Tags: Gun | Ban | Promotes | Hijacking

Gun Ban Promotes Hijacking

Monday, 17 September 2001 12:00 AM

The hijackings of Sept. 11 proved the truth of another part of my thought: that sufficiently motivated and well-financed terrorists can hijack any airliner they wish. We saw four separate airliners hijacked within minutes of one another. All were specifically selected because they were scheduled for a transcontinental trip, with full fuel tanks.

Let's face it: Five strong males, working together, can take over a plane with no more than their own hands and fists as weapons. Who is going to stop them? Passengers taken by surprise and paralyzed by fear? Or they can claim to have a bomb – and who is going to call that bluff?

Only passengers carrying concealed handguns (and adept in their use) can thwart a hijacking. Sky marshals are a poor second choice. A terrorist group could easily learn to identify them, so they could be disarmed by surprise as the first step in a hijacking.

The solution is simple. Solicit all active-duty and retired military and law enforcement personnel, and all who have a state concealed-carry permit, to carry concealed handguns when they travel by air.

The element of surprise is critical. If the hijackers don’t know who is armed, they subject themselves to being shot at any time chosen by any armed passenger. That is why random armed citizens are the most effective deterrent to crime. The uncertainty created in potential hijackers by knowing there are unidentified armed persons aboard would certainly prevent the success of multi-plane coordinated hijackings such as we saw on Sept. 11.

Those who predicted disaster here in Florida, and in the 31 other states whose laws permit qualified citizens to get a permit to carry concealed handguns, will again be horrified at what I am suggesting. Yet they were wrong about those states: violent crime has declined in all of them. Rational analysis shows they would also be wrong about armed airplane passengers.

Some respond negatively to any increased use of firearms. These also probably believe the popular myth that one bullet hole in the fuselage of a high-altitude airliner will cause it to crash. One bullet hole will not cause an airplane to crash; neither will a dozen.

The crime-deterrent effect of concealed handguns carried by ordinary citizens is clearly predictable. Nothing is more disquieting to the criminal than the recognition that a potential victim is likely to be carrying a concealed handgun, and might be very adept in using it.

Although we cannot prevent hijackings, we can prevent them from succeeding – if we act rationally. But what have we seen thus far? "Stringent new security guidelines.” More of the same system which failed to prevent the events of Sept. 11. More "stringent” actually means more wasted time and increased inconvenience to airline passengers: for example, removing their capacity to peel an orange or slice a banana – or cut off a loose thread.

The cost, the time-wasting effort, and the mind-boggling inconvenience caused by the futile expansion of our airport "security” system could have a paralyzing effect on our entire democratic system - which is the ultimate goal of the terrorists. Even the damage done on Sept. 11 will cause little harm to our republic compared to our system’s erosion by unthinking overreaction to that damage.

As the shock wears off, it will become apparent that we have entered a new era. A hijacking no longer means simply a detour through Cuba; it is now likely to mean death. When this sinks in, future hijackers are less likely to have such compliant victims as they have had in the past.

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The hijackings of Sept. 11 proved the truth of another part of my thought: that sufficiently motivated and well-financed terrorists can hijack any airliner they wish. We saw four separate airliners hijacked within minutes of one another. All were specifically selected...
Gun,Ban,Promotes,Hijacking
596
2001-00-17
Monday, 17 September 2001 12:00 AM
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