Letters


Bullets Flying

David A. Brown's letter to the editor (March), entitled "Arming Alarming," is somewhat alarming itself I would like to respectfully disagree on several major points.

First, the people who attempt to take control of an airplane in flight cannot likely do so without killing or disabling the pilot and copilot. In the recent events where aircraft were hijacked in flight and flown into the Twin Towers and the Pentagon, it is almost certain that this was the case. It did not take a lot of training for the terrorist to then steer the planes into their selected targets.

I would not expect that, in the event of hostage taking or other violent activities in the passenger compartments, officers charged with flying the aircraft would leave their seats to go back and deal with that type of situation. Therefore, the need to shoot around, near, or through innocent passengers or crew would be practically nil.

I have been a shooter and professional firearms trainer for more than half a century. I know and can prove that it requires very little skill and minimal training to teach a person to fire and hit a target the size of a person at very short range. An example of short range is inside the cockpit of an aircraft; an example of someone who needs to be shot is one attempting to kill or disable the person(s) in control of an aircraft. In reality, if there are no air marshals aboard the plane and the reinforced cabin door doesn't hold, it may come down to this act or all the passengers and possibly many people on the ground facing a horrible death.

I train both civilian and law enforcement personnel in the safe, legal and effective use of firearms. I did not jump on the "bandwagon" to make a quick buck at the cost of my credibility as Mr. Brown suggests many trainers did. Instead, I offered to train, at no cost, any commercial airline pilot or copilot who might legally possess a handgun to the level of a police officer by allowing him or her to take my forty-seven-hour armed guard class. I also offered all flight crew members who could not legally carry a handgun the opportunity to take a one day course in use of weapons of opportunity or barehanded techniques for handling adversaries.

Firearms are a tool, and as with any tool, if properly used, they can help us do a job that needs doing. I have in the past put my life in the hands of pilots on many occasions. I would also trust them to properly use a firearm to defend the controls of an aircraft.

KEN WILKINSON, CPP

Director

S.A.F.E. Inc. …

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