“They are already allowed to carry guns in the cockpit, but many pilots say that’s not enough to keep aviation as safe as it should be,” philly.com reports. “They want police-like authority to holster a weapon all day long, whether they are at the controls, riding in back of a plane or eating lunch in a terminal. ‘That would put us in line with standard law enforcement,’ said Marcus Flagg, president of the Federal Flight Deck Officer Association, which represents thousands of armed pilots.” Hang on. They’re not law enforcement. They’re pilots . . .
And if you’re going to give pilots the right to keep and bear arms at 30k feet or inside a terminal, what about me? Are glorified bus drivers–I mean highly skilled pilots any better at gun handling and terrorist shooting than your average concealed carry license holder? Apparently so . . .
The Transportation Security Administration declines to say why it won’t allow pilots to carry guns outside of the cockpit, other than to safeguard the traveling public. However, weapons experts say the policy likely is intended to eliminate the possibility of a troublemaker wresting a gun from pilot or of an accidental discharge while outside the cockpit.
Flagg said the chances of a pilot being stripped of his gun were slim. “Yes, there is that possibility,” he said, “but you’re trained to protect against that.”
During six days of intense training in Artesia, N.M., pilots not only learn how to handle weapons but also close-combat techniques. Further, passengers don’t know whether a pilot is carrying a gun and that many ride in back out of uniform, he said.
Who knew that the town featured in David Bowie’s The Man Who Fell to Earth is training pilots how to disarm box cutter-wielding jihadists, and the best way to shoot bad guys without taking out the hydraulics? And what’s the bet some national security somethingorother prevents TTAG from attending said training? Watch this space.