Pilot Firepower

Topics: Aircraft hijacking, Federal Air Marshal Service, Transportation Security Administration Pages: 4 (1715 words) Published: April 23, 2013
Connor Moran
Mr. Stuva
English Comp I
Pilot Firepower
On September 11, 2001 terroristic attacks devastated the United States by plane hijackings. Four separate plane hijackings left nearly 3,000 people dead, demolished the World Trade Centers, and severely damaged the Pentagon. American citizens were shocked that such terrible incidents could happen and a real sense of fear swept these people. The series of coordinated attacks caused people to wonder how such occasions could happen and how to stop them if they were to happen again. Since the attacks, many ideas have arose on how to better protect events such as the 9/11 attacks from happening. One of the more controversial ways is giving pilots the opportunity to protect the cockpit and serve as a last defense to plane hijackers by carrying loaded guns on the plane. This action would help prevent plane hijackers from gaining control of the plane assuming pilots are properly trained and equipped to handle guns. After the 9/11 attacks in 2001, the Arming Pilots Against Terrorism Act was created in response to the attacks. Under this Act its purpose was to “establish a program to deputize volunteer pilots of air carriers providing passenger air transportation or intrastate passenger air transportation as Federal law enforcement officers to defend the flight decks of aircraft of such air carriers against acts of criminal violence or air piracy” (United States). The Act would eventually establish the Federal Flight Deck Officer program which was deputized on April 19, 2003 (Zuckerman). The Federal Flight Deck Officer program is often described as by members of Congress, the “First line of deterrence and the last line of Defense" for commercial airline pilots. The Federal Flight Deck Officer program has been in place and is still in effect to this day. At first the program was meant for commercial pilots only but in December 2003, “President George W. Bush signed into law legislation that expanded...

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United States. Arming Pilots Against Terrorism Act. N.p., 08 July 2002. Web. 20 Dec. 2012. <http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CRPT-107hrpt555/pdf/CRPT-107hrpt555-pt1.pdf>.
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Zuckerman, Jessica. "Federal Flight Deck Officer Program: First Line of Deterrence, Last Line of Defense." The Heritage Foundation. N.p., 20 Mar. 2012. Web. 21 Dec. 2012. <http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2012/03/impact-of-cutting-the-budget-of-the-federal-flight-deck-officer-program>.
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