View Full Version : Knives? KNIVES??!
09-12-2001, 05:06 PM
Gee, we got rid of all the guns on airplanes. Years ago. And we stopped two kinds of hijackers: Those who want to go somewhere; and those who want money.
And we finally, after about 30 years, came upon hijackers with imagination, (dare I say it) Chutzpah, and a willingness -- even a mission -- to die.
Any suggestions? An article in the National Review Online suggests arming the pilot, on the theory that you trust him with your life anyway.
Personally I'd suggest allowing carry-on guns (with appropriate ammo) by registered gun owners (the most law-abiding people in America, after nuns), but if you think that's going too far, I can accept that.
Yes this post is provacative, but we might as well put our brains together and work something out. Before the next time.
09-12-2001, 05:09 PM
You beat me to the punch. I'd just noticed one of the new FAA rules:
"No knives of any material allowed on board. Federal rules previously allowed up to a four-inch blades. Metal knives for food service also will be banned."
Will the next rule be "no forks"?
I guess yesterday's events have pretty much destroyed any anti-gun arguments. If people want to do bad things, they'll find a way.
09-12-2001, 05:41 PM
When I used to take martial arts classes, one of the things we learned was how to take a knife from someone without hurting ourselves. Quite possibly someone, or several someones, aboard the PA crash had similar training. One of the other things we learned in that class was that if your attacker had a gun, to just do what you're told.
If there is a gun anywhere aboard a flight being hijacked, there's a possibility that shouldn't now exist, that the gun would end up in the terrorist's hands.
How about mandatory karate for schoolkids and a nationwide ban on handguns?
09-12-2001, 05:49 PM
I believe that now people understand the consequences of allowing folks to take over. I think they naively believed that they would be OK, and rather than have a few folks die, they were passive. Going forward, I do not believe this strategy will work. I know that if it were to happen now with me on the plane, I will certainly fight to the death rather than surrender the plane.
That being said, I wouldn't mind the pilot having a gun, as long as they take precautions to keep a rowdy passenger from getting it. I prefer an armed trained guard to the pilot however, given that the pilot needs to pay attention to the plane.
09-12-2001, 06:30 PM
I heard that the terrorists told the people that they had a bomb - that might have helped curb attempt to disarm them.
How about an armed guard on each flight - but dressed in civilian clothes. So that only the flight crew knows who he is?
Dr T Non-Fan
09-12-2001, 06:55 PM
I think an armed pilot would be better, barring any Air Egypt pilot issues. I'd bet there are a lot more disturbed security guards than pilots.
I say: lock the pilots in.
09-12-2001, 07:09 PM
"How about an armed guard on each flight - but dressed in civilian clothes. So that only the flight crew knows who he is?"
Wasn't this being done in some way, at least for a while? Somehow I recall the term Sky Marshals.
09-12-2001, 09:39 PM
I would think a locked door between the pilot and the passengers would pretty much eliminate any danger from knives.
Also, I don't think this particular tactic would work again - the terrorists had the advantage of surprise. The evidence suggests it didn't even work on the fourth plane, because the passengers heard (by cell-phone) what happened to the first 3, and decided they'd rather crash it than let the terrorists take out a target with them.
09-13-2001, 09:21 AM
I believe El Al uses sky marshals.
I like the idea, but wouldn't inform the crew, you don't know who might be a plant or who would spill the info under torture.
Arming the pilot, at least with a stun gun would work as well.
How could you lock them in unless you design all planes so they have a cock pit bathroom and access to food.
I guess yesterday's events have pretty much destroyed any anti-gun arguments.
Provided that Tuesday's disaster has somehow miraculously brought back to life all of the innocent people who have been killed by people with guns in the past, and all of the grief of their loved ones has been erased.
Having new fears does not replace existing ones - it only adds to them.
09-13-2001, 10:38 AM
"Provided that Tuesday's disaster has somehow miraculously brought back to life all of the innocent people who have been killed by people with guns"
No, it just goes to show that most of those eople would have been killed by some other means.
Grits N Gravy
09-13-2001, 11:10 AM
America also has sky marshalls. They are deployed in plain clothes on a random basis. I saw something about them on the Discovery channel long ago.
On 2001-09-13 10:38, Rockhound wrote:
No, it just goes to show that most of those eople would have been killed by some other means.
Maybe. An analogous situation would be that eradicating diseases like cholera, tuberculosis, etc. has meant that more people are now killed by cancer and heart disease. I don't think that means that eradicating cholera and tuberculosis was a bad idea.
09-13-2001, 12:45 PM
If you started firing weapons inside a plane, the whole cabin would depressurize killing everyone on the plane. Don't believe what you see in the movies, you can't fire a gun on a plane.
If guns are allowed the hijakers would have had them and then there probably would have been no way that the passengers on the fourth plane would have been able to overwhelm the hijakers as they clearly did.
Guns in an airplane are obviously a stupid suggestion. It's a little cylinder of thin metal 3,500 feet in the air. What do you think is going to happen when bullets start flying?
09-14-2001, 05:44 PM
Roz, why do you assume that if guns were allowed, the hijackers would have them and no one else would?
If guns were allowed on airplanes, the chance of a successful hijacking would be lower because the terrorist might be shot by one of the passengers. Especially if Kimi was on board.
Of course, if guns were allowed on airplanes, the rash of "air rage" incidents in recent years probably would have resulted in numerous fatalities. ("Whadya mean all I get to eat on this flight is a stinkin' bag of peanuts?! BANG!!)
09-14-2001, 06:51 PM
I thought they DO have a cockpit bathroom? Well, at least a little room where they can take naps, although I never saw what's in that room. I presumed it comes with a bathroom.
09-14-2001, 06:56 PM
One problem with locking the cabin: obviously the pilot will still have communications with the rest of the flight crew. What will they do if someone is taken hostage? Just ignore them? Of course you can design the cabin so that it's only unlockable on ground, then at least no one can do anymore suicide stunts.
09-14-2001, 11:21 PM
"If people want to do bad things, they'll find a way"
Typical pro-gun argument. The fourth plane shows why it is false. The hijackers had knives, not guns, and the ordinary passengers overwhelmed them.
Give the hijackers guns, and they win.
The bad guys won't always find a way.
Here are some thoughts along a tactical train of thought:
Perhaps those who tried to take over the plane which crashed in Pennsylvania did so because they had knives. That is not to say that taking knives away will not help. But I think it’s helpfulness is over rated. I think it will always be quite easy to get some sort of slim dagger onto a plane. For example, a blade could somehow hidden in an umbrella or in semi-solid tubes of metal which make up the arms of your rolling carry-on bag. If the blade is tightly sheathed in the tube and the tube is made of the same metal it will show up on the x-ray as just one solid piece. A less dense alloy would make an adequate cutting tool but not be as noticeable on x-ray.
I think it was the mention of a bomb that scared many and gave the terrorists control. But I don’t think the terrorists had guns. If they did, then they would not be brandishing knives to gain control. If they did not have guns, then there is a good chance that they did not have a bomb because a bomb is also hard to sneak on to a plane. Guns are very difficult to get onto planes because even though many are made with porcelain/plastic frames (Glocks, HK USP’s, some SIG’s, etc.) the barrel and slides of all are solid metal. The firearm industry is no where near using non-metal parts for slides and barrels.
Even law enforcement is limited to only carrying certain ammunition on airplanes. I I think the term is something like “pre-fragmented” ammunition. These are in the class of dumb-dumb bullets. One popular brand that has been around for a while is Glaser Safety slugs. These have far less penetration power with even more stopping power because the energy is delivered into the target and not used in furthering the projectile. Basically they shatter on impact and will not even penetrate a one or two sheets of ply-wood. I’d say arm all the pilots (pilot, co-pilot, navigator, etc. -- all people in cockpit) not just the pilot and train them in close quarter combat like they do police officers.
<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Kimi on 2001-09-17 14:50 ]</font>
09-15-2001, 09:03 AM
" One problem with locking the cabin: obviously the pilot will still have communications with the rest of the flight crew. What will they do if someone is taken hostage? Just ignore them? "
Yes. A captain's first duty is to his ship.
"If guns are allowed the hijakers would have had them and then there probably would have been no way that the passengers on the fourth plane would have been able to overwhelm the hijakers as they clearly did."
Only if the rules allowing guns on planes were very lax. It is obvious that any rules allowing guns on planes will start with proper registration.
09-20-2001, 06:44 PM
Once again from the progressive review undernews:
Over the airplane's public-address system came a most incredible announcement from the captain of United Flight 564 as it was about to pull out of the gate at Denver International Airport last Saturday, writes Peter Hannaford, a public-affairs consultant in Washington and former adviser to President Reagan. "I want to thank you brave folks for coming out today," the pilot began. "We don't have any new instructions from the federal government, so from now on, we're on our own."
The passengers listened in total silence.
"Sometimes a potential hijacker will announce that he has a bomb. There are no bombs on this aircraft and if someone were to get up and make that claim, don't believe him. If someone were to stand up, brandish something such as a plastic knife and say, 'This is a hijacking' or words to that effect, here is what you should do: "Every one of you should stand up and immediately throw things at that person - pillows, books, magazines, eyeglasses, shoes - anything that will throw him off balance and distract his attention. If he has a confederate or two, do the same with them. Most important: get a blanket over him, then wrestle him to the floor and keep him there. We'll land the plane at the nearest airport and the authorities will take it from there. "Remember, there will be one of him and maybe a few confederates, but there are 200 of you. Now, since we're a family for the next few hours, I'll ask you to turn to the person next to you, introduce yourself, tell them a little about yourself and ask them to do the same."
The end of this remarkable speech, Mr. Hannaford says, brought sustained clapping from the passengers.
09-20-2001, 06:51 PM
How about providing everyone with those police battons and pepper foam (not spray).
09-20-2001, 10:20 PM
Forgive me for not knowing, but what is pepper foam and how does it differ from the spray? I'd never heard of it.
09-20-2001, 10:52 PM
A pepper (also called OC) spray is a common self-defense tool. Propellant wise it works just like a strong aerosol room freshener. This sprays waft and carry. Where as foams do not waft and carry and are more suitable for specific targets. I suppose sprays are better if you are getting chased or have multiple attackers. But I hear that in an enclosed area everyone will be affected.
As far as alternate substances to pepper (OC), there are two I forget the terms but I think one was in the class of “tear” gas and the other was in the class of “nerve” gas. Some self-defense sprays mix the OC and “tear” gas or OC and “nerve” gas because pepper alone is fairly ineffective.
09-20-2001, 11:37 PM
In an airplane you would definitely want to use a self-defense foam instead of a self-defense spray. Infact I believ that self-defense sprays have always been prohibited on airplanes but self-defense foams are not. I'm not sure if self-defense foams are now still allowed.
FYI, from the CNN web site (9/24/01):
"Another measure under consideration: equipping pilots with handguns. The Air Line Pilots Association, the world's largest pilots' union with 66,000 members in 47 U.S. and Canadian carriers, is seeking congressional approval to carry guns into cockpits."
I heard on the radio something about the measure seeks to train pilots to the skill of law enforcement and giving them arrest powers. This make sense to me since we already trust them with our lives when they pilot.
You can be sure that these firearms will have special ammunition that should not penetrate the airplane’s pressurized cabin. All armed law enforcement (even those transporting prisoners) have been required for a long time now to only have this type of ammunition. This type shatters on impact and provides very good stopping power. I think one brand is called Glaser Safety Slugs.
09-25-2001, 09:14 AM
<font size=2>My wife, the teacher, has a student whose dad is an AA pilot. Soon after flights resumed, he told my wife about his first few flights since the attack.
Apparently, there was an air marshall on each flight. He spoke with the marshalls on a couple of occasions, and noted that he couldn't distinguish between them and the other passengers. However, the marshall was armed to the gills.
<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: The Mister on 2001-09-25 09:15 ]</font>
09-29-2001, 12:19 AM
The second reasonable suggestion I've heard involves allowing off-duty city and state police to carry appropriate arms on flight. With discounted fares.
And I'd extend that to active-duty servicemen and the national guard.
You trust these people to defend your city or nation, why not in an airplane?
(And if the plane sits on the tarmac for 30+ unexplained minutes, they might lead a passenger revolt!)
10-01-2001, 10:52 AM
Definitely, off-duty law enforcement professionals should be allowed (and encouraged) to be armed on flights. Most of them carry there weapons when off-duty anyway. Not military personnel, though. I was in the military and there are some real nut cases (perhaps you've heard of some guys named Timothy McVeigh and Lee Harvey Oswald). They aren't psychologically screened the way cops are.
(Classic scene from the movie Full Metal Jacket -- the drill instructor describes the marksmanship skills of Oswald and the U. of Texas sniper and asks the recruits where they learned to shoot so well: "In the Marines, sir!!!")
10-01-2001, 12:59 PM
Sorry, AB, but many cops are borderline nut cases. Specifically, they are control freaks and self-righteous types who are only human when it comes to the issue of whether the rules apply to them. Their pyschological profile is one of domination, a trait that is enhanced through training and culture.
In both the military and the police, administrative protocol has a dampening effect on the self-reporting of psychological problems, which increases the likelihood that people receive the proper treatment. Police officers, in general, have faced more stress, and more severe stress, than most people in the military - simply because of the recent lack of war. A far higher percentage of police officers have exchanged live fire with an adversary than people in the military - and that is the ultimate contributor to stress.
One concern is that a cop on a plane does not have jurisdiction - otherwise, the cop would be on duty as a sky marshall. Suppose we have a confrontation, and the cop gets involved - at which point he brings out three things: his domineering mindset, his self-righteousness, and his gun. Never mind the lack of jurisdiction or whether there is a threat to the airplane - once the cop starts down this path, he is going to insist on winning. Somehow, this conjures up an image that I don't think I want to see.
Note, that if this is necessary, then we should just have sky marshalls and be done with it. Which may in fact be the best and most sensible solution.
Sorry if it sounds like I don't like cops - I respect them for risking their lives and dealing with the very worst and most dangerous elements in our society. Unfortunately, they make me nervous due to their presumptive ability to bring deadly force, as well as the weight of the criminal justice system, to bear on any situation which doesn't seem right to them.
10-01-2001, 02:28 PM
Oh my god you are such a wacko. You've just achieved Andy Lang-hood for your warped perception of reality. You don't even know any cops, do you?
There are 6,000 dead people at the bottom of a pile of rubble in New York who wish there had been one or two of your "borderline nut case" off-duty armed cops on board those planes, and jurisdiction be d*mned. If I was a passenger on a hijacked plane, I'd want a cop who would "insist on winning" too.
And why are sky marshals going to be different than other cops? If anything, they'll be the guys who were too marginal to be hired as regular cops.
<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Aaron Brachowitz on 2001-10-01 14:33 ]</font>
10-01-2001, 03:09 PM
just wanted to be the 2,000 poster to the political issues site. Do i get a prize?
10-01-2001, 04:20 PM
AB - Lighten up. Yes, I have dealt with cops in off-duty situations, and my comments are based on those experiences. If anyone has a "warped perception of reality" it would be the many cops on whom we rely to deal with the scum of our society on a daily basis.
We all owe a debt of gratitude to the police officers across the country who help keep the peace.
The real question in regards to allowing military or police officers to carry guns on planes is this: What is the risk of infiltration in those ranks by someone intent on an act of terrorism? Considering also the risk of domestic terrorism, there is a strong argument against allowing just anyone from a broadly defined class such as military or law enforcement to carry a gun on a plane.
In any event, we are now relying on the military to prosecute our anti-terrorist efforts. Some, and potentially many, of those people, will lose their lives in the effort. Remember the Marines in Beirut?
If you think my commentary is "wacko," please consider whether your reference to our military is any less offensive.
Finally, as to your comment about sky marshalls being "marginal" - that may have been the case in the mindset of a few months ago. Now, however, I would assume that sky marshalls would be highly trained, subjected to extensive background checks, and subjected to psychological profiling to minimize the risk of them taking over a plane.
10-01-2001, 04:33 PM
On 2001-10-01 16:20, Hierophant wrote:
We all owe a debt of gratitude to the police officers across the country who help keep the peace.
Paraphrasing and borrowing from your earlier post, what you mean to say is: "We all owe a debt of gratitude to the control freaks and self-righteous types who are only human when it comes to the issue of whether the rules apply to them across the country who help keep the peace."
As long as it makes sense to you.
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