Recently a pilot gave a pep talk to his passengers, just before takeoff. He said: Be ready to fight back. We are on our own now. If somebody jumps up out of his seat and waves around something that looks like a weapon and says, “Hi, I’m a terrorist hijacker” don’t submit. Start throwing things at him and at any fellow hijackers. Pillows, blankets, laptops, whatever. Fight back, while we land the plane and call in the cavalry. But don’t do what the terrorists tell you to do. There will be many more of you than there will be of them. FIGHT BACK.
When the pilot finished his pep talk, the passengers broke into applause. You can bet nobody was napping the way we usually do when the oxygen masks are being explained. Now, I ask you: shouldn’t this pilot, in addition to his courage, also be allowed to carry a weapon? A gun that he can point at a terrorist hijacker, if he ever has to face one? Reinforce the cockpit doors, have a marshal program sure. But we’re at war, we say. And the pilot is the first person any hijacker is going to want to control or kill. So give the men at this particular front line an adequate chance to protect themselves if and when they are attacked. They’re certainly a responsible bunch.
Most pilots have military training and, heck, aren’t they already entrusted with hundreds of lives? This is what the pilots union argues: Allow pilots to be armed. And I support them. And I fly.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.