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Arming pilots?


Well-known member
Feb 10, 2002
Total Time
Found the following posting related to the arming of pilots on the NBAA site today. Although I've heard many varied and heated responses, I've never seen any empirical or scientific data that discusses the true desires of the pilot force at large. What is the general feeling out there among flight crews concerning the issue of arming pilots?

From the NBAA website...

"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."
The Papers of Ben Franklin

The debate over arming pilots rages with lots of good input (both pro and
con) and, unfortunately, some bad as well.

Typically, the shrillest responses to Mr. Olcott's request for input come
from those opposed to us having the means to defend ourselves.

The saying "Lower your volume and refine your argument" applies here.
In my experience, those most vehemently opposed to lawful firearms
ownership/ possession/usage are most often those who know the least about
the subject. These folks often have never been around lawfully used firearms
of any sort, and their ignorance breeds fear and hatred.
Their beliefs ["gun owners are more likely to be killed with their own
weapon than to kill a criminal" as just one example] have been shaped by a
steady diet of mainstream media half-truths and disinformation, what has
been "learned" from popular cinema, and/or lies spewed by Sarah Brady and
other professional anti-gunners.

When we read comments from writers who can imagine no situation where a
firearm would make any difference, we have to ask: "So what if they can't?"
Admittedly, we are oft times attempting to compare apples to oranges in
weighing the pros and cons of pilot carry. But I personally can think of
many ways in which the mere presence of a firearm would serve to prevent a
hostile action, and there are probably many more of which that I have not
yet thought. Am I to have my God-given, Constitutionally affirmed right to
self-defense (in any situation) barred by those who are either afraid or
unwilling to defend themselves?

We must remember that guns are merely tools that possess no independent free
agency apart from their users. They are not inherently evil, any more than
is the airliner that takes several hundred passengers safely to its
destination, or is used as a bomb to bring down a skyscraper.

Many respondents opine that they would not be able to place their shot if
confronted with a bad guy in the cockpit doorway. Well, rest easy in the
knowledge that the guy flying the F-16 isn't going to miss if you squawk

The fact remains that; the mere possession of a firearm is a tremendous
deterrent to crime, whether in the hand of the cop on the beat or the little
old lady down the street. Unfortunately, incidents of firearms being used to
save lives or stop crime are routinely ignored or even suppressed in the
mainstream news outlets.

I would suggest that folks who are sincerely interested in availing
themselves of the truth in this debate read John R. Lott's More Guns, Less
Crime (University of Chicago Press, 1998)

As Sarah Brady herself would say (in her quest for ever more gun control):
"it's a good first step."

I would also like to suggest John Ross' Unintended Consequences (St. Louis,
Mo.: Accurate Press, 1995, c1996).

While a riveting work of fiction, the author obliges the reader a lesson on
the history of gun control in these united States, and shows us where we
have been, where we are now and where we may yet be lead.

We recently saw just how arbitrary and heavy-handed our government can be in
regards to our civil liberties after the events of September 11th. I caution
readers to jealously guard their freedoms from continuing encroachments, for
the political winds have been systematically blowing for well over half a
century now against personal liberty. In regards to firearms ownership, the
last century saw many of our freedoms taken away in the interest of making
us all "safer". Millions of innocent people the world over died at the hands
of criminals and their own governments in the 1900s because they were
stripped of the right to self-defense.

Do not tell me it cannot happen here.

Did anyone a century ago think that Europe, once the phalanx of western
civilization, birthplace of great scholars, composers and artists, would
become the site of large-scale gun confiscation and later genocide?

Before any jump to criticize me for airing this viewpoint in this forum, let
me remind them that these larger events do directly affect them in the
cockpit. Now, after 9/11, the flight deck has become the latest front in the
ongoing battle over personal freedom. How much more freedom are you willing
to relinquish? Your safety, that of your family and that of the people you
transport depend upon decisions made today.

That once smoking hole in lower Manhattan lays as mute testimony to the fact
that a person is never made safer when he surrenders his ability to defend

Thanks for listening,

J. Scott Seibert

To unsubscribe, search the Air Mail archives, or for more information, please visit http://www.nbaa.org/airmailFound the following posting related to the arming of pilots on the NBAA site today... Although I've heard many varied and heated responses, I've never seen any empirical data that discusses the true desires of the pilot force at large. What is the general feeling out there among flight crews concerning this issue? From a personal viewpoint posted on the NBAA website From the NBAA website...


Skirts Will Rise
Jan 17, 2002
Total Time
Well its a proven fact that crime went down in both Florida and Texas when they allowed concealed weapons permits.

In fact I remember that Dateline featured that Texas state congresswoman that had her parents killed in the BBQ joint masscare. She had a gun but it was in the car because she was afraid that her RN would be pulled if she got caught with the weapon. So she lobbied and she eventaully got it past the congress.

Not only that I would hope that airport security would be less worried about toe nail clippers and leather men if the pilots are armed with guns.


Senior Member
Nov 26, 2001
Total Time
I want a gun permit. I don't think I'll ever need in in flight, but it sure would be nice to have walking to the hotel after dinner! If the bad guys knew we had guns, even some of us, they would think twice about trying to come in the front office.