Tags: Armed | Citizens | the | Best | Defense | Against | Terrorists

Armed Citizens the Best Defense Against Terrorists

Friday, 28 September 2001 12:00 AM

Writing in today's Wall Street Journal, Lott notes the security problems the nation faces and insists that not matter how tight restrictions are, and no matter how many air marshals ride planes, nothing beats having an armed citizenry in the fight against terrorism.

Lott, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and author of

In response to these and other problems, Lott suggests that the 600,000 active state and local law enforcement officers in the U.S. today who are currently forbidden to bring their guns on airplanes should not only be allowed to board planes but even be given discount fares if they fly with their guns. Moreover, since most pilots have also had military experience they should be armed as their union, and NewsMax.com's Chris Ruddy have demanded, exactly as Israel's El Al been doing all along.

Lott dismisses fears of having guns aboard planes, explaining that the special, high-velocity handgun ammunition used on planes packs quite a wallop but is designed not to penetrate the aluminum skin of the plane. Even with regular bullets he notes, the worst-case outcome would simply be to force the plane to fly at a lower altitude, where the air pressure is higher.

But using guns to stop terrorists shouldn't be limited to airplanes, he insists. "We should encourage off-duty police, and responsible citizens, to carry guns in most public places because cops can't be everywhere.

In Israel, for example, Lott explains that about 10% of Jewish adults have permits to carry concealed handguns. Just to match that rate of permit holding, Americans would have to increase the number of permits from 3.5 million to almost 21 million, he wrote.

"Thirty-three states currently have "right-to-carry" laws, which allow the law-abiding to obtain a permit if they are above a certain age and pay a fee. Half of these states require some training. We should encourage more states to pass such laws, and possibly even subsidize firearms training," Lott maintains.

He concludes by noting that the states that do pass concealed handgun laws "experience drops in violent crimes, especially in multiple victim shootings - the type of attack most associated with terrorism. "Bill Landes and I found that deaths and injuries from multiple-victim public shootings fell by 80% after states passed right-to-carry laws."

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Writing in today's Wall Street Journal, Lott notes the securityproblems the nation faces and insists that not matter how tight restrictions are, and no matter how many air marshals ride planes, nothing beats having an armed citizenry in the fight against terrorism. ...
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2001-00-28
Friday, 28 September 2001 12:00 AM
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