From: Dennis Chambers [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Wednesday, September 12, 2001 4:22 PM
Subject: Fwd: If I were in Charge
RE: If I were in charge.
I. The Airlines - Three Issues:
1. The pilots in every commercial airline in the United States should be armed with small side arms. Two-thirds of the commercial pilots that fly for this country are ex-military pilots. Every one of them has been trained to fire pistols. The other one-third can be taught to fire pistols. The pilots would have the shoulder holsters on during the flight. If one of them had to leave the cabin, he takes his weapon and puts it in his briefcase. Then, through a coded knock or sighting through the peephole in the door, or an electronic key code, he is allowed back into the pilot's cabin (which should be the case when anyone enters the cockpit). You have to ask yourself two questions: (1) Would those planes have flown into the World Trade Center if our pilots had been armed? (2) Would you feel safer today having pilots in the cockpit with shoulder holsters holding .38 pistols, or would you feel more in danger for your life?
2. There are tens of thousands of retired FBI, CIA, and military personnel with trained experience in small firearms. I would be very happy to pay more for a ticket to have two armed air marshals (dressed in civilian clothes and randomly selecting their seats) on every flight in or out of the United States of America. They would have a job that paid well and could be given travel benefits.
Two things would occur if this were done. (1) The incident that occurred this week would not have happened! (Guns vs. knives). (2) Air rage would cease to exist. The air marshals carry handcuffs and could subdue any drunken or unruly passengers who were harassing the flight attendants.
3. When I flew for the airlines in the mid-70's, there had been a rash of airline hijackings. The cockpit doors are flimsy pieces of cheap material. We had requested, as pilots at Eastern Airlines, that the doors be reinforced. We were told they could not be reinforced because: (1) it was too expensive; and (2) the weight would be too much. The solution is to reinforce the doors, damn the weight or the cost, put good hinges on the doors, solid bulletproof pieces of Kevlar-lined doors with solid frames and a good latch. (It doesn't have to be 1" thick steel.) The door can be designed to pop open from the inside so that if the pilots had to escape during an emergency, they could do so.
If you think any of the above is --, ask any flight attendant or pilot who flies for the airlines.
From Nataliya Negoda