One of the few “good” things to have come out of 9/11 was the Federal Flight Deck Officer Program, which allowed airline pilots to get training from Air Marshalls and carry issued firearms while going about the course of their duties. It wasn’t a perfect program, but it was a step up from fighting off potential hijackers with clipboards.
However, our new president is quitely doing everything he can to kill the program – a program where the officers in it have the best behavior and conduct records of any federal law enforcement service.
The 12,000 Federal Flight Deck Officers, the pilots who have been approved to carry guns, are reported to have the best behavior of any federal law enforcement agency. There are no cases where any of them has improperly brandished or used a gun.
Now, I’m not sure if this going down because the TSA is run by incompetents, or if President Obama quietly issued edicts to shut the program down, however the net result is that $2 million in funds that was to be used to approve and train new applicants has been diverted to hire “investigators” (read: Internal Affairs) that will be looking into alleged cases of “officer misconduct”, which are largely trumped up cases.
Thanks to Sebastian for the link, I have to confess I’m more than a little confused at this one. I mean, why de-fund a government program that you could have poured more money into, especially since this was one of the few successful initiatives of the Bush Administration, enjoying wide public and official support…nevermind, I suppose I answered my own question there.
I am not quite sure what official support you are referencing. Both TSA and FAA have tried their best to get the program shut down since the beginning.
Congress – the original program enjoyed bipartisan support.
You know, as a pilot, I’m a little confused. I’ve been hearing this “gun ban” story. Yesterday, I heard “do you hear what Obama is planning” from my copilot. As he asked that question, my Colt was in my bag in the compartment above my head. (I know, I should keep it with me, but it digs into my hip when I sit down.)
This afternoon, I’m in a hotel room with my laptop. (We don’t fly out for another four hours.) I’m reading this story everywhere, but it all seems to track back to the Washington Times. That, and other blogs, are the only sources I’m finding.
In my email, there’s nothing to tell me that my gun can’t go with me. Don’t even have one of those twice-a-week emails telling me that there’s new paperwork I have to fill out.
And then I found this on Fox News.
I’m thinking that somebody at the Moonie Times got his wires crossed. There doesn’t seem to be anything to this story.
Yeah, I’ve heard from other sources that this story is a little fishy as well.
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