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Journal fiannaFailMan's Journal: Question for gun advocates 31

Carrying guns is a fundamental right. Right? And guns make people safer. Right? Well if we want our airlines to be safe from terrorist hijackings and suchlike, would you be in favour of allowing passengers to carry guns onto planes? After all, if guns make people safer on the ground, why would it be any different in the air? Discuss.
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Question for gun advocates

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  • No, but (Score:3, Insightful)

    by pqdave ( 470411 ) on Thursday January 20, 2005 @11:35AM (#11419834)
    Short answer: No.

    I consider myself a moderate gun advocate. I've had a concealed carry permit in another state and owned a gun. I moved to Ohio which didn't have permits, and sold the gun when I thought it was a greater risk than benefit in my situation. I believe that concealed carry should be available to responsible non-criminals, but should be regulated with a permit process and background checks. Businesses should have the right to ban guns from their property. Ohio has recently started concealed carry permits, and has done a fairly good job in balancing the issues, and I'm strongly considering getting a permit and a handgun again, although I don't foresee carrying often if at all.

    The constitution intended for ordinary citizens to have the right to possess most forms of personal weapons. This generally translates to firearms, but could change if technology advances. Part of this is for personal protection, but part of this is to have the ability to overthrow the government if enough people (a wide majority, not a couple hundred nutballs in Wyoming) believe it has become tyrannical and elections corrupt. To be clear--revolution will not be necessary as long as elections remain fair, and I am NOT advocating violent overthrow of the government. I also believe that one of the necessary steps in establishing a tyrannical government is to remove gun rights.

    Concealed carry of guns by responsible people with a permit should be allowed in most situations. The permit process should not be an unreasonable barrier for ordinary people. This potentially makes everyone safer--criminals don't know who's a safe target, or if there is an armed person who will intervene.

    There are some situations where none of these reasons apply, and the possession of guns by ordinary people is a greater risk than benefit. Public airplanes are one, jails are another. On an airplane there is basically no way for a criminal to threaten you without being caught, and a much greater chance that random people with guns will cause you trouble.
  • No. Owning guns and being allowed to carry them on *public property* is something that you are allowed to do. You do not have a right to carry a gun in an airplane or bank or any other private property unless the owner allows you to. In the case of carrying a gun on an airplane, I think that is a bad idea since you should not be having gunfights in a crowd. If it were not for that, it might actually be safer to allow guns on planes. In any case, the right to carry weapons was intended as a safeguard in
  • Yes/No/Maybe (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Bob Uhl ( 30977 ) <eadmund42@g[ ] ['mai' in gap]> on Tuesday January 25, 2005 @07:01PM (#11474354) Homepage
    I believe that it is not the State's business whether or not corporations allow or disallow weapons (or anything else) on their private property. If an airline wishes to allow weapons, that is its own business; if it chooses to disallow them, that too is its own business.

    I do believe, though, that anyone who bans weapons on his private property should thereby be made liable for the personal safety of anyone thereon. That is, feel free to forbid me to carry weapons, but if someone does assault/rob/kill me, I can recover damages from you because you were the one who disarmed me.

    As for the specific question of weapons on aeroplanes, I see no reason why they should not be allowed. I for one would feel much safer if the stewardess handed out tire irons, baseball bats, bicycle chains, skivs &c. to the passengers. The really pathetic thing about 11 September is that 3,000 men died and billions of dollars were lost to box cutters. A nation which defeated the British; which put down the Barbary pirates; which contained Mexico; which trounced the Germans twice--this nation was grievously wounded by weapons less frightening than pocket knives. That's sad.

    • which trounced the Germans twice

      I think that might be better described as aided in defeating the Germans twice. If you have any understanding of the first world war, you would realise the contribution of the American armed forces was small. A much greater contribution was the supply of allied nations. As for that America was well paid. Note that America was one of the few countries that came out of WWI in better shape than it went in. There is a well known cartoon of a fat gentleman standing in front of a
    • it's unlikely that in the future any more planes will be lost to box cutters, unless terrorists buy every seat. Perception is now that the safest thing to do is attack the hijackers, even bare-hands vs. box cutter.
  • Yes. Using a gun in a hijacking is a finite advantage over using a knife or a needle or any other improvised weapon. This advantage is much outweighed by the probability of a passanger having a gun and preventing the attack. When both the attacker and the defender have improvised weapons, the attacker has a huge advantage. When both the attacker and defender have projectile weapons, the defender has an advantage: projectile weapons are more easily operated stealthily, and the attackers can not possibly
    • So what is the liklihood that a typical 737 with a gang of hijackers aboard is going to also contain some law-abiding citizens who happen to be carrying guns? Not likely, is it?
      • So what is the liklihood that a typical 737 with a gang of hijackers aboard is going to also contain some law-abiding citizens who happen to be carrying guns?

        Depends on how many passengers carry guns. One thing to keep in mind when discussing this topic is that it is not, in fact, theoretical. Many, many planes have firearms aboard, in the hands of Air Marshals, FBI agents, other policemen, and even members of the armed forces, in certain circumstances. My younger brother, who is a member of the Utah

  • Why shouldn't someone be allowed to carry a gun on their Cessna? And why wouldn't an airline company be allowed to prevent passengers from carrying certain objects on a plane?
  • If everyone on a plane were armed, I think there would be two effects.

    1) Terrorists and Hijackers would be pretty much unable to take control of a plane. Passengers would be somewhat safer from them, and outside targets for plane crashes would be MUCH safer.

    2) Passengers would be in considerably more danger from each other than they are now. Especially since alcohol is served, and since most people aren't aware of the danger of depressurizing an airliner in flight.

    I consider the real world risk from 1 to
    • I consider the real world risk from 1 to be totally trivial, and the risk of 2 to be greater than trivial. So, in balance, I suspect the safty of passengers would go down.

      Thank you! I was wondering how long it would take for someone to figure this out. Now that brings me to the second part of the question. If the extra danger that comes with widespread gun ownership outweighs any benefit in terms of safety in an unlikely situation in the air, why would it be any different on the ground in society in ge

      • You can't depressurize the ground.
      • In the US, it's basically too late to disarm everyone regardless of your view on the desirability of that, so restrictions on the right to bear can only disarm honest citizens who obey the laws. If you could somehow find a way to disarm the criminals equally, the argument for the need to bear arms changes considerably. An airplane is a rare situation where this is possible.

        I'm also leery about the government restricting my rights for whatever reason, even if it's a right I don't currently exercise, and
  • If carrying guns onto planes were particularly rare, it would do little good. Someone could carry a gun onto a plane without the authorities batting an eye and then feel confident that he is the only person with a weapon. Granted, in a confined area, a group of people could easily overtake one person with a gun, but I think that it's been proven that most people are too cowardly to do so.

    If there were a significant number of people carrying weapons onto flights, it would certainly be a boon for passenger
    • So would you feel safer if the 9/11 security measures were lifted and people were allowed to carry knives on planes again? After all, knives don't kill people, people do.
      • So would you feel safer if the 9/11 security measures were lifted and people were allowed to carry knives on planes again? After all, knives don't kill people, people do.

        I would feel neither safer nor more endangered, but I'd definitely feel much less annoyed. Anyone who wants to and thinks about it for a while can get a knife on a plane now. Particularly something like a boxcutter, which has a very small, very thin blade. An exacto knife is even smaller. So the security measures effectively annoy us

  • A couple of items.

    It's stated above "Many people don't know the dangers of depressurization".

    Thanks to movies, about everybody has this "knowlege". Fortunately, "hard" ammunition only puts little holes in the side of the plane that make an annoying whistle. Nobody gets sucked out the holes. I know this from past conversations with folks who have faced this situation, flying high altitude missions in combat.

    Apparently machine guns bullets sound like somebody outside picked up a handfull of gravel and t
  • Why do people feel that a concealed weapon is a deterrent in the first place? Do cops hide their weapons? No, they wear them right out there in the open, where the righteous may feel protected and the others may tremble.

    You want deterrance, you need your weapon to be clearly visible. Otherwise, you are only defended against criminals who are willing to take a chance that you aren't armed. Since criminals are generally stupid, almost by definition, is that a good plan?

    Oh, does the idea of walking throu
    • Open carry deterrs the criminal from acting when the armed person is present, but allows the criminal to verify that it's currently safe to attack when there are no armed people around. Concealed carry is less of a deterrent when the armed person is around, but more of a deterrent when they are elsewhere.
      • In addition, in a closed environment like a plane, with open carry the hijackers could identify the armed passengers before making their move and focus on taking them out as quickly and violently as possible. If the weapons are concealed, they don't know who to target. This is a big part of why Air Marshals carry concealed and are not uniformed.

Competence, like truth, beauty, and contact lenses, is in the eye of the beholder. -- Dr. Laurence J. Peter