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“No one wants to get on their holiday flight and be sitting next to a person packing heat.” – TSA spokesperson Sari Koshetz, quoted in TSA sees increase in guns over holidays [via]

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    • Air Marshalls? Ha! Check this from CNN 2010:

      Rep. John Duncan, R-Tennessee, is one of FAMS’ harshest critics.
      “It’s just a total waste of money,” he told CNN in a recent interview.
      “I know that any time you create a federal bureaucracy, it just grows and grows, and the appropriation just goes up and up, but … look at the record. They haven’t done anything.”
      “I had the statistic from last year,” the Republican said. “They made four arrests for an appropriation of $800 million. It came out to more than $200 million per arrest. It’s just ridiculous.”

      I’ve contacted the Rep for an update.

      • So long as they are still getting First Class seating, I stand by my word: I would gladly taken the seat next to an Air Marshal, governmental waste be damned!

        Sorry, I went hyperbolic, again.

      • Robert:

        You sound like someone who said after the wall came down “we wasted all that money on the military and the USSR collapsed without us using it. What a waste of money.” You cannot measure deterrence because you can see the output of something that never happened.

        The entire more guns/less crime argument rests on the same principle. You cannot separate deterrence from other socio-economic factors that may move crime rates up or down.

  1. Well I would rather sit next to someone legally carrying a firearm on the plane than to be on it with absolutely no means of protection.
    Jeez and they wonder why so many airlines are losing money!! DUH!!!!!

  2. I have no problem sitting next to someone “packing heat” — my problem given all the articles we have seen here is the eventual ND. Anyone who has flown a lot for business or otherwise have seen their share of idiots as it is, if there is a ND mid air and someone even a child is shot all hell would break loose for bans on guns. While a gun is safe if holstered, there is going to be that one idiot on a 6hr flight who gets bored and decides to play with his gun and lets the bang trigger loose.

  3. My family and I travel a lot as missionaries. The most comfortable I’ve ever felt on any flight is when we had an Air Marshal sitting in the row behind us. He obviously didn’t declare it, but I clearly heard his conversations with a flight attendant.

    The gov’t. wastes money on things us peasants can’t even imagine. Consider for a moment that those 4 recorded arrests potentially saved hundreds of lives protecting the passengers from these psychos.

    I’m also a big fan of speaking softly and carrying a boom-stick. We have no way of recording how many potential terrorist attacks or lunatics-gone-wild never even attempted their dastardly plots for fear unexpected body piercing.

    • How do you KNOW he was an Air Marshal? And as for that feeling of safety and security, I wish you’d been with me when I was watching an Air Marshal practice at my local range. Or not.

      • In the docu “Please Remove Your Shoes” an air marshal demonstrates how marksmanship standards revised *downward* after Sept 11th, not increased.

  4. Consider how pissed off people get when the TSA grabs their junk, takes their baby milk, feels up their teenage daughter, and demeans them overall.
    No one wants to sit next to someone who’s been through hell at the hands of the TSA.

  5. If they’re carrying concealed how would I know they’re packing? And how would they know I was? Imagine the sad life of the person making these statements about spending thier time next to an armed person. They’re afraid of everyone they meet. The people around them may be armed. Talk about paranoid.

  6. Devil’s Advocate time: Physics. Imagine a well intentioned discharge of a weapon in a pressurized cabin at cruising altitude. Let’s be honest here, airliners are not armored, and the sudden loss of cabin pressure would create a whole new dynamic for all on board. Overpenetration is a real risk here. Israeli’s went with a .22 in the early 1970’s, and El Al seems to have run just fine with armed men aboard, but how many of us carry something as diminutive as a .22 on a daily basis? I am not saying there should be a caliber restriction, just check your weapon prior to boarding. But, I guess the TSA and HSD and every other government agency listed with 3 letters and a budget wants to get in on the action, so we are stuck with a maligned system that automatically assumes we are up to no good when we are forced to fly cattle class.
    The other side of this is comfort. I am just ducky fine with carrying in the comforts of my vehicles and other such places that allow some comfort, but squeezing my full sized frame into one of those Boeing Torture Devices they call seats is another story altogether.

    • Mythbusters tested the whole Plane decompression if a bullet were to be fired through, say, a window. There will be decompression, but the plane will not fall apart (in fact, they concluded that there would be no destabilization of the aircraft). Everyone might have to put on their oxygen masks, but they would be fine.

      • I am going to politely disagree with you here. Sure, Mythbuster’s debunked the “plane falling apart” part of the scenario, but how about punching holes in important pieces of the aircraft that keep the whole thing aloft? Murphy’s Law has no sense of humor, and when you have that many moving parts that have to work and play with all the others, there is a higher than average possibility for bad things to happen. Forget for a moment that you are in a crowded (read that packed from floor to ceiling) area, traveling at several hundred knots and a couple of miles above terra firma or or a massive body of water.

        • Sorry. Gotta’ throw the BS flag on this one. Recently retired as a commercial airline pilot and member of the Federal Flight Deck Officer Program. Inadvertant hull breach, even discharge into the instrument panel is HIGHLY unlikely to cause catastrophic loss of the aircraft: too many redundant and backup systems in modern airliners. Also had to consider the possible loss of innocent life in case of a miss or bullet pass-through. Generally, we came to the conclusion that none of us were willing to allow another 9/11 scenario on our aircraft… period. Motivated us to train to a very high standard.
          As for the person in the next seat being uncomfortable with me carrying, my first officers all seemed to be good with it. And, the flight attendants were particularly pleased.

        • As an Aerospace Engineer, the whole idea of a commercial airplane wildly going out of control if someone shoots a single bullet in it is highly unlikely. The surface area of a plane is directly linked to its lift/controlability; the surface area (or lack thereof) of the hole from one bullet would be miniscule compared to the entire lifting surface of let’s say a Boeing 737: 1098 sq ft, and any instability (most likely insignificant) would be easily corrected with flight controls. It could happen if it hit a pneumatic control line (if the airplane did not have a manual backup and/or the pilot could not compensate with the use of the other flight controls) or a structural support, (But the FAA requires them to be built with a safety factor of 3.5 times the maximum load so with the loss of one support, so airplane should still be able to fly carefully) but that would unlikely. For an engine hit, as part of testing, the housing (the part most likely to take a hit from the inside) has to be able to contain what is known as a blade liberation event, where a compressor/fan ban is released via explosive bolt at full speed, (the energy equivalent of a VW beatle at 60 mph, or what has been quoted to me) so if it can hold that, a 9mm/40/45 shouldn’t go through, and if it does, the majority of airliners have more than one engine, and while probably being a pain in the ass to fly, could still be landed. Besides, there have been many bullet holes (with much larger calibers) in aircraft during combat (and not all the airplanes/helos were designed for combat) that then landed. Not that airplanes are bulletproof, obviously, but it would take alot more than a ND to bring one down. This is all a product of Hollywood’s imagination, and the only severe decompression that I know of the the Aloha Airlines incident where the entire top of the airplane was ripped off and a stewardess was sucked out (Never found) but that was due to metal fatigue not detected because the airline outsourced their maintenance.

    • Hell if we could legally carry on a plane I for one wouldn’t have a problem putting my .45 in check baggage and just carrying a good hi cap .22wmr and 2 or 3 xtra mags for it.
      In those close confines a .22mag would probably work wonderfully. Of course we will probably never see being able to carry on a plane in our lifetime so is really a moot point I guess.

  7. Thank you Aaron and Jim for the great information!

    All of that is of course assuming that after puncturing through the cabin, the bullet even has enough momentum to peirce a vital portion of the aircraft. Assuming also that it exits the aircraft (while at cruising speed and altitude) and is not just swept away. Ever throw something out your car window going 65mph?

  8. Gee RF I am surprised you haven’t mentioned El Al???
    Basically I look at it this way.
    First off kill off the TSA. They are a governmental waist of time and money.
    Next local security, i.e. where TSA stands now goes to the local airports. There of course will be minimum standards, but they can hire, fire, and train their own personal.
    Next the federal government will only have air marshals. This limits the scope and cost for what the federal government does. Airlines can or should also have their own trained armed security on flights. Like a private armed security guard only with a hell of a lot more training. those guards will be made aware of any marshals flying so we don’t have a friendly fire incident.
    Next up.. Tell the ACLU to shove it.. While traveling through Israel even on British or Lufthansa we all get the El Al style treatment. As an Israeli Jew at the time we get cursory treatment. Assuming we don’t look like we are ling we move along quite quickly. If you are from outside the country and spent anytime in the territories you will get grilled. If you are Muslim or someone from a Muslim nation, better get the lube ready, because you will have a thorough inspection.
    Is this “GASP” profiling? You bet your ass it is and it works! I used to know the guy who ran the division at Ben Gurion. They are pretty hard core about not letting anything slip past them, period..

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