H.R. 4635). And Senator Bob Smith (R-NH) is expected to introduce a companion bill in the Senate sometime this week.

—– Thank the cosponsors! —–

Twenty-three congressmen have cosponsored H.R. 4635:

Barr (R-GA)
Bartlett (R-MD)
Boozman (R-AR)
Buyer (R-IN)
Culberson (R-TX)
English (R-PA)
Goode (I-VA)
Hall (D-TX)
Hayes (R-NC)
Johnson (R-IL)
Kingston (R-GA)
LaTourette (R-OH)
Mascara (D-PA)
Mica (R-FL)
Rehberg (R-MT)
Sandlin (D-TX)
Schaffer (R-CO)
Shuster (R-PA)
Smith (R-NJ)
Stenholm (D-TX)
Tancredo (R-CO)
Thune (R-SD)
Tiahrt (R-KS)