Historically Vessel and Airplane captains are the chief law enforcement officers on their ships. The powers of the captains were absolute when it came to insuring the safety of passengers and crew. That’s no longer been the case since the FAA and TSA desk bound bureaucrats have taken over taken over total control.
9-11 would have been just another day in America if the pilots were simply trained and armed. Pilots were disarmed decades earlier by the political patronage hacks within the all powerful FAA.
Instead of allowing the captains on their ships during emergencies to decide their own course of action the FAA bureaucrats issued strict and inflexible regulations to cooperate with terrorists and hijackers. We all know how a bunch of small and skinny but well trained Muslim terrorists easily defeated the FAA’s billion dollars plus security program.
Instead of turning the sensitive security duties over to cops and pilots our politicians created the TSA jobs program filling the positions with the very same bureaucrats that presided over security before 9/11.
The public made demands on Congress to arm our pilots after the TSA rejected the concept altogether. The Congress passed legislation that became law overriding the embittered TSA administrators. The TSA’s response to the law of the land was constant obstruction and interference.
The TSA is still engaged in foot-dragging as they created absurd policies and rules for pilots who chose to endure the gauntlet of obstacles and become Federal Flight Deck Officers.
An FFDO may only carry and have access of a firearm within the confines of the tiny cockpit of the plane. Before the FFDO can remove his handgun from his carryon baggage he must be in the cockpit. The gun must be contained loaded in a holster secured through the trigger guard by a padlock until the cockpit door is locked. Next the FFDO must remove the padlock and put the holster on his strong side. Each time the FFDO leaves the cockpit for any reason he must remove the holster, and relock the padlock. Of course at the end of each flight he must go through this involved protocol.
The downside of this silly ritual is repeated and unnecessary handling of the firearm along with serious safety issues. The padlock lock actually touches the trigger of a loaded gun! That explaies only too well just how an FFDO's gun discharged on that U.S. Airways flight.
Pilots are and should be responsible for their entire ship not just the cockpit. Pilots should carry their firearms concealed in conventional holsters from the moment they are inside an airport.
An example of a security hole is the tarmac area of nearly every airport where pilots must inspect their plane. Pilots should be able to react to an attack by terrorists should that happen. The FFDO pilots are well trained and capable to handle these responsibilities.
Americans have been judging the quality of airline security by the rude privacy invasions by thousands of baggage and passenger screeners. The passenger screening is nothing more than a fraudulent and ineffective way to protect Americans.
Real security must begin with the placement of all passengers flying with passports from unfriendly nations on the No Fly List.
Every off duty peace officer with proper credentials should be allowed to fly while armed as they were allowed to do until recent times. There were two disarmed cops killed on separate hijacked 9/11 planes. If they were not disarmed by FAA bureaucrats many lives would have been saved.
The TSA has done nothing but hidden their incompetence and general failings by classifying their deeds and policy under the cover of National Security. Yes, I have written about things the TSA would strenuously object to me publishing. The First Amendment is a wonderful thing when it uncovers waste, fraud and bad government.
More information about the TSA padlock holster can be found here.