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Criminals use knives to hijack planes--let's ban handguns!

by Robert A. Waters

October 3, 2001

It was as predictable as Ted Kennedy's bouts with the bottle and Barney Frank's bouts with his latest live-in lover.

As soon as the World Trade Center towers went down in flames and the Pentagon went up in smoke, the anti-gunners began looking for ways to link the crimes to guns. But since the skyjackers used knives to subdue the crews and passengers of the doomed planes, they knew it would be a hard sell.

Those of us who believe in gun rights, however, figured they'd find a way. Thomas Oliphant of the Boston Globe didn't disappoint.

The real problem, according to Oliphant, is the evil gun show.

These shows are the "ideal shopping mall for criminals in general and terrorists in particular." It doesn't matter that none of the knives used by the skyjackers were bought at gun shows--instead, they were almost certainly purchased at hardware stores. It doesn't matter that none of the uniforms they used to infiltrate the cockpits were bought at gun shows (there is evidence that they may have been stolen from foreign and domestic airports). In fact, there seems to be nothing to link the criminals who murdered thousands of innocent people to guns or gun shows.

But that's just an inconvenient detail.

According to Oliphant, people who oppose closing the so-called gun show "loopholes" are, like Attorney General John Ashcroft, "fanatics." (Note that the terrorists are also fanatics.)

Meanwhile, the Air Line Pilots Association has demanded that pilots be allowed to carry guns on airplanes. Union spokesman John Mazor explained that the strategy before September 11 had been to "accommodate, negotiate, and do not escalate. But that was before. The cockpit has to be defended at all costs."

The howls of rage from shocked gun-banners quickly muffled the call to arm pilots. According to anti-gun activists, bullets shot from a gun inside an airplane will blast through walls and windows, thereby decompressing the plane and causing it to crash. Captain Duane Woerth, union president, addressed that issue. The bullets supplied to the pilots would "basically come apart on first impact," he said. "They're very destructive to human tissue but it's very unlikely they would do serious damage to the fuselage."

A bevy of police officers quickly weighed in as well. Allow us to carry our weapons aboard, they said, and we won't hesitate to use them if confronted by skyjackers. Again, safety seemed to be secondary to the antis, who quickly squelched that idea, too.

Carrying guns on airplanes is nothing new. Armed sky marshals successfully ended a wave of skyjackings in the 1970s. But after the perceived threat vanished, so did the marshals. David Stempler, president of the Air Travelers Association, estimated that now only a couple dozen remain. President Bush, lukewarm on arming pilots and on letting cops carry guns on airplanes, enthusiastically embraced the "air marshal" approach, the one deterrent sure to cost millions of taxpayer dollars.

So on the one hand you have anti-gunners calling for more restrictions on guns to foil future skyjackers (who rarely use guns). On the other hand, the pilot's union is demanding that their members be allowed to carry firearms so they'll have a fighting chance to save themselves and their passengers.

What's the general public to think?

They would do well to remember that the biggest massacre of innocent civilians was caused not by guns but by criminals using boxcutter knives. That the largest school massacre in history was caused by someone using dynamite (Andrew Kehoe, Bath, Michigan, on May 18, 1927), not guns. That even more recently, a Greyhound bus carrying more than thirty passengers was wrecked by a man carrying a knife--at least six people were killed in the ensuing crash after the man attacked the driver.

And they might do well to remember that guns save many more lives than they take.

But those who oppose guns will continue to ignore the facts. In their rush to incrementally restrict law-abiding citizens' access to self-protection, they will continue to try to close the fantasy gun show loophole. (In fact, buyers and sellers at gun shows are bound by the same laws as everyone else).

Shame on those who would try to use the tragedy of September 11 to further their anti-gun agenda.

Let me repeat, guns weren't used by the terrorists.

It was knives.

So when are we gonna close that hardware store loophole?


Robert Waters' Archives:

http://www.KeepAndBearArms.com/Waters

Satirical Reading on the Ignorance of Gun Control:

 

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 QUOTES TO REMEMBER
...to disarm the people - that was the best and most effectual way to enslave them. George Mason, 3 Elliot, Debates at 380.

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