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Let The Market Advance Second Amendment Rights

by Richard Dimery

October 24, 2001

It occurred to me, after receiving numerous solicitations to support organizations working for gun rights, and some for arming pilots, that the airline industry could be converted to our side.

Could we not by grassroots effort, by website and/or bulk email, convince hundreds of thousands of people to call or write the airlines often, urging the ideas presented below? What I think is really great about such a campaign is that it is a POSITIVE campaign -- the airlines know that consumer confidence (in security) must improve for profits to improve or break even. It seems to me foolish on their part to wait on another 'law' when there are seemingly overwhelming financial reasons the airlines should be proactive.

Could not the airlines' profit-motivated move to legitimize self-defense help to change and persuade Brady perceptions?



May I appeal to the bottom line of your profit-and-loss statement? Recent reports are that airlines are suffering daily losses due to curtailment in flying since September 11. Passengers' confidence in their security is attributed to this downturn.

Everyday, you ask passengers to fly when it is guaranteed that the only weapons on board will possibly be those in the hands of evildoers. Someone determined enough will always be able to circumvent prohibitions -- whether drug smuggling or smuggling weapons on board your aircraft. I ask you not to wait for the enactment of some new 'law.' I advocate arming the aircrew or allowing them to be armed -- which you the airlines have the power and justification to do immediately.

Public confidence and your bottom line can only be increased by this measure. Every objection you might raise to this course of action can be refuted, to wit:


A crew already entrusted with hundreds of lives and a multi-million dollar aircraft will more likely than not handle firearms with safety and responsibility. An airline pilot may be paid 5 times or more than what a private security guard is paid -- why should he not be entrusted with the same self-defense tools?


Frangible ammunition has low likelihood of penetrating a human target and injuring an unintended target, so accidental shootings are less probable.


The Pilot is the last line of defense and the last hope of bringing the aircraft down safely. No matter what happens in the cabin, the cockpit must be defended. Asking the pilot to defend the cockpit with his bare hands against weapons (or even trained barehanded killers) is counterproductive to the notion of saving the aircraft and possibly property and lives on the ground.


Bullet holes in the aircraft do not impair its flying, only the maintenance of a breathable atmosphere. If aircraft systems are damaged, it is likely that backup systems will provide a degree of safety. The Pilot is the last line of defense and the last hope of bringing the aircraft down safely. No matter what happens in the cabin, the cockpit must be defended.


We are (or should be) convinced of the damage an aircraft converted to a missile can cause. The legal, financial, and especially the ethical responsibility of another such occurrence may be enormous. A sky marshal, if present, may not prevail against multiple hijackers. Pilot (and passengers, an unknown element) may not be able to prevail barehandedly against a superior force.


It is not a valid alternative to depend on sky marshals. With 35,000 flights daily, only a small fraction could ever have even one marshal aboard in the foreseeable future. And, in the instance of 4 - 5 hijackers, it is not a certainty that one marshal will prevail.


I understand that the airline's liability is a concern. The consequences of a limited number of passengers being accidentally shot or killed is, it seems to me, insignificant compared to the consequence of All passengers killed and/or the aircraft destroyed and/or property on the ground destroyed and/or people on the ground killed and or all of the above.


Please call or write any airline, with some or all the above message. Your personal phrasing would be best, but not essential. You may use/cut-and-paste any or all of the above message. Email other Patriots urging them to do the same. Thank you.

Some suggestions:


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