10/01 Brady Bunch Clueless Re: Arming Pilots
So, what are some of the anti-gun, anti-Second Amendment, anti-self-defense, gun-grabbing groups saying about the reasonable, common sense proposal to allow pilots to carry firearms? Are they — in the wake of the murderous terrorism of September 11 — finally getting wisdom? Are they realizing that, in some circumstances, guns might actually serve a good purpose — like killing terrorist hijackers trying to crash your plane into a building?
Certainly you jest.
In a statement (9/26/2001), Michael Barnes, president of the Brady Campaign To Prevent Gun Violence, says: “We understand the intense fears of airline pilots, passengers and crew following the horrific hijackings, and we support doing everything we can to strengthen aircraft and airport security.”
But, Barnes speaks with a forked tongue. His organization does not favor doing everything that can be done. He says he has “serious concerns” about proposals to arm airline pilots. Barnes asks: “Can we ensure that a weapon on an airplane will not fall into the wrong hands? Could firing the gun in a plane compromise its integrity, causing it to crash?”
Huh?! What planet is Barnes living on?! What greater “compromise” of a plane’s “integrity” could occur than what happened on September 11 when terrorist hijackers caused these planes to be crashed murdering thousands! Could any greater damage have been caused had the pilots and/or passengers on these planes been armed? I think not.
And of course no one can “ensure,” absolutely, that the gun of a pilot or passenger might not fall into “wrong hands.” But, one thing we do know for sure: All four of the crashed planes hijacked fell into the “wrong hands!” And none of the pilots or passengers on these planes were armed.
Noting that “safety begins with prevention,” Barnes says: “We need to make sure that armed terrorists are not able to board aircraft in the first place.” Terrific. But, how, exactly, are we to “make sure” this doesn’t happen? Answer: We cannot “make sure,” absolutely, that this doesn’t happen. So, what happens when hijackers do get aboard a plane? Then what?
What Barnes — blinded by his hatred of guns — doesn’t seem to realize is that having armed pilots and/or passengers on board a plane is “prevention!” It is a last line of defense to prevent hijackers from taking control of a plane!
In an interview, Amy Stilweil, a spokesman for Barnes’ group, says that one of the “tangible things” that can be done is “requiring background checks on all gun sales to make sure you prevent terrorists from obtaining guns.” When she is reminded that the terrorists of September 11 did not use guns, and is asked if there should now be background checks for persons trying to buy boxcutters, she says: “Well, they didn’t use guns this time. But, I think this is a time when people understand now more than ever the importance of something like background checks.”
Does Stilweil really think that if the terrorists of September 11 had used guns they would have obtained these weapons through channels that would have required a background check? She says: “I think this question draws attention to loopholes that exist in our system. And while there might always be an avenue for somebody intent on obtaining a gun to obtain one, there are many, many things you can do to prevent that from happening. It’s important to do all we can.” She adds that background checks are “a reasonable, common sense measure.”
But, as previously noted, the gun-haters at the Brady Campaign To Prevent Gun Violence do not want “to do all we can” to make flying safe. Not at all. They do not want to arm pilots and/or passengers — a real “reasonable, common sense measure.” They do not want to close the legal “loophole” that has prevented this, with tragic consequences.
When told that many pilots believe that allowing them to be armed is the last line of defense against terrorist hijackers, Stilweil says: “I guess that’s their opinion. I don’t necessarily agree with that. There are many, many risks to carrying a gun. You know we’re not an organization that seeks to ban guns.” Right. Except for their wanting to ban guns to be carried by pilots and/or passengers.
Stilweil is asked this: If you had been on one of those hijacked planes, would you have not wished that someone on your plane had a gun? She replies: “Don’t put those words in my mouth.”
Q: “So, you would not have wished that?”
A: “We’re not even talking about that. I think I’ve given you all that I can on this.”
The Brady Campaign To Prevent Gun Violence bills itself as an organization “leading the fight to prevent gun violence,” a group “dedicated to creating an America free from gun violence, where all Americans are safe at home, at school, at work, and in their communities.” But, with America under attack from terrorists, the Brady Bunch should be working to prevent plane violence, to make Americans safer on airplanes. And one “reasonable, common sense measure” to help do this is to allow pilots and/or passengers to carry firearms.