Ron Paul

Paul on the Government and 9-11

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Speaking in Sioux City, Iowa yesterday, Ron Paul told an audience of supporters that had the government not been in charge of airline security, the attacks of 9/11 would likely have been prevented. The Daily Telegraph's Washington correspondent, Toby Harnden, isn't entirely convinced of Paul's plan to turn in-flight security over to Blackwater-in-the-sky, but he is clearly intrigued by the candidate's libertarianism:

My first reaction was that Paul's theory was a bit nutty. But then I thought about it further and I reckon there's something in what he says—or certainly the bit about federal regulations leaving the pilots with no easy means of fighting back. Here's my piece from Iowa on the Paul campaign and here's what the popular hero of the Ron Paul revolution said about 9/11. 

"If the responsibility had been on the airlines to protect their planes and their cargo, which it should have been rather than the government, the conditions would have been quite different.  The pilots would have been allowed to have weapons on the airplanes. At the same time, we wouldn't have been told we never should have resisted hijackers. 

"The government was in charge and unfortunately we haven't moved in the proper direction. What we have done is turn over all the security to the government and unfortunately it hasn't made travelling any more pleasant. It's an awful lot less pleasant.

Whole post. Harnden's most recent dispatch from Iowa, re: Paul's online supporters, from the Telegraph print edition.

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  1. I heard Paul make this point before, mentioning how banks take care of their own security. Then a couple days later I saw a Brinks truck refilling an ATM. One guy with a bag, the other standing at his side with his gun drawn. People eating lunch ten feet away at an outdoor restaurant. Lethal force on display, fast transaction, no one inconvenienced. If the government were in charge, the whole block would be cordoned off and they’d still lose half the money…

  2. And it would cost 10X as much!!

  3. I saw a Brinks truck refilling an ATM. One guy with a bag, the other standing at his side with his gun drawn.

    Just guessing here, I imagine that they don’t fill machines the same time every day, or even the same time every Tuesday.

  4. Let me tell you something, sir. That kind of isolationism is what allowed Hitler to come to power. And I just spent Thanksgiving with the pilots, the same pilots who you say are hamstrung, and here’s their message, their message to you: let us fly. Let us fly.

  5. I’m unconvinced.

    Banks all used to have a pistol issued to the manager to fight off would-be robbers.

    They looked at the numbers and decided that managers and bystanders were more likely to be killed than the robbers.

    I’m not sure that this model applies fully – how do you rationally dissuade someone intent on mass homicide? – but it does not weigh in favor of armed “sky marshalls” hired by the airlines.

  6. The point isn’t necessarily that pilots should be armed, but that however the security is done, if it’s the government doing it, it will suck.

  7. If you believe guns work as self-defense, you can’t discredit the concept of a pilot protecting the cockpit with a firearm. I do believe it would have prevented 9/11. Having said that, as a armed home owner, you don’t have to worry about your house crashing into the ground because you accidently shot the hydraulics line.

  8. I’m sometimes bothered by the pure libertarianism of Dr. Paul, as eventually some private security force will get robbed and that will be taken as infallible proof of the failure of market forces.

    Then I stop free-basing meth and I get over it.

  9. who needs a gun?

    in close quarters like that, a trained man with a $30 retractable baton coulda cleaned house on the box-cutter wielding psychos.

  10. Aresen –

    To stop 9/11, you wouldn’t even have needed to arm all pilots. You would only need the airlines to have been ALLOWED to arm pilots.

    You can reliably plan an operation like 9/11 without certainty that the pilots can’t resist a guy armed with a box cutter. Even the possibility that ONE of the pilots on ONE of the planes MIGHT be armed would have made planning 9/11 a lot more difficult.

    I know that the hijackers intended to die, but the important thing from their perspective was that they die by crashing the plane. Dying by getting shot would have been a mission failure. Frankly the possibility that their mission would fail would have been the best deterrent possible, precisely because they were willing to die. If you can’t be sure you can take the planes, there are better uses for your 19 suicide terrorists on the ground.

  11. Sorry, the most important sentence in the second paragraph should read:

    “You CAN’T reliably plan an operation like 9/11…etc.” I reversed the meaning of the entire section, sorry.

  12. We just had a great example of how private security works in Colorado. Gun walks in shoots a bunch of people then proceeds into shoot more female security shot and killed gunman who had a boat load of ammo and was pretty intent on killing allot of people that day.

    This shouldn’t be confused, this does work and it works all the time everyday. I dont understand how anyone can see it any other way.

  13. Even the possibility that ONE of the pilots on ONE of the planes MIGHT be armed would have made planning 9/11 a lot more difficult.

    Exactly the argument, rightly IMO, in favor of conceal carry permits.

  14. Exactly the argument, rightly IMO, in favor of conceal carry permits.

    Almost. Exactly the argument, rightly IMO, in favor of allowing people to carry guns, anywhere, any way they like, for whatever reason, without any permit required.

  15. To Aresen,

    Someone walking into a bank with a gun is different then someone with a box cutter on a jet.

    Passengers would still be screened for weapons before reaching the gate.

    I would like to hear an argument on why pilots (most of which have military training) should not have guns.

  16. It’s not just arming the pilots. It’s also having private companies doing the screening at airports. Do you remember the recent report? SFO is the only major airport with a private company doing the screening. They also happen to be the only airport that passed with an 80%. When using governmentg screeners that number droped to 25%!

    Private companies also cost less to operate and constantly test their screeners with fake bomb material.

  17. Wouldn’t it wonderful to live in a world,
    that wasn’t distorted, twisted and twirled.
    Life is too short for killing and hate,
    so love one another before it’s too late.
    Mike Toth 1968
    Vote Ron Paul.

  18. We could speculate all we want on what could of and what couldn’t prevented 9/11. I think there is plenty of blame to go around. But the two main items that will prevent another hijacking have little to do with the TSA or government. The strengthening of cockpit doors and the change in how passengers will react if someone attempts to take over a plane. Instead of accommodating the hijackers as everyone was taught to do – the passengers will rise up just pummel the hijacker(s). Long before they can get through a cockpit door and long before the gun that may or may not be in the cockpit can be of any use. Everything else is just theatre.

  19. Since he still flies commercial, he would at least know how unpleasant airline security is. Which of the candidates still fly commercial?

  20. Reinforced, locked door to the cockpit. Why is this so hard? Rhetorical. I know why.

  21. I suspect that common sense is no longer common. As a result common sense is viewed as radical. Good to know there are still people who can see reason in reasonable things.

  22. There is no reason to even suspect that United and American would have allowed their pilots to carry guns; there is no reason to suspect that those particular pilots would have carried guns; and there is no reason to suspect that the instructions given to pilots about hijackings would have been any different.

    This was not one of Ron Paul’s better moments.

  23. I don’t know why some of you people keep saying that the peoples’ soviet tractor is rusting away in the fields like that.

    Don’t you know that we care?

  24. Then again, Fluffy makes a good point.

    That’s the same reason random bag searches are useful.

  25. I’m married into an airline family. I fly a lot. The current security is a joke. They’re more worried about water bottles, as if we’d use them to drown the pilots or force a water landing. Totally nuts.

    I’d rather have the flight attendants have a Colt .45 in the drink cart–the gun, not the beer!

  26. They should arm the pilots with those concussive weapons the Alliance carries.

    Those would be hydraulic-failure free!

  27. The pilots would have been allowed to have weapons on the airplanes. At the same time, we wouldn’t have been told we never should have resisted hijackers.

    Does anyone know what the exact mechanics hi-jackings were? It would seem to me that people probably didn’t need to be told not to fight back. In pretty much every other hi-jacking to that point, the guy(s) had a bomb, or threatened a bomb.

    I could be wrong, but I’ve always suspected that these guys didn’t go up and say “hey, we’ve got box-cutters, and we’re going to take control of your plane and fly it into a building”. I’m assuming it was more like “we have a bomb, and we’ll blow up the whole plane if you resist”. It’s my impression that at the time, they probably felt the safest course of action was to comply. Generally speaking, in pretty much every hijacking prior to 9/11, the hijacker(s) wanted to live.

    Obviously by the time this had failed three times, the folks in Pennsylvania probably knew what to expect, which explains why they actually did fight back.

    So I’m not sure what the crap about “being told we should never resist hijackers” is about. Does he really think the people on those planes on 9/11 said “Oh noes, they got boxcutters! Everybody be still!!”?

  28. Reinforced, locked door to the cockpit. Why is this so hard? Rhetorical. I know why.

    Again, in the case of someone who says “let me in or I blow up the whole damn plane”, those doors probably aren’t all that valuable.

  29. Squarooticus,

    Let’s take your argument to it’s logical conclusion. Mall filled with Christmas shoppers, let’s say 5% packing heat. A shot rings out among the 500 or so in the food court so you’ve got about 25 people who pull out their 9mm’s looking to drop the person HOLDING THE GUN.

    Methinks this ends very badly.

  30. When the last hijacked plane got information that the other planes were being flown into buildings they revolted and overpowered the terrorists.

    The point is that private individuals and companies, who actually have their own assets and lives in danger, will be far more likely to adequately provide for their safety.

  31. As tim notes at 5:45, the model has definitely changed.

    Prior to 9/11, everyone was conditioned to the mentality “if we all stay calm, we’ll get out of this OK”. Now passengers and crew are aware that they either fight or they will definitely die, perhaps along with a lot of other people. I think even if the passengers knew that the hijackers were going to blow up the plane, they would still fight.

    What I was attempting to get at was twofold:
    1) At the time, the thought of deliberately crashing a plane into a building was on no-one’s mind, so the “stay calm” model was still the dominant way of thinking (other than with El Al). So airlines would have told their pilots and crew not to resist a hijacker, even absent a government policy.
    2) There are also risks in resisting inappropriately. A pressurized cabin is a dangerous place to use a firearm. Further, if someone misjudges and kills or injures an innocent person, the airline could be held liable. The airlines may make the same calculation that the banks did: The risk of injuring an innocent is greater than the risk of a hijacking/robbery. I have no idea how the airlines would calculate the relative risks. They could decide on a passive role – locked & reinforced cabin doors – and not take active measures.

    This isn’t a matter of “being strong”, it is a matter of weighing and balancing the relative risks.

    With respect to the locked and reinforced cabin doors, El Al had that policy long before 9/11. After the incident in Marseilles in the late 1990s when Algerian hijackers plotted to crash a jet into the Eiffel Tower, several analysts proposed that the change be made mandatory for all airlines. The airlines fought it as being too expensive.

    That is why I am unsure that, had the government not been involved in airline security prior to 9/11 that the result would have been any different.

  32. Again, in the case of someone who says “let me in or I blow up the whole damn plane”, those doors probably aren’t all that valuable.

    Those armored doors are still plenty valuable if, post-9/11, the pilots all have instructions to not let anyone in the cockpit, bomb or no bomb, and they all understand why it’s better to risk losing the plane than let the bastards in the cockpit.

  33. the point is irrelevant. The planes didn’t bring down those buildings. Controlled demolition did. How else can you explain all three building coming down at free fall speed?

  34. “If the responsibility had been on the airlines to protect their planes and their cargo,…”

    That’s the fundamental problem I see with Paul’s position. It’s all-too-stereotypical libertarian la-la-landism, utterly divorced from reality. The airlines aren’t responsible for anything, and they don’t want to be. The joke of “privatization” is that when corporate profits are threatened, it’s the taxpayers who come to the rescue with multi-billion dollar government bailouts. Gotta protect those CEO salaries. Paul is being disingenous here, suggesting that We, the People would ever hold the airlines responsible for security when we don’t even hold them responsible for managing their business sensibly.

  35. Let’s take your argument to it’s logical conclusion. Mall filled with Christmas shoppers, let’s say 5% packing heat. A shot rings out among the 500 or so in the food court so you’ve got about 25 people who pull out their 9mm’s looking to drop the person HOLDING THE GUN.

    Ummm, something like this scenario happened in Utah recently. Someone pulled a gun at a mall in Utah, one of the few places in the state that prohibited concealed carry, and an off-duty cop who ignored the signage and was toting his gun offed the bad guy before he could kill too many bystanders.

    Ended real badly for the gunman. The cop, however, was a hero to everyone in the state.

    If there had been several people toting guns, someone would likely have pointed at the gunman and identified him, in which case the extra guns would have shaved a couple of seconds off the dispensing of street justice.

  36. Now passengers and crew are aware that they either fight or they will definitely die, perhaps along with a lot of other people. I think even if the passengers knew that the hijackers were going to blow up the plane, they would still fight.

    Above and beyond that, the pilots need to know that acquiescing in order to save lives isn’t good policy, and therefore need a secure cockpit. This is where the reinforced, locked door comes in handy.

    Were airline pilots even allowed to refuse terrorist demands prior to 9/11? By “allowed” I mean “indemnified”, of course. There’s little use in refusing a terrorist demand if you’re subject to criminal charges when it’s all over.

  37. Paul is being disingenous here, suggesting that We, the People would ever hold the airlines responsible for security when we don’t even hold them responsible for managing their business sensibly.

    You’re right, people never hold private companies responsible for endangering their safety. No one ever buys a car because it has a better crash test safety rating than its competitors. People kept on buying Jack in the Box burgers after undercooked burgers killed some customers. No countries boycotted American beef because some cows developed mad cow disease. Bottles of aspirin aren’t covered with plastic shrink wrap to ensure psychos can’t drop poison in them. People didn’t quit flying a certain Hawaiian airline after the top peeled off it and killed a stewardess.

  38. Haven’t they done studies showing that armed guards are no more of a deterrent than unarmed guards, that in fact all armed guards tend to bring is more violence (the guard is more tempted to “be a hero” or the bad guy thinks he has to off the guard right away)? This makes intuitive sense: the robber will almost always “have the drop” on an armed employee. The employee is there all the time and can’t keep his guard up (he can’t walk around with it drawn all the time). The robber knows when he will be pulling his weapon. I suspect that the utilitarian value of all these “let teachers/pilots/etc carry guns” policies is very small and the utilitarian costs could be very great (see the post about everyone armed looking to shoot the shooter).

    Gun rights should be defended on more deontological grounds (that in a free society we let people have these things if they have done no wrong). Utlitarian arguments always come off as very strained and full of ancedotal “well there was this guy in Utah” sounding stories…

  39. Well, Ron Paul’s point is valid. Private security guards do guard banks, armored cars, gated neighborhoods, etc. So, why shouldn’t the airlines be responsible for guarding their passengers and property. Certainly, the mess that we have had to endure in the airports since 9/11 should cause everyone to ask whether there is a better answer than government incompetence.

  40. The airlines resisted the tougher doors, IIRC. And if course, even though they were not required, I’m unaware of any reason why airlines could not have toughed up their doors anyway.

    I dunno, while I’m totally unconvinced creating the TSA has done any good at all, I just don’t think Ron’s got a really good point here.

  41. Also, maybe the pilots wouldn’t even have guns. How about a taser and some handcuffs? That would have done the trick, and no chance of killing someone by accident. There would have been more security innovation, is the point I’m trying to make. Besides, the only thing the government does well, is get bigger and more inefficient.

  42. Re: hardened doors

    I recently saw a tv special on either disc, ng, or hist channel that put forth a plausible but by no means conclusive theory that a Greek airline crash about 5-6 years ago was due in part to the fact the cabin flight crew could not get in the cockpit quickly enough after the pilot/co-pilot passed out due to a fault in the cabin pressurization system.

    So, everything has tradeoffs.

  43. The airlines resisted the tougher doors, IIRC. And if course, even though they were not required, I’m unaware of any reason why airlines could not have toughed up their doors anyway.

    Bears repeating. I think the stuf about pilot guns is RP’s coded method to the Truthers, rather than something to be taken at face value. A candidate can’t attract Truthers too overtly. It has to be, if at all, by code.

  44. For those worried about things like “shooting the hydraulics line,” that is why they have aviation-rated ammunition. It is designed not to penetrate metal, although it would still have plenty of stopping force against a box-cutter wielding hijacker.

  45. What about cockpit doors that cannot be opened by a person on the plane, only by the airline.

  46. I had to comment on this:

    “Paul’s plan to turn in-flight security over to Blackwater-in-the-sky”

    Blackwater isn’t a private company, it’s a leech that is bleeding the government dry of money. The reason Blackwater exists is because some dirty politicians are making a lot of money off from it’s existence. The proper thing for the government to do is give better incentives for people to join the military by raising salaries, and stop lying to them about going to war. Mecernaries really don’t care about right or wrong, they care only about getting paid. That’s not true of your average soldier.

    Secondly:

    What Paul is talking about is letting airlines be reponsible for their own security, and to be responsible for their own FAILURES of security.

    Then, if some nutcase manages to take over a plane and steer it into a couple of buildings, the airline is directly financially responsible for it – not the tax payer. Of course, in such a situation like 9/11, the airline would immediately go out of business, as it should.

    Contrary to some popular belief, companies don’t like to kill or maim their customers, and they frequently try to avoid doing this if for no other reason that they don’t want to lose business or money. Putting the responsibility of security onto the airline gives the airline a very clear ECONOMIC motivation to have good security, which currently, they don’t have at all at this time.

  47. Utlitarian arguments always come off as very strained and full of ancedotal “well there was this guy in Utah” sounding stories…

    QFT. You really don’t want to get into a personal-anecdote competition with Sarah Brady. You’re not going to win.

  48. “You really don’t want to get into a personal-anecdote competition with Sarah Brady. You’re not going to win.”

    You mean the way she uses her husband as an pathetic, pitiable creature to raise money?

    She’s a bitchy shrew, hardly a moral exemplar.

  49. Look, everyone here makes some compelling arguments about how private security sucks, and about how the airlines are incompetent, and about how a shootout on a plane might go awry, and that’s all well and good.

    It doesn’t change the fact that the number one thing needed in order to plan 9/11 was predictability, and that the government standardization of the security rules for airlines and for airports provided that predictability.

    Issues of competence and practicality only arise once the hijacking is actually under way. My point remains that the hijackings only were a plausible mission for terrorists in the first place because the reactions of the airlines, the pilots and the passengers were all perfectly predictable, and pushing responsibility for security back on the airlines would make it less predictable.

    It’s precisely because private security would be a crapshoot that a multi-plane operation requiring indirection and deception would not be worth undertaking.

  50. The TV show MythBusters pretty much shot down the “single gunshot destroys pressurized cabin” theory. They found that a gunshot made a small hole in the plane, with no sudden de-pressurization. They even shot the windows at close range.

  51. Certainly a country that got started by fighting Hessian mercenaries should be very hesitant to employ its own mercenary army, but the biggest problem with Blackwater in Iraq isn’t that they are mercenaries, but that the US government prevents the Iraqis from suing them for damages or pressing criminal charges when they level half a block to take out two or three bad guys.

  52. Why don’t you explain that in the middle of a debate, JKP. I’m sure it would go over really well.

  53. I think that air marshals (if they have a brain at all) probably have rounds in their guns that fragment. I’d sure want those rather than full metal jackets. Even if the plane doesn’t suddenly depressurize, it only makes sense.

  54. Reason’s Beloved Founder, Bob Poole, has written extensively on airline security. I don’t think he or Ron Paul envision Blackwater In The Sky.

    Poole pretty much has all the answers and is considered one of the pre-eminent experts in the field. Dimes to donuts that RP might consult with him on the matter.

  55. Ron Paul is right about airlines taking care of their own security. 911 could have been been prevented if pilots were allowed to arm themselves. Ron Paul is not a polititian but true statesman. I wonder what slanders would have been commited against Thomas Jefferson.

  56. You really don’t want to get into a personal-anecdote competition with Sarah Brady. You’re not going to win.

    joe,

    Suzanna Gratia Hupp “won the personal anecdote competition” with Sarah Brady in the majority of our States.

  57. First, I gotta agree with a lot of others: Prior to the planes crashing into the WTC, if somebody stood up with his finger on a button attached to a wire and says “Resist and I blow the plane up, comply and we’ll land in Cuba so I can go on TV with my manifesto”, the most rational course of action (based on past experience) would be to comply. I suspect that even armed private security guards would have made that calculation. Even if you get the element of surprise and shoot him in the back, there’s still a damn good chance that his finger will somehow squeeze that button and blow up the plane.

    I’d like to think that private security would have at least prevented them from getting weapons onto the plane. The problem is that if they used fake bombs made from innocuous devices then even the best private security wouldn’t have stopped them from making a credible bomb threat against the passengers. And there’s a million ways to improve a knife, so they still would have found a way to kill the pilots after entering the cockpit.

    And even the best cockpit lock is useless if the pilot believes that the choices are (1) die in an explosion or (2) land in Cuba.

    So I don’t think private security would have prevented 9/11. The hijackers had improvised weapons (almost impossible to stop at checkpoints) and an unexpected attack plan (and the element of surprise is almost always the most effective weapon of all).

    OTOH, I’ve gotta agree that private security would almost certainly be better than the TSA.

    OTOH, a Tijuana cop supervising a crew of people who flunked DMV training would be better than the TSA. So I’m not sure what that proves.

  58. SIV, excellent.

    Hear that in a Mr Burns voice.

  59. Sorry if this was already mentioned, but TNR’s “The Plank” has just discovered that the talking pizza guy supports The Honerable Representative, Dr. Ron Paul

    Wasn’t this a story like 3 months ago or am I thinking different pizza?

  60. A shot rings out among the 500 or so in the food court so you’ve got about 25 people who pull out their 9mm’s looking to drop the person HOLDING THE GUN.

    Methinks this ends very badly.

    Ah yes, the old concealed carry leads to wild west shootout at the OK corral bloodbaths on main street scenario.

    Oddly, its never happened. Not once. So I think you can stop worrying about it.

    Instead, we get one textbook example after another of shooters seeking out gun free zones for their killing, and people with concealed carry licenses saving lives.

  61. You really don’t want to get into a personal-anecdote competition with Sarah Brady. You’re not going to win.

    Why not? She’s got one anecdote. That’s it. And its not even really relevant to much of anything.

  62. Oddly, its never happened. Not once. So I think you can stop worrying about it.

    RCD, actually we have had several cases where the law abiding citizen with a gun has taken out the bad guy. Most recent is that Western USA Church, the Church started by the guy supposed to be dating homosexual prostitutes, had an armed guard lady who took down some religion hating murderer.

    Sounds like the lady shoots better than most of those big city Northern cops.

  63. Is Sarah Brady the woman married to the guy with half a brain and she carts him around in a wheelechair begging for money to destroy 2A?

  64. Half of Mr. Brady’s brain saved Ronald Reagan and the remaining half is trying to destroy him.

  65. Paul speaks at length on security and many other issues during this interview. For some strange reason, ABC has yet to air it.

  66. Wow, kicking the cripple! Haven’t seen that hyper-libertarian game in weeks…Brady’s husband was tragically harmed by a handgun and now she crusades against handguns. I’m pro-gun rights but this hardly qualifies for calling this woman bitchy or picking on her husband. Remember once, a while back, I said there are two kinds of libertarians: 1. thoughtful and consistent ones who worry about the abuse of any coercive power and 2. authoritarian dickheads who hate the government because they hate to see it help anyone (especially with their money). In other words, libertarians and right wing libertarians :).

  67. A shot rings out among the 500 or so in the food court so you’ve got about 25 people who pull out their 9mm’s looking to drop the person HOLDING THE GUN.

    Methinks this ends very badly.

    If I’m in that mall, I’m looking for cover. God forbid I should ever have to shoot anyone, self-defense or otherwise. Obviously, though, I will to save myself or my family or innocents around me. But it should always be a last resort unless it’s your job, as in the case of the security guard.

  68. Shouldn’t somebody from the Right-Wing Nutjob Libertarian Front make some joke about enjoying a juicy hamburger now?

    But on to some substance…Guy, armed security guards hardly help your argument. Armed security guards have always been authorized to carry firearms…

    Again, studies (not ancedotal evidence) suggest a very mixed bag as to whether armed guards deter bank robberies, and many suggest that it actually just increases the chance of violence in a robbery (often not violence nabbing a bad guy mind you).

    I don’t think most whackjobs actively “seek out” “gun free” zones. They probably just happen to go to places with lots of people, which are also often places that it would seem odd, if not illegal, to have someone toting a gun around…

  69. MNG

    Brady’s husband was tragically harmed by a handgun

    Then why didn’t they commit the handgun to St Elizabeths?

  70. SIV
    If Hinckley had been armed with a knife or bat do you think Sarah would be pushing her husband around right now?

  71. I think Sarah Brady is wrongheaded…Most people with guns will never harm another with them…That said, given whats happened to her, she is hardly a bad person for pushing for what she is, nor is her husband deserving of ridicule.

  72. Let’s take your argument to it’s logical conclusion. Mall filled with Christmas shoppers, let’s say 5% packing heat. A shot rings out among the 500 or so in the food court so you’ve got about 25 people who pull out their 9mm’s looking to drop the person HOLDING THE GUN.

    Methinks this ends very badly.

    Methinks that it is not unusual in many places for around 5% of people to be packing heat regardless of legality… so the only debate is if the guy that shoots the guman should stick around to anwer questions afterwards.

    You gun-control people have this quaint idea that people actually will obey your gun control laws.

    Haven’t they done studies showing that armed guards are no more of a deterrent than unarmed guards

    When I was a young kid, and it was popular for all the young kids in the neighborhood to steal stuff… we would go a half mile to the 7-11 as opposed to the corner party stores, cause the guys at the party stores kept guns behind the counter.

    Perhaps guns don’t deter highly skilled professional criminals, but they certainly deter punk kids.

    Utlitarian arguments always come off as very strained and full of ancedotal “well there was this guy in Utah” sounding stories…

    Actually, utilitarian arguements say that people will have guns regardless of the law, and gun-control simply creates an unregulated black-market.

    QFT. You really don’t want to get into a personal-anecdote competition with Sarah Brady. You’re not going to win.

    Only if you have religious faith in the governments ability to stop a black market in weapons.

    If Hinckley had been armed with a knife or bat do you think Sarah would be pushing her husband around right now?

    Why would he need to use a knife or a bat? Why not just purchase an illegal gun the way he would purchase some illegal weed, and use that. You realize that guns aren’t exactly atomic bombs right? They are easy to smuggle, easy to manufacture, and the black-market means no anoying taxes or regulation!

    But speaking of assasination attempts with knifes:
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=EN4UNKNsjjc

  73. Maybe air marshals could be
    sexier
    , like the stewardesses of yesteryear?

  74. That said, given whats happened to her, she is hardly a bad person for pushing for what she is, nor is her husband deserving of ridicule.

    If Mrs. Brady didn’t want herself or her husband to be the target of ridicule, she shouldn’t have entered politics. Humor and ridicule has always been part of a free and vibrant political process, from early printed political cartoons to political satires on Saturday Night Live, etc. We somehow are supposed to tolerate ignorant reactionaries promoting fascist unconstitutional laws because they had a personal tragedy?

  75. Rex, get a grip on reality friend. Brady pushes for increased gun control, as her husband was shot with a handgun and disabled for life. After a nuanced reading you might find her idea to be contrary to the Constitution. You may find it to be ignorant. You may find it to be fascist (now you’re going a bit overboard imo). But still this victim of such a tragedy does not deserve ridicule. Sorry.

  76. mr. nice guy, while i appreciate your overriding sentiment, but personal tragedy is not a slate-wipe for decades of vile crusading. it explains why she does what she does, but it does not excuse it.

    being neither gun owner nor conspirologist, i do find it interesting that gary kleck’s points about media bias regarding defensive gun usage have basically been borne out with the recent church shooting that was stopped. it’s at least as compelling as that mall shooting, and oddly enough gets very little play despite being quite dramatic.

    it simply doesn’t fit the narrative.

  77. Why don’t you explain that in the middle of a debate, JKP. I’m sure it would go over really well.

    joe, on a similar note, such insane emotionalism is stock and trade of vpn and other such well-meaning – if utterly vile – groups.

    i mean i’m sure the gay cure groups and other moral majority esque folk are deeply invested in good intentions, but they’re still fucking assholes.

  78. Oddly, its never happened.

    The SWAT team that raided Kathryn Johnston

    Pat Tillman (supposedly)

    Those are just the ones that have been in the news this year.

  79. “If Hinckley had been armed with a knife or bat do you think Sarah would be pushing her husband around right now?”

    Let’s ask Inejiro Asanuma what he thinks about that.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D4KROpdUkrM

  80. Mr. Nice Guy –

    There’s really only one reason for Mrs. Brady to introduce the emotion of her personal anecdote into the conversation – to attempt to trump the more clinical portion of the gun control debate.

    In other words, she’s trying to use guilt to convince me to support a policy position I oppose intellectually.

    Well, ridicule is a perfectly legitimate defense against guiltmongery.

    Her husband’s condition is a reasonable argument against letting John Hinckley carry a gun. It really has no bearing on the question of whether or not I should be allowed to have a gun. In return for the insult of equating me with John Hinckley, I think it’s OK for me to insult her right back.

  81. MNG,

    I was, in fact, robbed at gunpoint on my 18th birthday while attempting a bank drop for my employer. No physical injury resulted to me nor, unfortunatly, to the lowlife who assaulted me and robbed money from my employer.

    This victim agrees with Fluffy, not you, on this topic and touting out victimhood to make your living is quite wrong. ESPECIALLY when one is trying to victimize others with their contraconstitutional policies.

  82. Dave W. is right!

    Clearly, we need gun control aimed at police officers and soldiers…

  83. RC,

    Why not? She’s got one anecdote. That’s it. And its not even really relevant to much of anything.

    Which is exactly why you don’t want the issue to turn into a personal-anecdote contest.

  84. Only if you have religious faith in the governments ability to stop a black market in weapons.

    No, Rex, you see, that’s what called an argument. As opposed to an anecdote.

    Jesus, gun threads bring out the stupid.

  85. joe, on a similar note, such insane emotionalism is stock and trade of vpn and other such well-meaning – if utterly vile – groups.

    Yes, and they do it a hell of lot better than the repugnant, inhuman barbarity on display form Guy Montag and Rex Rhino.

    Ha ha, look at the cripple! Hey, humor has always been a part of politics.

    Completely aside from the merits of the issue, you two are fucking dickheads.

  86. I have a personal (depending on definition of personal – not quite as personal as Sarah Brady’s) anecdote that kicks Sarah’s anecdote’s ass.

    Or, to the point, a sadder one. But its still pro-gun.

  87. The TV show MythBusters pretty much shot down the “single gunshot destroys pressurized cabin” theory. They found that a gunshot made a small hole in the plane, with no sudden de-pressurization. They even shot the windows at close range.

    I’m glad someone mentioned this. Mythbusters has blown a lot of bullshit out of the water, and this is a big one. People actually use the “da bulletz will crash da plane, boss” argument and it’s fucking laughable–go back to watching your TV movie, asshole. These airframes are designed to fly constantly for 30 years. You thing a little piece of lead will take them down? If you do, you are a fucking moron.

  88. I have a personal (depending on definition of personal – not quite as personal as Sarah Brady’s) anecdote that kicks Sarah’s anecdote’s ass.

    Or, to the point, a sadder one. But its still pro-gun.

    Me too. Can’t stop people from killing themselves.

  89. KARATE STANCE!

    [Weibskobold enters dressed in new-fangled Stewardess outfit]

    BOUNCY BOUNCY!

  90. My anecdote doesnt have anything to do with something killing themselves (well, okay, I guess it could be argued one of the guys in the story was committing suicide).

    Anyway, cast of characters:
    CG – Crazy Guy
    Crazy Guy’s Mom
    GG – Good Guy – friend of my Mom’s family, I probably met him at my Uncle’s funeral (he was a close friend with my uncle and did a lot for my grandfather after my Uncle’s death) but didnt really know him – thats why I said its not as personal as SB’s anecdote.
    Good Guys wife
    Good Guys daughter

    One night, Crazy Guy’s mom drives CG to GG’s house. He is going there for the purpose (according to the Mom after being arrested later that night) of killing GG and his family. Im guessing crazy runs in the family.

    GG hears someone breaking down his front door, grabs his .45 and runs out of his bedroom. CG, who has intent of murder gets off first shot, hitting GG in the chest. GG’s right side is paralyzed. From the ground he picks up .45 in left hand and gets off one shot, killing CG. GG later dies at hospital.

    Yeah, the Good Guy dies. But he saved his wife and daughter.

    And that anecdote alone is why guns should remain legal.

  91. And, speaking of legislation originating from anecdotal, personal-tragedy-based emotional blackmail, you just gotta give a shout out to MADD.

    They have definitely made the world a better place.

    ————

    On [non-gun] topic: I wonder what would be the outcome of a scenario in which a pilot landed his plane with one or more passengers/ crew members dead because he refused to comply with hijackers’ demands to open the armored cockpit door.

  92. If the responsibility had been on the airlines to protect their planes and their cargo, which it should have been rather than the government, the conditions would have been quite different.

    But 9/11 proved that the real damage from a hijacked plane falls outside the realm of an airline’s property. In other words, American Airlines has no interest in protecting buildings such as the WTC. To extend the hyper-libertarian argument further, one could say that the WTC buildings should have had their own surface-to-air missles ready to fire on possible incoming hijacked planes.

    Also, while it’s true that government security failed on 9/11, it hasn’t failed since then. And private security doesn’t keep banks from being robbed from time to time. So unless you’re already in the faith-based camp of “private good, government bad” I’m afraid Ron Paul’s argument is not that compelling.

  93. When I said Oddly, its never happened. I was referring to the concealed carry leads to wild west massacres fantasy of the gun controllers.

    As counterexamples, I get:

    The SWAT team that raided Kathryn Johnston

    Pat Tillman (supposedly)

    SWAT teams and military friendly fire have zero to do with concealed carry. Zero. Thanks for playing, though.

    Those are just the ones that have been in the news this year.

  94. To extend the hyper-libertarian argument further, one could say that the WTC buildings should have had their own surface-to-air missles ready to fire on possible incoming hijacked planes.

    Or we could take the hyper-nannytarian approach, and ban air travel.

  95. Or we could take the hyper-nannytarian approach, and ban air travel.

    Right. Which is why we’ll probably stick with the moderate and for the most part successful approach and have the government continue to do it.

  96. We could make airlines responsible for damage they do to buildings. Just like if I drive my car into your house, my insurance would have to pay for the damages. AA absolutely would care about potential damage their plane could do to a building.

    BTW, has the port authority considered sueing American and United? for the damage to the towers?

  97. So if somebody steals your car and uses it to commit a crime, you should be held responsible?

  98. “””But 9/11 proved that the real damage from a hijacked plane falls outside the realm of an airline’s property. In other words, American Airlines has no interest in protecting buildings such as the WTC.”””

    I’m laughing at this one. Don’t you think that American Airlines had in interest in protecting the plane that flew into the WTC? AA may not care about the WTC, but they do care about their assests. Selfish protection of those assests may have prevented that assest from being used in the attack.

  99. “””To extend the hyper-libertarian argument further, one could say that the WTC buildings should have had their own surface-to-air missles ready to fire on possible incoming hijacked planes.”””

    There was some short lived talk about putting SAMs on the Liberty Tower.

  100. Mr. Nice Dumbass — have a look, because I’ve fixed it for you:

    “If the gun had been armed with a knife or bat do you think Sarah would be pushing her husband around right now?”

    There. That’s consistent and it doesn’t go all swervy from your original point, the way you’d written it.

    Happy to help. I’m all about helping.

  101. “But 9/11 proved that the real damage from a hijacked plane falls outside the realm of an airline’s property. In other words, American Airlines has no interest in protecting buildings such as the WTC.”

    That’s astounding. The house anencephalic actually posits that American Airlines is going to let hijackers destroy a hundred million dollar airplane because it doesn’t care about buildings on the ground. That kind of loss doesn’t represent “real damage”.

    Okay, then.

    Write that one down in your capital management notebooks, kids.

  102. Drink LiberTEA at the Teaparty, Dec 16, 2007. Drink it for the first time.

    All other candidates DENY LIBERTY.

    Ron Paul is the greatest candidate I’ve ever seen. Consistent for 30 years. No flip flops. We are done with WAR, we want a real currency, we want peace, we want the welfare-state for the military industrial complex to END, we want to fix America and stop policing the world and to stop the authoritarian oppression here NOW.

    Here is what the US Government without Ron Paul in charge has done to us:

    – 9 trillion in debt
    – 850 billion trade deficit
    – War in Iraq
    – War in Afghanistan
    – Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda alive
    – Fomenting War with Iran
    – 12.25 trillion M3 money supply, and expanding (massive inflation)

    Ron Paul’s record is crystal clean perfect and consistent. He takes no money from anyone but people and constituents. He is as pure as they come.

    One of my favorite quotes about Dr. Paul, “You’re working for the most honest man in Congress.” That was John McCain speaking to Kent Snyder in 1988.

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