July 17, 2004

A Herd, Not A Pack

Terror in the Skies, Again? By Annie Jacobsen is an article that's receiving much attention. Michele Malkin has more & Jessica's Well has an interesting take on things, or rather poses an interesting question. & of course Instapundit has a nice round up of posts about the incident in question.

But I fear the point has been missed.

In Mrs. Jacobsen's article she outlines very suspicious activity on a flight. The actors are men of middle eatern decent & while it obviously had unnerved botht he flight crew & the air marshalls that were on board no action was taken.

The middle eastern men were musicians & I'll be the first to tell you that musicians typically behave in an odd manner - either individually or as a group. So there is always the possibility that they weren't up to anything dasterdly - merely acting like musicians usually act - strange.

The center of debate however seems not so much to rest with what the middle eastern musicians were actually doing (although that's a decent question asked & speculated upon by many) but rather what the appropirate response to odd behavior should be.

This is where they all seem to miss the mark. You have some calling or additional security directives, others calling for more racial profiling & still others (the more prgamatic types) wondering what they could use to effectively fight &/or subdue a group of men bent on taking over or blowing up an airplane.

They're all working int he confines of a fatally flawed system & expecting positive results. If you ever have to replace your timing belt with say a stocking hose you generally try to replace it with an actual timing belt A.S.A.P. instead of redesigning the engine to function optimally with the stocking hose.

discussing improvised weapons, such as food trays & the like, isn't always a bad idea, nor is discussing the best unarmed techniques for defense of self & others. But it is negligent to omit any discussion of the best tool for the job.

Firearms. They've been amking sure little old ladies don't get abused by strong young men since at least 1700 or so. so why not discuss the use of firearms in the event of an attempted hijacking?

Cause the government has decided, in it's infinite wisdom, that even if that whole second amendment thingy means what it says it surely doesn't mean it on a public conveyance such as an airplane.

So much much discussion will take place about the optimum angle to swing a food tray to disarm &/or incapacitate a person bent on killing you, himself & a few thousand other people. Much like telling you mechanic you don't want a new timing belt - you'd rather have him fix the system to work with the stocking hose.

I have a better, much simpler solution thatr doesn't rely on racial profiling, air marshalls or hoping that ten physically imposing passengers will be able to not only be on your flight but put down any unrest that develops: respect the people's Right to Arms.

somehow it's almost obscene to suggest that pilots who basically just have to lean to cause massive destruction should carry a gun into the cockpit w/o going through sniper school for pistols. It's further blasphemous to even imply that the mere peasantry should not be prohibited from having the most effective means of self defense available to them while at 10,000 feet. I mean, what if a terrorist got his hands on a gun.

So we have what we had a few years back - terrorists got their hands on boxcutters & killed 3,000+ people.

Bush opposed arming pilots, but signed because that boy'd sign an extended third party warranty if it happened across his desk. Mineta - don't get me started. Metal nail files are just too damned dangerous for the peasantry to carry about willy nilly. These are the people we think are doing sucha great job about preventing terrorism???

Bush may find some suport for his foreign policy, but his domestic policy is lacking as hell & if allowed to continue it will guarantee another tragic incident involving terrorists who outsmarted the flawed security systems we are told will protect us.

You want to elect someone who has his act together on homeland defense? Then find or convince a candidate who'll respect the people's Right to Arms even while traveling in little metal boxes. Find someone who'll tell you straight up that it's you, not the government or any subsidiary, that's responsible for your safety & the safety of those around you.

The best answer is to stop disresepcting the Right of Defens & the Right to Arms of the American people. That will alter tha nature of such discussions from options that have a chance of being effective to options that will be effective. The deterent factor alone of a well armed populace is worth ten departments of homeland security in that not only will the people (which always outnumber federal employees) be capable of defense but they'll typically have a mindset geared towards self reliance.

Yes, it will still be necessary to screen for explosives but I'm of the opinion that'd be much less intrusive than making sure those nail files are all non-metallic. & racial profiling would be irrelevent as it would not be nearly as effective as having 40 passengers capable of taking you out should you try anything.

Think a middle eastern man would stand a chance if he pulled out a knife or even a gun as long as the rest of the passengers were adequately armed? That's not counting the flight attendents & the pilots who will present a very formidable obstacle should the passengers not do their job.

& when I say their job I mean their job. The government is not, nor should be responsible for your protection. They have (in all cases save foreign invasion) a back up role that does not supercede your primary responsibility. Want to knwo what a "first responder" looks like? Grab a mirror. Then look at your wife or husband or teenaged kid - they're all first responders too. Any person present has the duty to act in their own defense as well as the defense of others.

But whne you deprive the first responders of the most effective tools to handle a problem, then you're reduced to being wards. & you'll have many discussions with other wards about what to do if the master fails to protect you.

Armed people act as a pack for their defense. Unarmed people act like a herd. Re-read the various accounts & decide for yourself which label applies to the passengers of said flight & most importantly, which label is preffereable should you be on such a flight one day.

As for me, I fall back to my Jefferson:

"I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it."-- Thomas Jefferson, letter to Archibald Stuart (1791)

Stop prohibiting people their Right to Arms & let's deal with those problems, which will be far easier to handle than the ones created by immoral disarmement.

The choice is simple: Pack or Herd?

Posted by Publicola at July 17, 2004 09:45 PM
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