measures in the sky (with guns)

February 9, 2007

The US Government wants to arm pilots on commercial flights. That would be better, they argue, than having armed air marshals fly as passengers: pilots have to be on board anyway. Indeed, it would also be cheaper, easier, and would avoid having passengers stare at each other wondering who’s got the gun. Have you ever received a “Have you got the gun?” stare? You might not have identified it: it’s not that different from the “Are you the terrorist?” stare. The pilot is in charge, and he or she already has the trust of the passengers. So, definitely, if someone’s got to carry a gun, let it be the pilot. In fact, I might venture to propose to the US Government some even better measures: since it would be a pain, both politically and financially, to have to gun-train all those pilots, why don’t just make airlines employ military pilots? Those guys already know everything about guns, terrorists, and dangerous situations. Doubtless, military pilots would be fitter for the job. But then you would have to train military pilots for commercial flights. So why don’t we just all travel in military aircrafts? That would definitely spare quite a lot of training and money; and, I can assure you, Mr. President, many of us would feel quite a lot safer in a darker looking aircraft carrying the US AirForce insignia.

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