Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Explosive Decompression

On the radio this morning (KVI, conservative talk radio [now defunct]), Andrew Napolitano was filling in for Tony Snow.  And he was (almost) arguing in favor of allowing guns on planes.

Actually, what he said was this (not an exact quote, but damn close):
If the passengers on those planes had had… had been able to exercise their Second Amendment Rights, then September 11 would never have happened.
(Note that almost said “had had guns” or something similar, and then backtracked to the PC and gun-absent phrase about the Second Amendment.  He said this same phrase at least twice during the broadcast, which tells me that it was a very intentional phrasing, not an “Oops, almost said something on air that I shouldn’t” accident.  It gives him plausible deniability: he didn’t actually advocate for guns on planes, and he can’t help it if people mistakenly think he said that he did.)

You’ve got to be kidding me.  Anyone out there actually want other passengers to be able to bring handguns on airplanes?  Picture the scene: unruly passenger has had one too many — maybe even before getting on board — and the flight attendant won’t serve him, so he pulls out a gun and demands another little bottle of vodka.  Or a little bit of “air rage”: one passenger takes the last overhead space, so the next guy’s bag will have to be checked, so he gets angry and shoots the guy.  Or a kid pulls out his mother’s gun in the middle of the flight to play with it, and it goes off… and blows a hole in the side of the plane, 30,000 feet over Wichita.

To be sure, there are cases where our freedoms have been impinged or taken away by overly aggressive laws and politicians unwilling to defend them.  But this ain’t one.  No way do I want anyone — perhaps including an undercover Air Marshall — having a gun on a flight that I’m on.  Boxcutters be damned: if someone had had a gun on one of those 9/11 flights, and had used it, it might well have ripped through the cockpit door and hit the pilot, crashing the plane in the process.  (And then where would be be?  With an airliner crashed into a skyscraper, that’s where.)

Updated on October 5, 2011

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