My wife flew to Chicago this week. When I first heard about the trip several weeks ago I was a little concerned. I’ve never been to Chicago and you know all the horror stories we hear about big-city crime, rude people, etc. So, I was a more than a little relieved when I found out that the father of the student she was accompanying would be traveling also.
You see, he’s a detective with the Durant Police Department. As such, he can legally carry his pistol and badge while in the windy city. He can carry a gun in a city with some of the toughest gun laws in the country. He can carry a weapon while Chicago residents cannot. However, he cannot carry his gun on the plane that takes him to Chicago.
According to the federal government, this law enforcement officer can be trusted only while he is on the ground. If he plans to fly, then he must trust his safety to people who think security means taking nude X-ray photos and groping those who don’t want to be photographed. I’m talking, of course, about the TSA.
When I started work on this post, I tried to find out how many terrorists have been arrested and how many terrorism plots have been foiled our federally-funded, Fourth Amendment-violating, granny-groping, junk-grabbing perverts. . . er, I mean TSA agents. The best number I can come up with is; Zero. Not a single person has been arrested. Not one terror plot has been foiled by this agency that has decided it must shred the U.S. Constitution to protect those of us who want to live by said Constitution.
I did learn that the TSA has protected us from breast milk, been careful to separate children from their mothers for pat downs, and put those who refuse to cooperate in Plexiglas boxes so the rest of the flying sheep. . . er, I mean public, can see what happens when you dare to question big brother.
Did you realize that the 9/11 hijackers would have been allowed to board their planes – albeit minus box cutters – under today’s procedures? When a group of men are that dedicated to carrying out a plot, do you really believe taking away their pocket knives will stop them? I don’t think so. However, I’m pretty sure that a public groping would only have made them more angry and determined.
Still, the federal authorities would have us believe that disarming the police officer traveling with my wife is the only way to make everyone safe. I disagree, and 9/11 is the reason. Let’s look at what happened that day.
The passengers and crew on the three planes that hit their targets followed the rules. And up to that moment, that was the right thing. We had never seen suicidal hijackers. So, through no fault of the innocent victims on those aircraft, those hijackers were successful.
I want to stress here, I don’t place any blame on the innocent folks on those airplanes. They were dealing with something no sane person would have ever dreamt of. If they had had the benefit of the information the brave souls on Flight 93 had, I have no doubt they would have acquitted themselves as well as those people did.
The people on Flight 93 had heard about the Twin Towers. They knew they were already dead, unless they took drastic measures. So they took those measures. They fought back. They were unable to save themselves, but we know they probably saved hundreds, if not thousands, of lives on the ground depending on where the terrorists planned to crash that plane.
With that in mind, why don’t we let police officers carry their guns on planes? In fact, why don’t we ensure that every plane that leaves a U.S. airport has at least one armed guard on board? Currently, most air passengers are reasonably sure that no one on their flight is carrying a firearm. We know there might be an air marshal, but we are told there just isn’t enough money to put them on every flight. While working on another blog post I did a little math and this is what I found.
The TSA’s annual budget is $8 billion. According to rough estimates, there are about 54 million commercial flights in the United States each year. If you divided the TSA budget among those flights you would come up with about $145 per flight. If you multiply that per-flight amount by 260 days (Five work days multiplied by 52 weeks in a year) you come up with about $37,000 to pay one person to fly one commercial flight every workday for a year.
So, we could conceivably pay armed guards to fly on all airplanes for just a little more than we’re paying the TSA to get its jollies by groping and photographing us. I admit it’s a rough idea, but I’m not hearing anything better from Washington, D.C. What would the effect be? Well, travel back in time with me.
It is Sept. 11, 2001 and you are Mohamed Atta. You have just boarded what you expect to be your last flight. As you settle into your seat and try to look casual by leafing through the Skymall catalog, the captain’s voice wafts through the cabin.
“Good morning,” he says. “I just want to reassure everyone that there will be an armed law enforcement officer on today’s flight. I don’t suggest trying to befriend him however, I just saw his badge and I’m pretty sure the Latin motto on it translates into ‘Doesn’t work and play well with others.’
“The pistol he is carrying is a weapon specially designed for use on commercial aircraft. He let me see it at the range yesterday while he was shooting the genitals off houseflies from 30 yards. I was not allowed to shoot the gun because it is so large that the recoil has been known to kill regular men. However, our friend’s workout routine includes bench pressing Volkswagens so I’m sure he can handle it.
“However, he did tell me that he spilled coffee on his pants driving in this morning and he has a case of hemorrhoids that make leprosy look like a mild rash. Ladies and gentlemen, he’s in a foul mood. In fact, he said the only thing that would make him feel better would be to kill a terrorist today. Let’s hope he doesn’t get his wish.
“Enjoy your flight.”
Just how committed would Mr. Atta have been if he were hit with the cold reality that there was at least one armed man on that flight ready to kill him to stop him from killing other people? Something tells me he wouldn’t have bothered to even buy a ticket.