Suppose terrorists sneak aboard your flight. Perhaps they have no weapons, All they have are their intentions, their training, and their willingness to die. Eventually you hear from one of the pilots. He says, “Welcome aboard, ladies and gentlemen. We’ll be cruising at an altitude of x-thousand feet, such-and-such miles per hour. The weather is good, and we should reach our destination on time today. Oh, by the way I’m unarmed. And the co-pilot is unarmed. Enjoy the flight.”
It would be insane for pilots to announce publicly that they are easy pickings. But if such an in-flight announcement were indeed made as things stand now, would the terrorists really have any more information than they already have? Pilots are protesting against government policy. The reason: almost a year after Congress authorized pilots to bear arms, the Transportation Security Administration is making it almost impossible for pilots to actually do so.
To fly a giant commercial jet, pilots already have to go through a lengthy series of tests. They are already being entrusted with the lives of thousands of people every day. But the reluctant TSA has thrown up endless roadblocks to intimidate pilots who apply for arms training. Two years after 9/11, less than 150 pilots are qualified to bear arms in the cockpit. There are over 66,000 members of the Air Pilots Association. Basically, we’re already telling the terrorists: “Don’t worry, the chances are vanishingly low that either pilot on the flight you pick is armed.” That’s scary, and that’s got to change.
This is Common Sense.Â I’m Paul Jacob.