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"Go Greyhound -- and leave the dying to us."

from Angel Shamaya

October 4, 2001 -- When a Greyhound bus was overturned after the driver's throat was slit by a box-cutter-wielding Croatian lunatic yesterday, people began to ask me about Greyhound's self-defense policies -- and what kind of a response we were going to formulate as an organization. I took it upon myself to do some homework, personally, to see what these folks are made of.


1)  Greyhound's policy-makers do not respect the natural right of self-defense or the constitutional right to keep and bear arms. They are also wishful-thinking people who ignorantly believe -- even against clear, deadly evidence -- that a verbal or written prohibition is going to assure compliance by the criminal minded.

2)  Greyhound's President is a liar who insults the intelligence of anyone who will listen without thinking.

Below you will find quotes from their officials and representatives, links to various pages within their website and contact information, for use if you'd like to give them a few thoughts about their policies.


On October 3, 2001, a 28-year-old Croatian citizen named Damir Igric was traveling on a Greyhound bus bound from Chicago to Orlando, Florida. On a highway in Manchester, Tennessee, he used a box-cutter or some other type of knife to slit the throat of the driver and then steered the bus into oncoming traffic. The bus overturned on the other side of the highway, and the perpetrator died, along with five other people who left the driving to Greyhound.

Later that same day, Greyhound President Craig Lentzsch issued a statement in which he said all of the following:

  • Our operations are safe.
  • We have concluded that it's safe to resume service for our customers.
  • The system is safe.
  • At Greyhound, our passengers and our employees safety is our first priority.
  • Greyhound and inner city buses provide the safest mode of transportation.


I spoke with the national customer service center of Greyhound, and I spoke with their local representatives, as well. What I found out is that they don't allow any lawful, decent American citizen to carry a firearm for self-defense against lunatics like the one who murdered five people yesterday. "No firearms are allowed in the coach at all," said the local representative. And neither she nor the national representative could tell me whether or not a current police officer can carry a firearm on their buses, either.

Greyhound's published "checked baggage" policy also strictly prohibits transporting a firearm in the luggage they'd like you to place in their cargo hold underneath their buses. Not only do they want you to travel defenseless on their buses, they want you to agree to be defenseless once you get off at your destination.

Greyhound will allow you to bring food on board the bus. They'll allow you to bring a radio, a laptop or an electronic game on board a bus. They even attract senior citizens onto their defenseless buses with special discounts. You can eat, listen to music and even get a reduced rate. Take care of some of your basic needs, but not the most basic of all: self-preservation.


Greyhound President Lentzsch gave us plenty of information about the company's new "security" procedures in his press release, issued by the company just hours after the attack in Tennessee.  Greyhound "has taken steps to tighten security even more and we will be continuing to do so in the wake of this incident," he said. Following are excerpts from that statement. (Full text is below.)

  • Yesterday, we began an experimental program wanding passengers and their carryon luggage with electronic sensing devices in San Francisco and Dallas and that program began today in Orlando, Florida.
  • Prior to reboarding passengers today, we're hand searching carryon luggage.

That's all they've implemented so far. Read the whole statement for yourself. 

The company's President also said, "We are doing all we can." That means they can't do any more. Liberty Advocates might beg to differ. Remove the prohibition on carrying firearms to give people a fighting chance against deranged lunatics bent on slitting throats.

As I told the editor of the Arizona Daily Sun yesterday -- in a letter where I urged them to think more deeply about arming pilots -- even our nation's prison systems haven't been able to keep lethal weapons out. Hey, Greyhound: Unless you plan to implement tighter security than our prisons employ -- including body cavity searches -- anything short of allowing travelers to defend themselves is sheer and irresponsible folly.


By Telephone

1 (800) 229-9424 (Calls are answered 24 hours.)
To Report Unsafe Driving: (800) SAFE-BUS

By E-Mail

Baggage-related Issues: 
Human Resources: 
Charter Sales & Service: 
Commercial Services: 
Fares & Schedules: 
Advertising on buses:
Driver Opportunities: 
Refund Services: 
Customers with Disabilities: 

October 3, 2001, approx. 1:15 PM
Broadcast Excerpt from CNN

Greyhound Press Conference

CRAIG LENTZSCH [PRESIDENT, GREYHOUND]: …saddened by this event. Our condolences go to the families and friends of the passengers that were hurt and injured and all of the people involved in the incident and the driver as well.

We are doing all we can to provide assistance to the passengers and their families. Greyhound staff is on the ground at the site and at hospitals and have been there since early this morning. The bus originated in Chicago on its way to Orlando, Florida. The schedule had 38 passengers and a driver on board at the time of the incident. Immediately after the incident, I made the decision to act with an abundance of caution and on the side of safety and security and suspend service until we could identify more details and get more information on the nature of the incident.

The Department of Transportation has been very supportive of us today. This morning, I met with senior U.S. DOT officials, including Secretary Mineta and Deputy Secretary Michael Jackson, as well as the chief of intelligence and security for DOT and the acting administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. I've also consulted with law enforcement officials in Tennessee and with the FBI. The officials have assured me that they believe this tragic accident was the result of an isolated act by a single deranged individual.

Given that information, I then consulted with the union leadership of our company and we have concluded that it's safe to resume service for our customers and necessary to resume service for our country. As of 1 PM Eastern time, Greyhound operations across the United States have resumed service. The system is safe, but we understand that in the aftermath of this incident, that our employees and passengers may not wish to return to the buses today.

Nevertheless, to address this system -- the situation, in order to offer maximum choice and convenience for our customers, today we will be offering a full refund to any passenger who does not wish to travel to their destination. And we have partnered with Amtrak to offer an alternative. Today only, Greyhound ticket holders may exchange their ticket for an Amtrak ticket to be used for service on any Northeast Corridor unreserved train and other trains in the Amtrak system on a space available basis.

Now, let me return to safety and security. At Greyhound, our passengers and our employees safety is our first priority. That is why I made the decision early this morning to temporarily suspend our operations. Greyhound and inner city buses provide the safest mode of transportation. We have long had security measures in place like security guards and cameras in our terminals to make our environment safe for our employees and our customers, but the world has changed in recent weeks. Our concept of what is acceptable security for ground transportation in a crisis situation has changed. Greyhound, therefore, has taken steps to tighten security even more and we will be continuing to do so in the wake of this incident.

Yesterday, we began an experimental program wanding passengers and their carryon luggage with electronic sensing devices in San Francisco and Dallas and that program began today in Orlando, Florida. Prior to reboarding passengers today, we're hand searching carryon luggage.

Coincidentally, I am in Washington, DC, today, to meet with Department of Transportation and Congress officials to explore a number of joint actions we can take to enhance bus safety and we have agreed that we will -- that the company and the company's union will coordinate on the development of and implementation of enhanced bus security program with the Department of Transportation.

Let me repeat. Our operations are safe and are now up and running and our thoughts and our prayers are with the families and friends of the passengers who were injured or died in this unfortunate incident.


Printer Version

The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered, as the palladium of the liberties of a republic; since it offers a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers; and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them. — Joseph Story, Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States; With a Preliminary Review of the Constitutional History of the Colonies and States before the Adoption of the Constitution [Boston, 1833].

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