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W.Times editorial: Obama secretly ends FFDO program?

SuperFLUF

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http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/mar/17/guns-on-a-plane-obama-secretly-ends-program-that-l/


EDITORIAL: Guns on a plane

Obama secretly ends program that let pilots carry guns


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/mar/17/guns-on-a-plane-obama-secretly-ends-program-that-l/

After the September 11 attacks, commercial airline pilots were allowed to carry guns if they completed a federal-safety program. No longer would unarmed pilots be defenseless as remorseless hijackers seized control of aircraft and rammed them into buildings.
Now President Obama is quietly ending the federal firearms program, risking public safety on airlines in the name of an anti-gun ideology.
The Obama administration this past week diverted some $2 million from the pilot training program to hire more supervisory staff, who will engage in field inspections of pilots.
This looks like completely unnecessary harassment of the pilots. The 12,000 Federal Flight Deck Officers, the pilots who have been approved to carry guns, are reported to have the best behavior of any federal law enforcement agency. There are no cases where any of them has improperly brandished or used a gun. There are just a few cases where officers have improperly used their IDs.
Fewer than one percent of the officers have any administrative actions brought against them and, we are told, virtually all of those cases “are trumped up.”
Take a case against one flight officer who had visited the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles within the last few weeks. While there, the pilot noticed that federal law enforcement officers can, with the approval of a superior, obtain a license plate that cannot be traced, a key safety feature for law enforcement personnel. So the pilot asked if, as a member of the federal program, he was eligible. The DMV staffer checked and said “no.” The next day administrative actions were brought against the pilot for “misrepresenting himself.” These are the kinds of cases that President Obama wants to investigate.
Since Mr. Obama's election, pilots have told us that the approval process for letting pilots carry guns on planes slowed significantly. Last week the problem went from bad to worse. Federal Flight Deck Officers - the pilots who have been approved to carry guns - indicate that the approval process has stalled out.
Pilots cannot openly speak about the changing policies for fear of retaliation from the Transportation Security Administration. Pilots who act in any way that causes a “loss of confidence” in the armed pilot program risk criminal prosecution as well as their removal from the program. Despite these threats, pilots in the Federal Flight Deck Officers program have raised real concerns in multiple interviews.
Arming pilots after Sept. 11 was nothing new. Until the early 1960s, American commercial passenger pilots on any flight carrying U.S. mail were required to carry handguns. Indeed, U.S. pilots were still allowed to carry guns until as recently as 1987. There are no records that any of these pilots (either military or commercial) ever causing any significant problems.
Screening of airplane passengers is hardly perfect. While armed marshals are helpful, the program covers less than 3 percent of the flights out of Washington D.C.'s three airports and even fewer across the country. Sky marshals are costly and quit more often than other law-enforcement officers.
Armed pilots are a cost-effective backup layer of security. Terrorists can only enter the cockpit through one narrow entrance, and armed pilots have some time to prepare themselves as hijackers penetrate the strengthened cockpit doors. With pilots, we have people who are willing to take on the burden of protecting the planes for free. About 70 percent of the pilots at major American carriers have military backgrounds.
Frankly, as a matter of pure politics, we cannot understand what the administration is thinking. Nearly 40 House Democrats are in districts were the NRA is more popular than House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. We can't find any independent poll in which the public is demanding that pilots disarm. Why does this move make sense?
Only anti-gun extremists and terrorist recruits are worried about armed pilots. So why is the Obama administratioadministration catering to this tiny lobby at the expense of public safety?
 

Skank

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http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/mar/17/guns-on-a-plane-obama-secretly-ends-program-that-l/


EDITORIAL: Guns on a plane

Obama secretly ends program that let pilots carry guns


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/mar/17/guns-on-a-plane-obama-secretly-ends-program-that-l/

After the September 11 attacks, commercial airline pilots were allowed to carry guns if they completed a federal-safety program. No longer would unarmed pilots be defenseless as remorseless hijackers seized control of aircraft and rammed them into buildings.
Now President Obama is quietly ending the federal firearms program, risking public safety on airlines in the name of an anti-gun ideology.
The Obama administration this past week diverted some $2 million from the pilot training program to hire more supervisory staff, who will engage in field inspections of pilots.
This looks like completely unnecessary harassment of the pilots. The 12,000 Federal Flight Deck Officers, the pilots who have been approved to carry guns, are reported to have the best behavior of any federal law enforcement agency. There are no cases where any of them has improperly brandished or used a gun. There are just a few cases where officers have improperly used their IDs.
Fewer than one percent of the officers have any administrative actions brought against them and, we are told, virtually all of those cases “are trumped up.”
Take a case against one flight officer who had visited the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles within the last few weeks. While there, the pilot noticed that federal law enforcement officers can, with the approval of a superior, obtain a license plate that cannot be traced, a key safety feature for law enforcement personnel. So the pilot asked if, as a member of the federal program, he was eligible. The DMV staffer checked and said “no.” The next day administrative actions were brought against the pilot for “misrepresenting himself.” These are the kinds of cases that President Obama wants to investigate.
Since Mr. Obama's election, pilots have told us that the approval process for letting pilots carry guns on planes slowed significantly. Last week the problem went from bad to worse. Federal Flight Deck Officers - the pilots who have been approved to carry guns - indicate that the approval process has stalled out.
Pilots cannot openly speak about the changing policies for fear of retaliation from the Transportation Security Administration. Pilots who act in any way that causes a “loss of confidence” in the armed pilot program risk criminal prosecution as well as their removal from the program. Despite these threats, pilots in the Federal Flight Deck Officers program have raised real concerns in multiple interviews.
Arming pilots after Sept. 11 was nothing new. Until the early 1960s, American commercial passenger pilots on any flight carrying U.S. mail were required to carry handguns. Indeed, U.S. pilots were still allowed to carry guns until as recently as 1987. There are no records that any of these pilots (either military or commercial) ever causing any significant problems.
Screening of airplane passengers is hardly perfect. While armed marshals are helpful, the program covers less than 3 percent of the flights out of Washington D.C.'s three airports and even fewer across the country. Sky marshals are costly and quit more often than other law-enforcement officers.
Armed pilots are a cost-effective backup layer of security. Terrorists can only enter the cockpit through one narrow entrance, and armed pilots have some time to prepare themselves as hijackers penetrate the strengthened cockpit doors. With pilots, we have people who are willing to take on the burden of protecting the planes for free. About 70 percent of the pilots at major American carriers have military backgrounds.
Frankly, as a matter of pure politics, we cannot understand what the administration is thinking. Nearly 40 House Democrats are in districts were the NRA is more popular than House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. We can't find any independent poll in which the public is demanding that pilots disarm. Why does this move make sense?
Only anti-gun extremists and terrorist recruits are worried about armed pilots. So why is the Obama administratioadministration catering to this tiny lobby at the expense of public safety?

Why would an FFDO need an untraceable license plate?
 

Daytonaflyer

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I'll be very interested to see if this is even true. This whole article is an opinionated editorial from an extremely conservative "newspaper". There is absolutely no news about cancellation of the FFDO program anywhere that I can find besides this article, not even on the FFDO's website.
 
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Lear70

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I'll be very interested to see if this is even true. This whole article is an opinionated editorial from an extremely conservative "newspaper". There is absolutely no news about cancellation of the FFDO program anywhere that I can find besides this article, not even on the FFDO's website.
You think something like that would be on there?

The last one to know about it will be you and the other FFDO's in the field.

I'm guessing you didn't read the full article... it explained further in that he's not ending the program right this second but, rather, that he's beginning the "witch hunt" steps that he will use to shut it down IF he can find the ammunition to do so. There's no other reason to start examining the behavior of the nation's "most-behaved" LEO's.

Personally, I'm not greatly surprised; it will take quite a bit of lobbying to keep the program alive with this Dem-controlled administration.
 

Blue Dude

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And Soccer Moms everywhere say "Good! I was never comfortable with guns so close to my kids anyway!" This is "good" politics, not good policy. I support the program, but keep in mind that there are a good many irrational people who don't, and many of them vote Dem.
 

ROSWELL41

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I agree with the article that the program is running very delayed. Maybe his conclusion as to why is correct.
 

densoo

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I'll be very interested to see if this is even true. This whole article is an opinionated editorial from an extremely conservative "newspaper". There is absolutely no news about cancellation of the FFDO program anywhere that I can find besides this article, not even on the FFDO's website.

The article doesn't say they cancelled the program. It says they diverted $2M from it. In a bureaucracy when you want to kill a program, you vote yes for it in public ("we're all for arming the pilots--no one says were not!") but then in private defund it which is the same as cancelling it.

This is a page right out of the financial crisis: they didn't get rid of oversight of the financial institutions because that would look irresponsible. But they cut the funding for the SEC inspections and the like to the point that it was simply impossible for them to do their jobs.

Imagine if you will that someone decided that FAA line checks were worthless and should be discontinued. You couldn't pass a law or delete a regulation stating this--the media and other organizations would riducule it. So you just cut the budget to the FAA for line check airmen to the point where they couldn't fund them.
 

JoeMerchant

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This is the POTUS that ALPA wanted in there....Be careful what you wish for.....
 

Max Powers

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Hmmmmm has anyone read the news in Fergus Falls, MN......Could he have been an FFDO? Maybe a little oversight is a good thing. There is no evidence it is a "witch hunt" as the paranoid writer tries to indicate in his OP-ED letter. I think it is about holding people accountable. I've had that gun pointed at me on three different occasions (in the cockpit) while the idiot owner of the gun was unlocking the trigger lock. I was not happy.

All indications are that Prez. Obama is a supporter of the program. He supports the program so much that he wants to make sure that individuals charged with their commision as FFDO do the right thing!
 

Tristar

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Shouldn't Captain Dolt be jumping in anytime now to explain how this is all GWB's fault?
 

ImbracableCrunk

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The authors evidence is that some training money will be spent on supervision instead?

When did training slow down? Why did training slow down? Is it simply because now we're reaching a level where most who want to be one have gone through the training?

People really need to start evaluating and discerning between editorial opinion and facts based on evidence.

You shouldn't have to agree with a news outlet's point of view. They shouldn't have one! See above.
 

2ndGenPSA

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I love it...

We spend millions of dollars so a few pilots can tote guns that won't be used from behind a door that won't be opened, but it's too expensive for the FAA to overhaul our flight time/duty time limits.

Half of us are flying so tired most of the time that we wouldn't be able to aim a gun if we wanted to!!
 

Tweaker

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And Soccer Moms everywhere say "Good! I was never comfortable with guns so close to my kids anyway!" This is "good" politics, not good policy. I support the program, but keep in mind that there are a good many irrational people who don't, and many of them vote Dem.

FAIL

Soccer moms were the more ardent supporters of the FFDO program. Most likely due to their (un) natural prediliction for putting the responsibility for securing their own safety on the backs of others, as well as their complete aversion to risk in all its forms, no matter how insignificant.

Dam the reasons, they supported it, and I was glad. They may drive minivans into convienience stores while yaking on their cell phones with alarming regularity, but don't give them poop for this. The ignoranus Dumbocraps may still believe that harming the FFDO program will please them, but it wouldn't be teh 135th mistake they have made in 2009, now would it?
 

regionaltard

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This Administration has already sent strong signals that it is hostile to the whole concept of defensive firearms in the hands of citizens. Sounds like par for the course to me.
 

Lear70

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Originally Posted by Lear70

I'm guessing you didn't read the full article...he's not ending the program... but...rather...beginning...IF...other...reason...s tart...


A whole lot of nothing, you must been a fan of faux news.
Are you smoking crack?

Trying to figure out why you chopped up the paragraph, because I didn't see ANY kind of logic to what you wrote or why...

Feel free to elaborate so everyone else can understand, too.
 

Fubijaakr

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I say good riddance. This program was entirely precipitated by a bunch of gun nuts that thought they would get the right to "concealed carry" when there was absolutely NO reason for them to have a weapon.

ALPA was opposed to this program from the get-go if you recall. It was only when the gun nuts formed APSA that ALPA relented and grudgingly supported the program.

Believe me, we had one of the original APSA nuts. He failed the FFDO program the first time, passed the second time and eventually was terminated when he "forgot" his weapon in a public restroom.

The FFDO program will never have any value until you build a flight deck door with a gun port in it. Otherwise, the door has to be opened for the FFDO to have any effect on the situation. The Turkish 737 crash proved the strength of the door. In that crash, the F/O died because the rescuers couldn't get through the flight deck door for 45 minutes.

FFDOs? Good riddance. We've already had one monkey put a round through an airframe. Its only a matter of time before one of these guys shoots either himself or his flying partner.

$2M for this program? Total waste of taxpayer money.
 
Last edited:

landlover

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I say good riddance. This program was entirely precipitated by a bunch of gun nuts that thought they would get the right to "concealed carry" when there was absolutely NO reason for them to have a weapon.

ALPA was opposed to this program from the get-go if you recall. It was only when the gun nuts formed APSA that ALPA relented and grudgingly supported the program.

Believe me, we had one of the original APSA nuts. He failed the FFDO program the first time, passed the second time and eventually was terminated when he "forgot" his weapon in a public restroom.

The FFDO program will never have any value until you build a flight deck door with a gun port in it. Otherwise, the door has to be opened for the FFDO to have any effect on the situation. The Turkish 737 crash proved the strength of the door. In that crash, the F/O died because the rescuers couldn't get through the flight deck door for 45 minutes.

FFDOs? Good riddance. We've already had one monkey put a round through and airframe. Its only a matter of time before one of these guys shoots either himself or his flying partner.

$2M for this program? Total waste of taxpayer money.

thank you, someone that sees the program for what it is. A BIG WASTE OF MONEY and SMOKE AND MIRRORS.
 
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