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Active member
Mar 27, 2002
Well boys,

Whatcha think?? I thought the steel, 3 inch reinforced cockpit doors would work just fine.



House OKs Bill to Arm Airline Pilots
Wed Jul 10, 4:57 PM ET

By JONATHAN D. SALANT, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) - Airline pilots could carry guns
in the cockpit to defend their planes against terrorists
under a bill the House passed overwhelmingly
Wednesday despite the opposition of the White House.

The legislation, approved by a vote
of 310-113, would allow guns for
more than 70,000 pilots if they
agreed to undergo training.
Lawmakers stripped out provisions that would have limited
the program to some 1,400 pilots, about 2 percent of those

Despite the strong House support, prospects in the Senate were not good for the
legislation. Besides the White House, those opposing it include Ernest Hollings, a
South Carolina Democrat who heads the Senate Commerce Committee.

The guns-in-cockpits question is among a host of aviation security issues that
arose after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. In this case, House GOP leaders have
been at odds with the administration, which has repeatedly argued that cockpit
crews should focus on flying planes and let air marshals worry about security.

Though Republican and Democratic leaders of the House Transportation
Committee agreed to arm only a fraction of the pilots, rank-and-file lawmakers
voted to expand the program to any pilot who volunteers.

"If there is a credible threat that requires arming pilots, why would you restrict
yourself?" said an amendment sponsor, Rep. Peter DeFazio ( news, bio, voting
record), D-Ore. "Having that minuscule number of pilots trained and armed
would not make any sense. If the pilots should be armed, there should be some
significant number."

The measure also would require more self-defense training for flight attendants
and give the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) 90 days to act on an
airline's request to equip pilots and flight attendants with non-lethal weapons
such as stun guns.

"Today, armed F-16s are prepared to shoot down any commercial jet that is
hijacked by terrorists," said Transportation Committee chairman Don Young,
R-Alaska. "It is imperative that under these new circumstances, we must allow
trained and qualified pilots to serve as the last line of defense against such a
potential disaster."

Opponents of the legislation have expressed concern that an errant bullet could
kill a passenger or knock out a critical electrical system.

A flight attendants union also opposed arming pilots.

"Giving guns to pilots without specific cabin defense requirements for airlines
could be deadly for flight attendants and passengers," Patricia Friend, president
of the Association of Flight Attendants, said last month.

TSA head John Magaw, who announced the administration's position against
guns in cockpits, has said that a pilot should give undivided attention to flying
his plane, landing it as quickly as possible and conducting in-flight maneuvers to
keep hijackers off balance.

Rep. John Mica ( news, bio, voting record), chairman of the House aviation
subcommittee, dismissed the administration's objections.

"Bureaucrats set the rules. We set the policy and the laws," said Mica, R-Fla.

Pilots' unions said their members needed the guns to prevent terrorists from
breaking into cockpits and commandeering airplanes, as happened last

The Air Line Pilots Association ( news - web sites) has contributed $764,000 to
federal candidates since Jan. 1, 2001. That's more in donations than was given to
candidates by any individual airline, with 85 percent of the money going to
Democrats, many of whom joined the majority House Republicans in supporting
the legislation.

Before the vote, the Allied Pilots Association, which represents American
Airlines pilots, urged its members to call lawmakers and ask them to increase
the number of pilots who could carry guns.

In strengthening airline security following the attacks, lawmakers gave the
decision to arm pilots to the TSA. After Magaw announced the administration's
decision against guns in the cockpits, lawmakers in both houses introduced
legislation to overturn that action.

Magaw said the presence of air marshals on board many flights and the use of
reinforced cockpit doors provide sufficient protection against terrorists.

Although passage in the House had been predicted, the legislation faced difficult
obstacles on the other side of the Capitol.

Congressional aides have suggested that the measure may be offered as an
amendment to a bill providing money for the Transportation Department,
because Hollings' opposition is enough under Senate rules to keep the
armed-pilots bill from coming up for a vote.

"A freestanding bill is not the only way to pass something in the Senate," said
Sen. Robert Smith ( news, bio, voting record), R-N.H.
well, it will never get past the senate and norman mineta and others that dont have to worry about it because they have their own planes, fueled by tax dollars, to fly around in with the best security available, secret service agents and all.

its at least good to see that the majority of the house would like there to be more options rather than just sitting there waiting for an f-16 to take you out.
I think it's great. By the time someone got through that imaginary 3" steel door, you will need a gun.
I think the door on the plane I fly is 1/4" honeycombed cardboard, painted grey. Oh wait, we have a bar over it. There's also a sea of Air Marshall's out there to protect me. I'm safe, whew!
---It won't pass the senate. Too many Libs.
guns in the cockpit

Guns in the Cockpit...GOOD!!!

If I was flying and a gun might save my life and many other's on board, I would rather try that before getting killed by my friend flying the F-16...come on people...could some little old lady in first class get killed...yes but it's better then what the F-16 has in mind.

Either you're just flaming, or you really don't understand the issue.

There are a million different ways to get weapons on board, and most of them don't even involve going through security. If and when you start flying professionally, take a look at the cleaners, caterers, fuelers and the other assortment of vendors that have access to your airplane- maybe you'll start to get the picture.

A door is nothing that a very small amount of explosive can't handle. If you think that is going to keep you safe, you're living in a dream world.

As for securing the guns- pretty simple. Each crewmember has a key. The cockpits are equipped with a locked steel box (with a plexiglass window) that stores the gun. Preflight inspection- gun visible, box seal intact. Breaking the seal at any time is a maintenance log write-up. No weapon to go through security with, no chance of pax getting a hold of it, hear a problem, need the weapon- unlock the box, use as trained.

You can trust the screeners and a thicker door, Suze, but I trust in myself.
Well girl,

1. There are no "3" steel reinforced doors", and even bank vaults are not 100% impregnable to someone with enough determination and know-how.

2. If the cockpit is breached by terrorists in flight, do you think that a flight crew wrestling or with 1 (or more) terrorists bent on suicide/homocide poses no grave danger to the aircraft and it's pax? The days of complying with hijackers are over. No one assumes a hijacker "only wants to go to Cuba" anymore.

3. You seem to not realize that in reality while the pilots are ALREADY the last line of defense against cockpit intrusion/takeover (and therefore the lives of everyone of board), they are only the 2nd-to-last line of defense of what is considered by the government the greater threat......another aircraft being flown into a building, etc. The last line of defense in their eyes is having a hijacked aircraft shot down. Therefore, everyone on board dies, even if the hijacker(s) themselves have no interest in commiting suicide, but instead really DO only want to, say, go to Cuba. And do you think that terrorists wouldn't consider forcing us to shoot down one of our own airplanes to be a victory?

4. Most importantly, being a more efficient tool of self/cockpit-defense (rather than wrestling), the knowledge that pilots are armed (trained and willing to use them in cockpit-defense) serve as a level of DETERRENCE. Remember that terrorists can always lower their expectations of "success" when it comes to aircraft. Just because they hit buildings last time doesn't mean they they wouldn't be happy bringing an aircraft out of the sky.....and a prolonged wrestling match in the cockpit could do this. How much deterrence is a door? (terrorists practice breaking down doors). Armed pilots serve as a DETERRENT by vastly reducing the chance for success at getting through the door AND engaging in such a wrestling match. Terrorists prefer easy, soft targets where the sucess rate is high and linked with the greatest "reward". The best defense is HAVING NO ATTACK AT ALL, and arming pilots is another step in having them look elsewhere to find a place to do their evil work, since their chance of just bringing the aircraft down is greatly reduced.

5. The use of a weapon would be tightly controlled, and only authorized under the most-restrictive set of conditions. Nobody is talking about a pilot walking down the aisle brandishing a weapon. To use one means that the other lines of defense (including the door) HAVE ALREADY FAILED.

6. The chances of a stray bullet bringing down an aircraft are virtually nil, whereas a sidewinder from an F-16 runs about 100%.

(just my $.02)

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