It’s been years now since pilots on commercial airplanes have been allowed to bring guns on board to carry with them in the cockpit. In all that time, what have those guns done to protect Americans flying through the skies? Nothing. Not one gun has been fired in defense of an airplane in all that time. The need has not arisen.
Nonetheless, this weekend, the risk of having a loaded gun on board an airplane became frighteningly clear. A gun brought on board by one of the pilots of a plane flown by US Airways fired a bullet spontaneously, just as the plane was coming in for a landing in North Carolina.
Mike Boyd, head of an aviation consulting group, explains the danger from that misfire: “If that bullet had compromised the shell of the airplane, i.e., gone through a window, the airplane could have gone down.”
So, the greatest violent threat from a weapon to an American commercial flight since the passage of the law allowing pilots’ guns on board airplanes has come from one of those guns. It’s a powerful example of how the extreme measures the Homeland Security regime has taken in order to help people feel safe have actually put Americans in harm’s way.