Takes Steps in Right Direction
by Arming Pilots to Deter Terrorism
For Immediate Release.
July 11, 2002 On July
10, 2002, the House of Representatives made a step in the right direction
in aviation security by approving the Arming Pilots Against Terrorism
Act (H.R. 4635). The measure, that would allow more than 70,000
pilots to carry firearms in their cockpits to defend their planes against
terrorists, was passed by a 310-113 vote. As an additional safety precaution, pilots would have to complete
training before carrying firearms on the planes.
Contrary to what critics
have said, arming pilots would not compromise the safety of passengers
but would be a deterrent against future terrorist attacks. The rate of a terrorist’s chance to succeed
would be greatly reduced because they would have to plan for pilots
being armed, deterring them from such undertakings.
Critics have raised
concerns that special risks would be imposed when firing a projectile
weapon on board an aircraft. However,
this concern is obviated by the fact that pilots could use specialized,
frangible ammunition that would not penetrate the ultra-thin metallic
skin of an aircraft but would penetrate human flesh.
Furthermore, the use of a firearm by a pilot is a last step effort
in preventing the take-over of an airplane to avoid another September
11th when terrorists crashed airplanes into buildings.
Also, aircraft loss would not result from single or even multiple
handgun bullet holes because a commercial airplane’s structure is designed
with sufficient strength, redundancy and damage tolerance.
Cabin pressurization would be effected minimally
a single bullet hole in the fuselage skin.
In fact, after in-flight bomb blasts, Boeing commercial aircraft
have survived and landed on fourteen separate occasions.
“Pilots armed with
firearms could have prevented terrorists from taking over the aircrafts
that were used as missiles to murder more than 3,000 innocent people
in New York City and Washington D.C.,” said Dr. Joel P. Rutkowski, president
of the American Voice Institute of Public Policy.
“Also, prevented could have been the billons of dollars lost
as a result of property damage, the thousands of employees that lost
their jobs as a result of these actions, and a nation’s economy that
went into decline.“
Joel P. Rutkowski, P.h.D.
President, The American Voice Institute Of Public Policy
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