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05-31-2004 09:24 AM  14 years agoPost 41

rrElite Veteran

Key Largo FL

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"This is a war we will NEVER win. "

I don't necessarily agree. I think it has to be fought regionally. Seems it all boils down to Isreal. All arab the people in the region are oppressed and those in power keep the fires of anger stoked so that the locals don't attack their own totalitarian leaders. They all talk about the palestinians but they keep them isolated in refugee camps, in squalar instead of allowing them to assimilate and move on. Jordan had a war witht he palestinians in 74 when they tried to overthrow the Jordanian monarchy. No one talks about that much.

I think freedom is the answer. Yes small-time terrorism is here to stay, as in the SLA, Weather Underground, Manson, McVeigh. Those are pipsqueaks and isolated incidents.

It really boils down to state sponsorship. Should Bush's goal of a free Iraq happen, it may cause a change in the status quo of the region. The Saudis got religion and are now clearly fighting the same enemy. UAE is on the ball, as are Quatar and Kuwait. These are examples of where alqueda and terrorosits do not run the show. It's a mindset. We beat soviet communism, so it is not too far fetched to think we can beat this. We have to fight with all we have, not doing so would be surrender and a matter of time until the dirty nukes or perhaps full blown nukes destroy our world economy, their stated goal. It's not just our fight, but unfortunately we are having to lead it and take the brunt of the casualties. Again.

So let all the peacenicks of the world cry in revulsion at our unilateralism (which is basically their cowardice of not being willing to take a stand and follow it with their own blood). Let them pat themselves on the back for being so filled with love and moral superiority. Let them decry Bush, just as they did Reagan, never mind that Reagan's actions caused the de-nuclearization of the european theater. Some will never get it, I for one do not care. But they will all benefit in the long run.

And I get a kick out of those who think a man can fly a 747 through bad weather and mechanical failure, but cannot keep his sidearm from accidentally discharging. Anyone who thinks that is not familiar with the safe handling of firearms. I feel a lot better knowing the last guy in line for taking over the plane can have the ultimate power and authority. I feel safer when people who know what they are doing are armed, be it a captain or a citizen with a ccw permit standing next to me at the 7-11.

05-31-2004 05:29 PM  14 years agoPost 42


--South Florida --

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Terrorism will eventually end. Hell they already put a big nail in the coffin on 9/11. But look at whats going on now. They are begining to piss off their own kind in their own countries. UBL has made it known he wants to disrupt the flow of oil from Saudi Arabia. Now I dont care what God they praise, but one thing is for certain, when they start to disrupt the flow of money (from oil revenues) people will get even more pissed off. I also know that at that point they wont be dealing with the only with the US and its Humanitairn gov't but rather some of the Totalitarian gov't in the Mid-east that dont give a dam about human rights and offending people. Sit back an watch.

05-31-2004 05:56 PM  14 years agoPost 43



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Excellent link. I appreciate the information. One point I need to further clarify is that I'm not saying that every pilot will be irresponsible and can't be trusted. I am saying that, as with any armed force, there will be accidents. The accidents usually occur when the sidearm is handled.

And Stet, despite the pilot's adept ability at flying an aircraft, they are still human and thus not above mistakes. I'll bet that the professional pilots reading this can think of one or two of their colleages that they wouldn't want to see be issued a firearm.

And yes, I'm aware that military pilots carry sidearms. Yet, those sidearms are not meant to be drawn within the cockpit. The article doesn't mention weapons accidentally discharging when the weapon is placed in the pilot's survival vest and removed from the survival vest. But it occurs.

There are other times when arms are carried by personnel within an aircraft. Every time an assault heli loads packs on board, the firearms are held muzzle down, pointing toward the floor of the helicopter. Why? Because of accidental discharges.

Having said all of this, it appears that the program for arming pilots is proceeding forward, so this debate may prove merely academic in the future. I'm encouraged that if TSA is going to allow such a program, that there is an extensive qualifing and training program. (BTW: I don't buy that the guy in the article was fired because of giving a party and issuing baseball caps. I've been in on too many disciplinary procedures to believe such. Especially in a government organization. There's more to this story and we won't see it because of confidentiality issues.)

I still believe that the Sky Marshall program is the better option. I disagree with the article's suposition that the SM is more vunerable to attack than is the pilot and is crippled by having to distinguish 'friend from foe'. The armed pilot would have the same handicap. And the cockpit is way too tight to offer any real close combat capability. Granted, the attacker is canalized through the cockpit door, but because of the close proximity of the flight stations to the door, once the fight is at the door, the resultant battle will more than likely have catastrophic effects on the non-fighting pilot.

Let's hope that the training and arming of pilots defies the odds and that only good comes of it.

Oh, and I also agree with you Stet that we can win this war. But it will take a long time. In this war, there is no capitol to seize, no foreign government to dipose that will stop hostilities. No central authority to order a laying down of arms. The victory lies in the education of an entire generation of fundamentalists and the destruction of those who don't get the message. It will also take economic recovery of some of these very poor regions to eliminate the appeal of martyrdom. But this will take quite awhile. The question becomes, do we, as a whole, have the stomach for it?
The answer will be apparent on November 3.

05-31-2004 07:13 PM  14 years agoPost 44


Central Michigan

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I guess we will just disagree.

Handling the firearm in the cockpit is not an option unless there is reason to use it. This is a simple rule all gun owners should and do for the most part, follow.

Being a trained and qualified pilot doesn't necessarily make for a safe gun handling but the pilots who will be armed will also be trained in the safe handling of firearms. The combination of the two, places the armed pilot in the upper most tier of safety. I'm sure there are some pilots who shouldn't be armed just as I'm sure that there are some pilots who shouldn't be flying. But we don't ground the entire airline industry because of it. The qualification and training procedure for each function will only serve to improve the odds for safe implementation of arming some pilots.

I really think you are giving too much attention to accidental discharges. I think you'll ultimately find that considering the sheer numbers of weapons carried in military aircraft, accidental discharges are practicaly non-existent. Especially among pilots.

A pilot would not have the same IFF problem because he knows that anyone attempting to force his way into the cockpit is a bad guy. And lets not forget that if the bad guy obtains control of the aircraft, the potential for loss of life becomes so great that the airliner will likely be shot down by military fighter jet.

I think the odds are that terrorist hijackings will be practically impossible if pilots are armed and able to defend the cockpit from takeover. I will also keep in mind that it will probably not be any one thing that precludes this but a system of defense. I really like the idea of having armed Sky Marshalls, a reinforced cockpit door and an armed pilot on any plane that I fly on.

Now wouldn't it make you feel safer to hear this on your next flight?

05-31-2004 08:13 PM  14 years agoPost 45

rrElite Veteran

Key Largo FL

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I've carried firearms for years, at least until I moved to California.

Glock being my favorite pistol, banned by some police departments because some are dumb enough to try to holster the weapon with their finger in the trigger, shooting themselves in the calf (many instances).

Seems sometimes even cops don't treat guns right. Bottom line with a glock (with no apparent "safety") is keep you finger out of the trigger until you are ready to fire. If the trigger is not pulled, it won't fire, period. Unless you are planning to fire, your finger should be on the frame and no where near the trigger. If the gun stays in the holster until it is drawn for combat, you cannot put your finger in the trigger. It's not a toy, don't play with it.

Interesting that the statistics for those who have received CCW training and have been issued permits, actually have a lower accident and crime rate than off duty officers. It can be done, but it has to be taken seriously. Like personal ownership, I think it should be up to the individual pilot as to whether he wants to carry that added responsibility, and has to make a personal decision given the state of the threat at any given time. I think the point made earlier that hijacking will likely not happen again given 911 is probably pretty accurate. They will be looking for soft targets, as they found on 911.

I'm glad to see others agree that the war can be won. And I'm glad to see a recoginition that the world is threatened be it a free country or a totalitarian one. Nobody is gonna put up with this crap for long, and no one is going to succumb to the threats and blackmail, except for the spanish anyway. They are no more safe having done so, and showed the rest of the world just what not to do.

Thanks for the reasoned well thought out discource in this thread, it seems a lot more thought out than the standard anti-bush diatribe that was going on earlier. Maybe the world is maturing and realizing this is a common enemy, and that the US is not the threat it is made out to be.

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