Despite the obvious benefits of having weapons in the right hands during airline flights, the Obama administration is reportedly ending that policy. There is no justifiable reason for this reduction in public safety. In fact, the Washington Times reports that there are exactly zero cases of on-board officers improperly using their weapons.
I’ve been willing to give President Obama the benefit of the doubt on some of his ill-advised policies thus far. Call it a honeymoon gift if you like. But the insipid stupidity behind this move, stealthily carried out while the public eye is turned away, is too much to bear, even for a person who rarely flies.
Think we’ll be hearing more about this issue from the men and women who are most directly affected, the flight deck officers themselves?
Pilots cannot openly speak about the changing policies for fear of retaliation from the Transportation Security Administration. Pilots who act in any way that causes a “loss of confidence” in the armed pilot program risk criminal prosecution as well as their removal from the program. Despite these threats, pilots in the Federal Flight Deck Officers program have raised real concerns in multiple interviews.
For those who would put their faith in the Sky Marshall program, be aware that they secure less than 3% of domestic flights, a far cry from universal coverage.
It has been said many times already that the Obama administration must act, must do something now, in regard to various issues. Perhaps this urgency is advisable in some cases. However, the first principle of responsibility is to first do no harm. That principle has been violated in regard to air safety.
This is, perhaps, a minor issue at this point in history. It is also revealing of a lack of common sense on the part of an allegedly cerebral administration and one that truly deserves to be met with an expression of public outrage that is out of proportion with the importance of the issue itself.