Friday, March 20, 2009

Obama Secretly Ends Program That Allows Pilots To Carry Guns On Planes

After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, commercial airline pilots were granted the ability to carry a concealed weapon with them in the cockpit after their succesful completion of a federal firearms safety course.

Now President Obama is silently and he is hoping for secretly, trying to end that program that allows pilots to defend not only themselves but the passengers they are responsible for.

President Obama is diverting money away from the pilot training program. He is instead using that money to hire more government supervisory staff that will engage in field inspections of the pilots.

An editorial in The Washington Post brings to light just how unnecessary this change of practice and diversion of funds is.
"This looks like completely unnecessary harassment of the pilots. The 12,000 Federal Flight Deck Officers, the pilots who have been approved to carry guns, are reported to have the best behavior of any federal law enforcement agency. There are no cases where any of them has improperly brandished or used a gun. There are just a few cases where officers have improperly used their IDs.

Fewer than one percent of the officers have any administrative actions brought against them and, we are told, virtually all of those cases “are trumped up.”

Take a case against one flight officer who had visited the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles within the last few weeks. While there, the pilot noticed that federal law enforcement officers can, with the approval of a superior, obtain a license plate that cannot be traced, a key safety feature for law enforcement personnel. So the pilot asked if, as a member of the federal program, he was eligible. The DMV staffer checked and said “no.” The next day administrative actions were brought against the pilot for “misrepresenting himself.” These are the kinds of cases that President Obama wants to investigate."

I, for one, cannot understand for one second what this diversion of funds is to accomplish. No American of sound mind would have a problem with a properly trained pilot being able to carry a gun in the cockpit. The only people I can see that would have a problem with this practice are terrorists or anti-gun whackjobs who are no better than terrorists.

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