If you believe Air Marshals are a good idea, then you should believe that armed citizens on airplanes are a better idea. For one thing, as cnn.com reveals, the U.S. Air Marshal system is in shambles. The headline pretty much says it all: Sleep-deprived, medicated, suicidal and armed: Federal air marshals in disarray. The exposé is based on information provided by the newly formed Air Marshal Association, so it’s skewed towards the negative. Nevertheless, it’s a frightening portrait of an anti-terrorist defense force that’s highly compromised . . .

In fact, the government has evidence that armed air marshals are so dangerously sleep-deprived that it could affect their ability to thwart a terrorist attack.

In 2012, the TSA was given results of a commissioned sleep study on air marshals. The results of the study — now classified as sensitive security information — were disturbing.

Seventy-five percent of air marshals flying domestic missions were sleep-deficient.

On international runs, the figure rose to more than 84%.

In a job where it is critical to be alert and accurate at a moment’s notice, the study finds “the acute and chronic lack of sleep substantially degrades a Federal Air Marshal’s ability to react and think quickly.”

The study, conducted by the Division of Sleep Medicine of Brigham and Women’s Hospital at Harvard Medical School, found half of federal air marshals take some medication or supplement to get to sleep. Others commented they turn to alcohol.

Sleeping pills, alcohol (in flight), a grueling schedule (without regular hours), professional paranoia, constant interaction with strangers (who can’t know your real identity), airline food, boredom, a small chance of career advancement and little to no job satisfaction (do Air Marshals deter terrorists?). Sounds like something the human rights folks should look into.

The answer is not better working conditions for the same work; although, yes, of course. The answer to deterring or stopping in-flight terrorism: armed [non-law enforcement] Americans on board.

Before you point out the danger of negligent discharges, the possibility of enabling armed terrorists and the prospect of deadly “shoot-outs” between bad guys and untrained yahoos, consider the simple fact that not even Uncle Sam (i.e., our Chinese bankers) can afford to put a U.S. Air Marshall on a significant portion of U.S.-originated airline flights.

According to this year’s Department of Transportation stats, some 674 million passengers boarded some 8.5m flights inside the United States. While the number of U.S. Air Marshals is classified (and deleted from Hillary Clinton’s server), CNN pegged it at around 3500 – and falling. Even if all the Marshals were flying all the time – which they aren’t – the odds that any one plane will have an Air Marshal on board are one in 2,428.

If we allow Americans to exercise their natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms on airplanes, the chances of having an armed defender on board any particular flight would increase exponentially. I’m not sure of the deterrent effect – we’re talking about terrorists  – but I bet at least one of the 9/11 attacks would have been countered if flyers’  gun rights hadn’t been abridged. [Note: the U.S. Air Marshals program was in place before that crime against humanity.]

As for the downsides listed above – which I would dismiss as unlikely and the price of freedom – the federal government could create a special license for concealed carry on airplanes. Although the requirement would reduce the number of armed passengers (which kind of misses the whole point of the exercise), the license could mandate screening, training and regular certification. I reckon the program would at least triple the number of armed passengers.

I don’t approve of ANY licensing requirements for any right, but there you go. If implemented, this…what…Civilian Air Defense Corps? would free the U.S. Air Marshal Service to deploy [sober, well-rested] agents to flights with a greater-than-average risk of terrorist attack. And increase the chances of a successful airborne defense against a terrorist attack inside a U.S. airliner. What’s not to like?

83 Responses to U.S. Air Marshal System a Complete Disaster

  1. Air Marshals only work because of the idea that there could be one on a plane. In reality, they are on few flights. You’re more likely to encounter an armed county sheriff’s deputy, on a flight, doing an extradition.

    The whole Air Marshal program is a mess. There have been more Air Marshals arrested than arrests made by Air Marshals.

    • Air Marshals only work because of the idea that there could be one on a plane.

      According to the article above, the odds that any one plane will have an Air Marshal on board are one in 2,428. In reality it is significantly lower since that number is based on all estimated 3,500 Air Marshals working 24/7/365. When you factor in the fact that people nominally work 1/3 of a day (8 hours), 5/7 of a week, 50/52 weeks of a year for vacation, and miss additional time on flights for training and administrative activities (perhaps another two weeks total which is a ratio of 50/52), the number of Air Marshals who actually working at any given time is probably about 1/5 of 3,500.

      Thus, the odds that any one plane will have an Air Marshal on board is about 1 in 12,140. If just one in 1,000 passengers had extra special licensing to carry concealed on board domestic flights and an average flight had 200 passengers, then the odds of having an armed passenger on any give flight becomes 1 in 5. I like those odds much better than 1 in 12,000.

      • “…extra special licensing to carry concealed on board domestic flights ”
        Really? Extra Special? The devil is in the details though. Do you see the “extra special” people going through the security (theatre) lines now? Yes, you do. The prescreens and “special” people in their “special” line. With “Extra Special” (short bus type) licensing there must be “Extra Special” screening, and now everyone knows who the “Extra Special” people are. Details, details….

        • It’s obvious you have an issue about people with disabilities, so it’s very likely you never once noticed that there are lines for people who have registered as frequent fliers and can move through the security checkpoints much more quickly than other people. Robert’s licensing idea seems more like deputizing people than anything else.

        • No need for extra special. Just hand each passenger a pistol as they board and collect it as they deplane. Likely to keep folks more polite.

        • @Dev- I like that idea so much. Let’s deputize EVERYONE, say over the age of 18, to be a member of the Citizens Police Militia. If the problem is there’s “not enough cops” and only “the only one’s” can be trusted, we need to make everyone a gun carrying deputy and therefore mobilize 150 + million deputies who are now also “the only one’s”

          I’ll leave the details for the folks here.

      • That 1 in 2,428 figure is the 8.5 million flights annually divided by approx 3,500 Marshalls and assumes each Marshall boards one flight per year. I fly more often than that and sleep just fine so this is likely a training issue.

      • No, this is not correct. There are 8.5 million annual flights. Which means on any given day there are 23,300 flights. If 1/2 of the air marshalls are working on any given day (1,750 people), then the chance of them being on a flight are about 1 in 13. The chances of having an air marshal on your flight is much better than the author of this article or your post suggest.

        • Thank You!

          I knew that number was absurd on its face. Now thanks to you and others in this part of the thread, I know where the mistake is.

        • Ah, good find FlamencoD. If there are about 700 active Air Marshals (1/5th of 3,500) on any given day and there are about 25,000 flights per day, that means there are Air Marshals on about 1 out of every 35 flights. I like having an armed good guy (non Air Marshal) on 1 out of 3 flights even better.

  2. I abhor licensing schemes and believe that most, if not all, are unconstitutional. Furthermore, there was no security screening and anyone could board any airplane with a concealed handgun up through, what, the early 1970s? No one shot anyone aboard an aircraft up to that point.

    Of course the masses would have a coronary if they learned that anyone could carry a handgun onto an airplane. Given that reality, I would entertain the idea of a modest additional training/aptitude/proficiency requirement to carry concealed on board domestic flights.

    • Note: I would wholeheartedly support a requirement that armed passengers on domestic flights MUST carry their handgun concealed and in a properly fitting holster that completely covers the entire trigger guard, that they must carry on their body, and that they cannot handle/fondle their handgun unless engaged in mortal combat.

      Furthermore, I would wholeheartedly support stiff penalties for any armed passengers who negligently and/or unintentionally discharge their handgun on a flight because they were handling/fondling their handgun under any circumstances other than mortal combat.

      • “…MUST carry their handgun concealed and in a properly fitting holster that completely covers the entire trigger guard, that they must carry on their body, and that they cannot handle/fondle their handgun”
        Have you ever been on an airplane? Most of us carry about the waist. I’m unclear how exactly that would work with airline seats. About the only way I can think of to holster on an airplane and still maintain ready access would be a shoulder holster. And still, I would think that as flight time increases, even then it would be near impossible to keep it completely secret and never “adjust” (handle/fondle?).

        • Gman,

          You bring up a good point that airline seats are smaller than they were 20 years ago. Those of us who are on the fit side could still have a handgun on their waste anywhere between the 3 O’clock and 9 O’clock positions without too much trouble. Seat size would not affect ankle holsters of course.

          As for handling/fondling, in my mind handling/fondling means handling/fondling your handgun out of its holster. Adjusting the specific position of your holster (that completely covers the trigger guard) should not ever cause an unintentional discharge as far as I can tell and does not constitution handling/fondling in my book.

        • Seat size would not affect ankle holsters of course.

          No, but I, for one am tall enough that anything down by my feet in an airliner seat might as well be on the moon.

  3. Of course we should be able to carry guns on airplanes. Everybody knows that. Well, except for your aviation “expert” Nick Leghorn I guess. We’d all be much safer flying if the entire TSA circus went away and if we were allowed to carry on-board instead. Ain’t gonna happen though. Makes too much sense.

  4. Airplane is one place i don’t want my fellow passengers to be armed. Aside from risks of firing a gun in plane, how do you separate the wolves from the sheep? – Give the pilots a handgun.

    • I’m assuming the whole decompression issue isn’t 100% a Hollywood invention (although I’m guessing it’s exaggerated a bit in the movies). A negligent discharge on a bus isn’t going to be a big deal unless it hits a person. On a plane, not so much.

        • “…in general, it’s not a good idea to be shooting guns on airplanes! But if you have to do it, try not to hit anything important.”

          Sounds like I had it pegged with Hollywood only ‘exaggerating’ the effects. At the very least an ND would result in an emergency landing and the passenger responsible would be kicked off the flight, arrested and sued. Plenty of critical bits and pieces that could create a much bigger problem though.

        • One other consideration for an ND on an airplane is, if it hits a person, you might be quite a ways from medical care, especially on a transoceanic flight.

        • International flights would pose a whole new set of problems. Even if the firearm you’re carrying is legal to own in the country you’re flying to, what are the odds they’ll let a foreigner walk off a plane with it loaded and tucked in their waistband? You could even run afoul of the law just for having it on the plane in their airspace.

    • Yep. Let’s remember how long it took for someone to let a round go while ‘guarding’ a recruitment station.

    • “…Aside from risks of firing a gun in plane”

      What risks? Specifically.

      “.. how do you separate the wolves from the sheep?”

      How do you do that anywhere else?

      “…Give the pilots a handgun.”

      More of them than you realize have one in the cockpit already. And they have a fire ax. And a lever bar which is a four-to five foot long piece of metal, basically a big-ass crowbar. And they have the controls and can make the ride very bumpy for anyone in the cabin who ins’t strapped down.

      The whole idea that planes are something special, something delicate, something that couldn’t possibly survive a gun shot needs to be given up on. Yes they are a giant gas can with wings, but the crap you see in the movies is all made up. Bullet holes don’t cause explosive decompression and people don’t get sucked out of windows.

      • “If the bullet simply punctures the skin of an airplane, then it’s no big deal. The cabin of the airplane is pressurized, and the hole creates a small leak, but the pressurization system will compensate for it. A single hole, or even a few holes like this, will have no effect.
        If the bullet blows out a window, that’s a problem. A big one. When the window blows, the plane will depressurize over the course of several seconds. Since all of the air in the cockpit is rushing toward the missing window, a lot of debris will be heading in that direction with it. If the person sitting next to the window isn’t strapped in, then it’s possible that he or she will get pushed out “

      • No, it wouldn’t cause explosive decompression. But a bullet hole in the skin could cause rapid crack propagation from the point of impact both due to internal stressing, and extra loading from drag depending on how messy the hole is. Back in the old days of hand calculating loading it wouldn’t have been quite as big of a deal due to the ridiculously high safety factors built in, but now with high fidelity FEA assisting in the design process, there is much lower room for error in the structure of these aircraft. They aren’t military designs that are able to get shot multiple times and make it home, they’re a lot more fragile than people think.

    • And many others undoubtedly feel like you. Enough so, that some greedy entrepreneur would fly planes where guns were banned.

      As always, laws and politics and “voting” and democracy has no place whatsoever in determining what should and what shouldn’t be permitted. “The political process” is nothing, aside from an obfuscated way of saying “glorification of the more equals.” People are perfectly capable of self sorting along lines of who like guns and who don’t. If Bloomberg didn’t like them, he could simply abstain from buying them. Simple as that. And leave others to do as they wish. It’s what’s called freedom. Noting else properly is.

  5. My first thought is if implemented, I would need to carry to protect myself against all the others carrying (whakos abound). But then, that’s why I carry everywhere else, so its all good.

  6. I spoke to a couple officers who joined up with Air Marshall service after 9-11 b/c of the better pay and it looked like a soft gig compared to uniform patrol. They and others who tried it were all back on the local PD by the end of the year. They cited the impossibility of constant vigilance, inability to talk to seat ages or even read, along with sleep deprivation and catching every bug going from constantly being in the enclosed space as reasons for quitting.
    Our state permits should be all the background check we need to board a plane armed.

  7. The issue of guns-on-planes is almost entirely political and there is almost no reasonable arguments against the proposition.

    For the sake of discussion, let’s assume that the objective is to boost the number of armed people on planes (and exclude the constitutional right to bear-arms on airplanes.) What might be the least controversial measures to begin to approach this assumed objective?

    First, we should be aware that municipal police may fly armed if they have orders to do so. Such orders are apt to be issued if a LEO is flying to escort a prisoner or is otherwise engaged in some mission exposing him to a special danger. These occasions (municipal LEO under orders) don’t occur often; nevertheless, obviously, the law already qualifies this particular class of individuals (municipal LEOs) to fly armed. The only limitation is that they may do so solely on orders to do so.

    Since this class (municipal LEOs) of individuals is already summarily deemed qualified it is a small step to change the law to extend permission to fly armed beyond when under-orders; i.e., to fly armed at pleasure.

    Second, retired (and disabled) LEOs are exempt from State concealed-carry prohibitions under LEOSA. This class (retired municipal LEOs) is essentially the same class as that discussed first – active duty municipal LEOs. If we trust active-duty municipal LEOs to fly armed why worry about retired municipal LEOs?

    Third, commissioned and non-commissioned military officers are – presumably – trained to arms and pretty thoroughly vetted. If-and-when we ever get over our political resistance to arming service members on military bases we might begin to consider arming them in the public square. If they were exempted (as are municipal LEOs) from State concealed carry laws in the streets it would be a small step to allow them to fly armed as well.

    The probability of there being at least one armed officer (civilian or military, active-duty or retired) on each flight would approach 100% by implementing each of the foregoing measures. The first step is probably the smallest and easiest. The second step is larger and probably much harder; still, if LEOSA makes any sense on the ground then this second step makes sense in the air. The third step is probably the very largest; and, yet, it too might be feasible after the second step were implemented.

    • What does every flight have on it already? Aircrew. Dump the TSA completely and the Air Marshalls, and require the industry to train all of their flight crews in hand to hand combat, anti-terrorism, psychology, and firearms. Why are us taxpayers paying for this industry’s failure to properly provide security for their patrons?

      • Have you seen the flight crews these days? They are about the last group of people that I would want to depend on for my personal security.

        My apologies in advance to anyone who works as a flight crew member … the overwhelming majority of you seem to do a pretty darned good job of taking care of the flight. I draw the line at expecting you to take on the role of security. And, frankly, I suspect the overwhelming majority of you really, REALLY, do not want that responsibility.

        • Yes, now we expect really pretty girls or neat looking feminine guys. But if the skills requirement changes from pouring drinks to providing security, I would imagine a whole new work opportunity for retired operators. I should think that jihadi Joe would think twice about hijadiing an airplane staffed by Dom Rasso’s. And just imagine how well they would handle all about myself drunk jerks.

      • There are a couple of real practical problems with arming the flight crews.

        I exclude the pilots. In the cockpit we are usually dealing with veterans who shouldn’t have much objection to being armed (although some will) and the proposition has already deteriorated to the worst-possible-situation.

        The remainder of the flight crew are cabin attendants. These are NOT typically veterans and NOT typically gun-guys. I think it will be nearly impossible to compel these employees to fly armed.

        Suppose we succeeded and most or all cabin attendants were armed. Hijackers would simply arrange themselves such that they could overpower and stab-to-death all the cabin attendants.

        (Again, excluding the pilots) any objective of having an armed response in the cabin of an airplane needs to provide a concealed armed responder.

  8. There was a time when carrying a firearm aboard a plane was legal, and crew members often carried handguns or had them handy. As with most good intentions, this procedure was banned when air piracy and unscheduled flights to Cuba became commonplace. Remember the rear loading ramps of the old 727s? Those were sealed when enterprising hijackers used them as a bailout door. Of course, this made boarding and offloading slower and more challenging (how many man-hours and dollars have been lost as a result?).

  9. What is it exactly we are trying to prevent? The 9/11 hijackers didn’t get on the planes with bombs and guns. They got on with box cutters. It seems to me that security was working just fine on 9/11/01. Look, a team of buck naked Navy Seals could take a plane if they so desired. So since this is all security theatre anyway, why not completely eliminate all security checks and allow everyone to carry anything they want?

    • Eliminating the security checks would allow terrorists to carry guns and bombs, who would be a lot harder to stop with a gun than trying to stop them with box cutters armed with only some hand-to-hand skills.

  10. “but I bet at least one of the 9/11 attacks would have been countered if flyers’ gun rights hadn’t been abridged…

    Uh, one of the 9/11 attacks WAS countered.

    It didn’t take anyone with a gun to do it. It just took the realization that the hijackers (barely armed themselves) were on a suicide mission and they were overpowered by superior numbers. The LAST thing needed is to give them the opportunity to use a firearm as an equalizer or to shoot through to the pilots (the door is ballistic, that doesn’t mean everything else around it is too).

    Guns on planes is a losing issue.

  11. I guess most don’t know what a .45 Cal FMJ bullet can do to a aluminum aircraft skin at high altitude…. most of the people that carry guns rarely practice and are more likely to shoot themselves.

    • “..I guess most don’t know what a .45 Cal FMJ bullet can do to a aluminum aircraft skin at high altitude”

      Make a hole?

      And not a very big hole really.

      Even with several shots making several holes, it’s not going to do the movie thing and blow out half the fuselage taking rows 13 through 19 with it.

      Like you said, the aircraft is aluminum. Pretty soft metal when you measure it at ballistic forces. Here is an actual bullet hole in the skin of a military aircraft:

      http://cdn4.explainthatstuff.com/bullethole.jpg

    • “most of the people that carry guns rarely practice and are more likely to shoot themselves.”

      Citation Needed. Idiotic fantasies of anti-gunners doesn’t count as actual data.

  12. I think the real issue in this scenario, and really any argument about concealed carry, is that the sheeple out there all are fine with trusting someone else with their personal security. Like their safety and well being is someone else’s problem, not theirs. I for one don’t trust anyone else with that above myself, in the air or otherwise. Let me carry on planes.

  13. I opened my calendar to see if I am confused and it is indeed April 1. But no, we are well into the month of August. Maybe this was written to provoke discussion. I grew up with guns, did my stint in the army, hunted all my life, love the 2nd amaendment. However, a large group of armed people on an aircraft is a disaster in progress. Even our elite trained forces do not fly locked and loaded. That would be the kind of thing anti-gunners would love. Like letting drug dealers buy guns to commit crimes so they can then go take away more guns.

      • “What would be the specific problems?”

        Alcohol being served on-board to a group of already stressed people sealed into a claustrophobic environment.

        • And?

          There is something about an aircraft that makes people less able to keep their wits about them?

        • “There is something about an aircraft that makes people less able to keep their wits about them?”

          Done any flying in cattle-class on a discount carrier recently, Chipper?

          Try it sometime…

          Ugh.

    • Airlines are private businesses. As such, absent current government bans, I would not mind if those airlines willing to allow guns on-board required proof of training as a condition of boarding with a weapon. Something like ‘you must have X number of hours’ from a certified training facility to board with a gun on your hip. I think that’d be reasonable. Of course in a free market, some airlines might opt for stricter requirements (more training), while some might opt for none. Let them compete and decide.

  14. the federal government could create a special license for concealed carry on airplanes

    It could, but it never will. Because allowing passengers to defend themselves — even sooper-dooper highly trained, thoroughly vetted and deputized civilian passengers — defeats the whole narrative. Guns are bad, the Only Ones are superior human beings, and the Almighty State will protect everyone.

  15. They’re sleep deprived – poor widdle babies.

    Back when I was entrusted with an armored vehicle, 8-10 troops and lots of guns and plastic explosives, I was usually massively sleep deprived.

  16. I’ve carried concealed on many as small light aircraft, with no issues whatsoever along with hunting in Alaska where everyone’s armed and carrying rifles ammunition camping gear on small super Cubs and never had an issue with an accidental discharge or anyone being hurt because of fire alarm was on board or being carried concealed or openly by any of the passengers or crew. It just doesn’t happen. you’re totally missing out on the point that you have to trust your fellow law abiding American citizen. and our government has a real problem trusting us lately. they think we’re all a bunch of mental midgets when in fact they should look a long hard stare in the mirror. Armed with the right ammunition usually like a safety slug of some Twilight that is a gel cap filled with tiny babies led alerts so that if you penetrate your target or you miss him or her and hit the skin of the aircraft you don’t cause an explosive decompression there are things made so that this will not happen. all you have to do is a little research.

    • Where can you get this ammunition that’s a “safety slug of some Twilight that is a gel cap filled with tiny babies led alerts”? I’d love to see ShootingTheBull410 do a test to see how well those tiny babies perform in ballistic gelatin.

  17. RF I believe your stats are wrong. There are 8.5 million annual flights. Which means on any given day there are 23,300 flights. If 1/2 of the air marshals are working on any given day (1,750 people), then the chance of them being on a flight are about 1 in 13.

  18. I think flying nude would be accepted first by the airlines and the general public before carry by non-law enforcement. While I agree with most of this article, we might as well be talking about carry on Mars by the general public.

  19. if Mars is claimed by the United States of America then our constitutional rights would imply there as well so yes I would be carrying a concealed firearm on Mars and follow all the Martian law. lol

  20. As to the probability of a Sky Marshall being on your flight, it massively increases if you are flying to or from NYC or DC. And drops like a stone if you are flying anywhere else.

    It shouldn’t be too hard to ID a Sky Marshall on a flight. He (most are male) will be the guy seated on the aisle, dressed like plainsclothes detective who isn’t reading, talking to his seatmate or taking a nap.

    For the love of all that is holy, let CCW licsensees carry on commercial planes. As a group, we obey laws, are better shots and don’t have as many negligent discharges as LEOs, statistically speaking.

  21. You do not have the right to carry arms on airplanes, sorry. Planes are private property and gun rights don’t trump property rights. You would have to convince the airlines themselves that armed passengers are a good idea and that will never happen because liability.

    • I always have a right to be armed. Always. I have the right to respect property owners by not setting foot on their property if they insist on violating my rights while present upon said property. I preserve their rights and mine by not going there.

      If you want my money you have to respect me and my rights. If you think that your whims and agendas are more important and use property rights as the proxy to abuse me, I don’t associate with you. Period.

      I like driving my car. It’s awesome. Screw the airlines. Jihad bait. They’re begging for it…

  22. “Americans Should Be Able to Carry A Gun on An Airplane”

    Able? Really? I’m perfectly able to do so. I’m far more able than the “air marshals” or whatever they’re called. I’m way effing able. I’m beyond able.

    I’m just not allowed. My owners say they can’t have me proving to other sheep that they’re able, too… They don’t want it seen. That’s why they oppose Open Carry even when no plane is involved… Can’t be seen proving their lies to be lies… Can’t allow those actions to speak louder than their dirty false words…

  23. A lot of people are mighty confident in their shooting ability here. We’re all shooters. I get it. But the likelihood somebody here has the skill required slim to none. Not that I think Air Marshals have that skill, I’ve seen them shoot.

    You are in a tube full of no shoots, your bullet is likely to over-penetrate, and throw in a floor that is moving under your feet. You are incredibly likely to cause collateral damage nobody is going to be ready for. “But the terrorists could have guns!” You know that just isn’t likely. The chances of somebody even attempting to take over the plane or cause damage are close to zero. The chances of somebody who does try having more than a box cutter is again, close to zero on that.

  24. Re.:”the odds that any one plane will have an Air Marshal on board are one in 2,428″

    Really? Come-on surely your maths can be better than that?

    8.5 million flights within the US in a year. 3500 Marshalls. That’s 23,290 flights a day. If each Marshall flew 1 flight a day that’s 1 in 6.5 … call it 7. If they flew 2 flights call it ..4. sure they don’t work every day, so the odds of a flight having a Marshall become 1 in 9 or 5.

    Re allowing LAC’s to fly – yes !!!

  25. What you are suggesting makes sense, which is why they won’t do it. It would be too successful and lead to abandoning air marshall’s on domestic flights, which would reduce head count and cause a political appointee to lose power.

  26. Meh. Hijacking is such a rare event, it’s not really worth getting too worked up over. We’re still obsessing over 9/11, and the people who perpetrated it have moved on to other tactics. They’re far more likely to try a bomb or shooting a plane down than another 9/11 style hijacking. Armed or not, a plane full of Americans isn’t going to let a hijacker fly them into a building again. Not only that, but even if the government lifted its ban on carrying guns on planes, the airlines, as private businesses, would almost certainly institute their own bans immediately.

    Sure, people used to carry guns on planes without incident fifty years ago. But the “guns on planes” horse has not only left the barn, he got hit by a gravel truck and smeared across a quarter mile of highway. How about we spend our energy trying to regain our rights to carry in the thousands of terrestrial locations we’re banned first, and then we’ll worry about airplanes once that’s done? I’ll bet you’re far more likely to get mugged in a post office or courthouse parking lot than be on a plane that’s being hijacked.

  27. The only restriction of which I would really be in favor would be a policy mandating the use of light-for-caliber, expanding or frangible ammunition to minimize the risk of overpenetration, given the tight quarters and prevalence of things that would best be left unperforated.

  28. Because none of us is gullible enough to believe that’s ever gonna happen, I’ve got a compromise. Under every seat put a .44magnum revolver loaded with bullets turned from nylon barstock(yes, plastic bullets). At five feet they will do serious damage to a person but won’t punch through the side of the plane.

  29. let try allowing all active duty military, current Law Enforcement Officers, and retirees from both, to carry. especially retirees, they have 20+ years of experience behind the, or more (like me @ 30 years, both Military and Fed)

  30. Hell, just allow off-duty law enforcement to carry on flights. That would go a long way toward fixing the problem right there. As it stands now not even police can carry on board airplanes, and they are explicitly trained to use force against aggressors.

  31. Does NOBODY remember that before the “gun control act” of 1968, that ALL pilots considered a side-arm to be part of the UNIFORM? That those passengers, who chose to be, were also ARMED? Had it not been for Tom Todd, LBJ, and GCA 68, that 9-11 attack would NOT have taken place!

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