Rand Paul: Arm All Airline Pilots

In the debate over ways to ensure public safety, those on the left think the answer is getting rid of guns. According to their theory, if guns are systematically outlawed and enough signs are posted notifying people (especially criminals) that guns aren’t allowed, that will help stem violence.

Those on the right take it the other direction and point out that having as many good citizens as possible carry guns is a far better crime deterrent than gun-free zone signs, which as we’ve seen time and time again, only attract violent criminals.

This debate extends to other areas, like airline safety and the threat of terrorism. When people think of 9/11 and how it could have been prevented, the subject of government intelligence is often brought up. In other words, the government should’ve been able to prevent these hijackers from boarding those planes, because their suspicious activities here in the U.S. should have raised red flags.

Those discussions are important, but unfortunately, the government is a bungling mess of bureaucracy, and inefficiency and incompetency is the nature of such a government. If a terrorist is committed to carrying out an attack on our soil, he will find a way to circumvent the system.

If and when that happens, and a number of terrorists board planes in the U.S. with the intent of blowing them up or flying them into buildings, there isn’t a whole lot the government can do to save those people. At that point, it’s like the Sandy Hook victims calling the police so that they can come and clean up the mess when everything’s over with.

If the government weren’t so involved with private industries like airlines, pilots could carry weapons on board. In fact, that’s something that Senator Rand Paul strongly suggests in a bill he’s introduced:

“I’m concerned about what is the most cost-effective way of preventing another 9/11: I want all pilots to be armed. The president has zeroed this out of his budget. He’s advocated for getting rid of the program. And when I talk to pilots — I’m at airports all the time. Pilots come up to me all the time and say it’s too hard to get a permit and to keep up the permit… I have a bill that would streamline this. The goal of my bill is to have 100 percent of American pilots armed, because I think it’s a very cost effective. It’s the most cost effective way of deterring another attack on our planes.”

If pilots had been armed with guns on 9/11, the box cutter-wielding hijackers probably wouldn’t have been able to overpower them. If it were commonplace for pilots (and even other passengers) to carry weapons on board, perhaps the terrorists wouldn’t have bothered planning an attack involving hijacked planes in the first place. But since planes are government-mandated gun-free zones (except for air marshals), they’re naturally attractive to terrorists.