April 17, 2002
PLEASE SEND THIS MESSAGE TO ANYONE YOU KNOW THAT MIGHT SUPPORT ARMING
The fight to arm airline pilots with firearms marches on. As this is written,
we're over seven months past the atrocities of September 11th, 2001. The law is
in place that allows for airline pilots to be armed if only the administration
will act. We're getting a little impatient but we do have some progress to
report. Here's what's up on the arming pilots front.
Pilot Groups Meet, Present Letter to President Bush
On Wednesday, April 3rd, representatives from APSA, APA, ALPA, IPA and CAPA
met in Washington D.C. to coordinate strategy on the issue of arming pilots.
Also present were high level staffers from the House and Senate offices of Rep.
John Hostettler and Sen. Bob Smith. A thorough briefing on liability issues was
presented by attorney Walter Kamiat. Dr. John Lott Jr., APSA advisor, was
present as were representatives from Washington P.R. firm Craig Shirley and
Associates. The meeting was extremely productive and a strategy for moving
forward was put in place.
APSA, APA, ALPA, SWAPA and CAPA signed a joint letter to President Bush
asking him to move quickly on the issue of arming pilots. We presented the
letter to Presidential Advisor Chris Henick at the White House on April 3rd. The
letter made quite a splash in the media and brought the issue back to front and
center, just where it belongs (it was even mentioned by Jay Leno in his opening
Media, Media, Media!
All of the sudden, the armed pilot issue was all over the news. CNN, Fox
News, Major Networks, print media (including national newspapers) and radio all
interviewed pilots from APSA and APA. Recalling that the huge majority of
Americans support arming pilots, now is a great time to send a letter to the
editor of your local newspaper and to call in to talk radio shows and discuss
arming pilots. Keeping this issue in front of the American public is crucial to
our eventual success.
We last left you with our push to get in to see high level officials at the
Transportation Security Administration (TSA). The Aviation and Transportation
Security Act signed into law by President Bush gives the authority to decide if
pilots will be armed to the Undersecretary of Transportation, Mr. John Magaw. As
Undersecretary, Mr. Magaw is the head of the TSA. Thus, TSA will decide if
pilots can carry firearms onto the flight deck under existing law.
The day before our joint meeting with the other pilot groups, we received a
call from Undersecretary Magaw's office at TSA. We were invited to brief Deputy
Undersecretary Steve McHale and Aviation Security Specialist Tom Blank. The
briefing was very well received and the questions they asked indicated to us
that TSA has given much thought to this issue and that they are seriously
considering it. Deputy Undersecretary McHale told us that they have collected
ample data, that the threat of future attacks is very serious and that TSA needs
to make a decision on the issue of arming pilots quickly. As he said, "The
clock is ticking."
After hearing our briefing on arming airline pilots with firearms, Deputy
Undersecretary McHale asked us to brief Mr. Tom Quinn, the director of the
Federal Air Marshal program. We are in the process of scheduling that briefing
as this update is being written. Homeland Security
In a meeting arranged by APSA advisor Dr. John Lott, APSA, ALPA and Dr. Lott
will sit down with Gen. Bruce Lawlor at Homeland Security. Even though the
decision point is at the White House and TSA, anything we can do to persuade
Homeland Security will be a plus. Our briefing is complete and compelling; we
have common sense and logic on our side. If we can convince our audience to look
beyond emotion and pre-conceived notions, we will convince them of the necessity
to arm volunteer airline pilots with firearms.
House Aviation Sub-Committee Hearings
Rep. Mica of Florida, Chairman of the House Aviation Sub-Committee, has
decided to hold hearings on the issue of arming airline pilots with firearms.
The tentative date is May 2nd and APSA will submit written testimony. We expect
that our colleagues at ALPA will testify at the hearings.
These hearings represent a significant opportunity to put this in front of
the American people once again. APSA has sponsored a petition
that can be signed electronically through our web site at www.secure-skies.org.
We will present the petition to Chairman Mica on the day of the hearings and
we'd love to have many thousands of signatures for him. IF YOU HAVE NOT DONE SO
ALREADY, LOG ON TO WWW.SECURE-SKIES.ORG AND SIGN
THE PETITION! Chairman Mica needs our support; let's give it to him in a big
APSA, along with our close colleagues at APA, plan large events surrounding
the Aviation Sub-Committee hearings. Our printing costs will be substantial and
we need your help. Please send your donation to:
APSA 8190 Beechmont Ave, # 340, Cincinnati, OH 45255-6117
Donations to APSA are NOT tax deductible, but every penny you send will go
toward the fight to arm volunteer airline pilots with firearms
Call The President
The TSA will make its decision on arming pilots soon. Our petition, media
exposure, briefings and letters all are intended to persuade decision makers in
our government that we need to arm pilots or face another 9/11 style attack.
NOTHING HELPS TO DRIVE OUR POINT HOME LIKE A PHONE CALL FROM YOU!
Call the President and tell him you support arming airline pilots with
firearms. You can reach him at 202/456-1111
Then drop him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If we quit, we fail. If we keep working, we'll prevail. WE HAVE ONLY JUST
BEGUN TO FIGHT!