The "next time someone tells you that the militia referred to in the
Second Amendment has been 'superceded' by the National Guard, ask them who it
was that prevented United Airlines Flight 93 from reaching its target,"
writes Boston University Professor Randy E. Barnett.
"The National Guard? The regular Army? The D.C. Police Department?"
asked Barnett in his Sept. 18 article for NationalReview.com,
titled "Flight 93 Saved by the Militia: Arming an army against
"None of these had a presence on Flight 93 because, in a free society,
professional law-enforcement and military personnel cannot be everywhere.
Terrorists and criminals are well aware of this -- indeed, they count on it.
"Who is everywhere? The people the Founders referred to as the 'general
militia.' Cell-phone calls from the plane have now revealed that it was members
of the general militia, not organized law enforcement, who successfully
prevented Flight 93 from reaching its intended target at the cost of their own
lives," continues Barnett, author of "The Structure of Liberty:
Justice and the Rule of Law."
"The characterization of these heroes as members of the militia is not
just the opinion of one law professor. It is clearly stated in Federal statutes.
Perhaps you will not believe me unless I quote Section
311 of US Code Title 10, entitled, 'Militia: composition and classes' in its
" '(a) The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied
males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section 313 of title
32, under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention
to become, citizens of the United States and of female citizens of the United
States who are members of the National Guard.
'(b) The classes of the militia are --
'(1) the organized militia, which consists of the National Guard and the
Naval Militia; and
'(2) the unorganized militia, which consists of the members of the militia
who are not members of the National Guard or the Naval Militia.' ...
"Here is the cold hard fact of the matter: Often -- whether on an
airplane, subway, cruise ship, or in a high school -- only self defense by the
'unorganized militia' will be available when domestic or foreign terrorists
chose their next moment of murder. ..."
# # #
I'd booked a 7 a.m. flight to Phoenix on Oct. 6 so I could hear Aaron Zelman
speak at Marc Victor's Freedom Summit in Scottsdale -- my travel agent sent me a
written warning to show up at the airport two hours early for a one-hour flight,
so I could be diligently searched for toenail clippers.
But within hours of booking my fare, I was shamed by the following, stirring
message from Mr. Zelman, executive director of Jews for the Preservation of
Firearms Ownership (web site www.jpfo.org.)
"To reach the Summit in Arizona," my friend Aaron wrote, "I
would have to fly from my home in Wisconsin. This I can no longer do -- not
with the latest 'heightened (and useless) airport security measures' designed
to treat me like a criminal, a serf, or both.
"I will never set foot on a commercial airliner until the airlines,
the airport authorities, the FAA, and all other would-be regulators of air
travel respect my rights. ...
"Disarming me and you doesn't make the nation's skies safe. But --
tragically missing that point, also -- these police-statist cowards now want
to make sure that millions of people are deprived even of their razor blades,
Girl Scout knives -- even plastic knives from fast-food joints. ...
"Stop complying now. ... Don't give the government-regulated airlines
your business. They're already in financial trouble, and they've earned it.
Let them go bankrupt. Let them pay the price for conditioning us to act like
cattle and lulling us into submission. ..."
I haven't yet decided whether to join Aaron's boycott and drive the six hours
to to Phoenix (the Freedom Summit organizers have slated my own speech for
Sunday morning -- see www.freedomsummit.com/home.htm.)
I speak at some location or other around the country at least once a month, and
I couldn't reach a lot of those places without flying. Do I do more good by
setting forth and proselytizing for freedom in my own, halting way ... or more
harm by hanging my holster on the wall when I leave for the airport, going along
with this current regime of traveler disarmament?
But Aaron is right. Enough simpering about "the right of private
carriers to set the terms of their private contracts." There are dozens of
major airlines -- which one advertises that I'm welcome to carry my gun on
board, and light up a Salem while I'm at it? Isn't the free market supposed to
be about competition and diversity, rather than enforced uniformity?
FAA regulations (Title 14, Chapter I, Section 108.11) allow any government
agent to carry a gun on a plane, of course. As for us second-class
"civilians," the "certificate holder" (airline) can
authorize anyone it likes to carry firearms on its planes, providing said
passenger or crew member demonstrates they have passed a gun safety course which
is "acceptable to the Administrator."
But so far as I've been able to be determine, no one knows of any readily
available safety course which has been so approved "by the
Administrator." Thus, the FAA regulation in question is probably void for
setting a requirement no one can figure out how to meet, one successful local
trial attorney tells me.
The threat of bankruptcy is precisely the goad that might finally motivate
some of these mincing wimps to post signs declaring that armed passengers are
welcome -- please check in at the gate to top off your magazines with
complimentary frangible ammo.
Instead, we now propose to put this major section of the American economy on
a permanent government dole, allowing them to perpetuate the tyranny of victim
disarmament while their passengers die by the hundreds, taking with them
thousands of innocent victims on the ground.
Vin Suprynowicz is assistant editorial page editor of the Las Vegas
Review-Journal. Subscribe to his monthly newsletter by sending $72 to Privacy
Alert, 561 Keystone Ave., Suite 684, Reno, NV 89503 -- or dialing
775-348-8591. Vin Suprynowicz, firstname.lastname@example.org
This is a FREE distribution of Vin Suprynowicz' syndicated column 'The
Libertarian.' Permission to forward is granted, as long as you wait until the
embargo date listed at the top of each column, and keep ALL headers and footers
intact. To subscribe, just send an email to email@example.com
with subscribe in the subject line and your email address and subscribe in the
body of the text. We never rent or sell our subscription list to anyone - ever!
To unsubscribe, just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with
unsubscribe in the message line and I'll remove you. Please include your email
address and unsubscribe in the body of the text.
"They that would give up essential liberty for
a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
-- Benjamin Franklin 1759
For additional information on Guns &