Arming Pilots

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After the September 11th attacks on America’s homeland, citizens became aware that action must be taken to protect passengers and pilots from terrorists. Although strict security measures have been put in place at all American airports, the only way to be certain that another terrorist attack does not occur using commercial aircraft lies in arming pilots with handguns. Not only will arming pilots help act as a preventative measure, it will ensure safer air travel and restore faith in America’s main form of long distance travel. Even though the number of hijackings is minuscule compared to the number of flights, arming pilots would be a first line of deterrence and a last line of defense. Some people may argue that other means should be used to stop hijackers, but as is the case with any illegal activity, if a person wants to commit a crime they will find the means. Therefore, the only way to prevent aircraft hijackings is with the use of guns. One alternative way that has been suggested is arming pilots with tasers, electric shock probes. These are considered problematic by many experts and do not guarantee bringing down a hijacker. As Criminal Justice expert Michael Swedemen said, “Had the pilots on the ill-fated planes on September 11th had stun guns, they might have dropped one of the hijackers, but the remaining three or four still would have overpowered the plane” (Dougherty, 2002, January 22). Arming pilots would also aid airlines in recovering from the economic downfall that has plagued the industry since the attacks. With armed pilots, passengers would know they are safe from any possibility of a hijacking and the only thing that might cause catastrophic damage would be an unforeseen mechanical problem. Should hijackers be among the passengers they could easily be brought down with guns similar to that of a defiant criminal. Opponents have argued that a stray bullet might penetrate the fuselage or inadvertently hit an innocent...
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