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A Well Regulated Militia...

Another response to A Well Regulated Militia... and Terrorism:  "Good" vs. "Evil":


>> Thanks for forcing me to choose. <<

I forced you to choose? Between what and what, exactly?

Actually, no one forced you to do anything. Take responsibility for your actions like a good conservative/libertarian.

>> When I was first led to your web site through a link from the Multicultural Center at Lansing Community College http://www.lcc.edu/multicultural/ I thought great. As a person of Scottish decent I have an affinity toward Native American and other tribal peoples. In fact, until I was victimized by the medical/insurance community during my wife's fatal confrontation with cancer, the predatory practices of business under the guise of capitalism, and the abuse of authority by local law enforcement and courts toward commercial vehicles, I was prepared to bequeath land to a local tribal group in furtherance of the goal to repurchase America from the 'white man'.

Sadly, after reading your diatribe against warriors, guns, and the second amendment I will only use your site as an example of the 'enemy within'. <<

If my posting was enough to change your mind toward Native Americans, your feelings must've been incredibly shallow. Natives don't need fair-weather friends like you. You seem to be a textbook hypocrite: someone who says one thing and does another.

As for the enemy within, I'd say you're mistaken. See Right-Wing Extremists:  The Enemy Within for details.

>> It is exactly your position on the right to keep and bear arms that allowed 9/11/01 to occur. <<

Wrong. 9/11 was caused by terrorists who hijacked planes with box cutters, in case you missed the news. No guns were involved. See A Well Regulated Militia... for more on the subject.

I guess you think I favor banning guns. Wrong again. I favor regulating them. Regulation would help take the guns out of the hands of criminals, terrorists, and lunatics and leave them in the hands of law-abiding citizens.

>> http://www.students.stir.ac.uk/~rmm011/sept11.htm <<

Cute. I wonder how many planes without terrorists would get shot down when disputes inevitably arose between armed passengers. Meanwhile, what do you do when the terrorists hold hostages as a shield? Shoot them all?

If 100 passengers without guns couldn't overpower a handful of terrorists with box cutters, how would guns make a difference? The problem wasn't a lack of weaponry, it was a lack of will. The terrorists presumably 1) held people hostage with the box cutters, preventing the passengers from acting, and 2) didn't tell the passengers what they were doing, giving them a false sense of hope.

Arming the passengers wouldn't have changed either of these factors. Now that passengers are forewarned about suicidal hijackers, they won't let box cutters or vague promises stop them. With or without guns, they'll have more than enough motivation to act. I suspect we won't see any more terrorist hijackings—at least not successful ones.

And if the passengers were all armed? Let's see: 90 of 100 wouldn't have had a clear shot at the terrorists. Seven of 100 would've shot wildly, punctured holes in the fuselage, and caused the plane to decompress explosively. Three might have killed the terrorists and their hostages. Result: Same as Flight 93's uprising, which took place without guns. A plane full of heroic dead people.

The terrorists were planning to commit suicide, so why would they surrender? In the cartoon's scenario, what they'd do is start slashing people. The eleven armed passengers would foolishly start shooting each other (they're in a circle...duh). Dozens of people would die immediately; the rest would die when the plane decompressed or crashed. Again, a plane full of heroic dead people.

But if we let the passengers have guns, the terrorists would have them also. So we wouldn't have to worry about the passengers shooting wildly. The terrorists could shoot dozens of passengers before they reacted. More important, they could shoot dozens of holes in the plane, ensuring its failure. If they waited until they were over a major city—voila! Certain death raining down on tens of thousands of people.

Really, you should think these things through before you post them. Luckily, you have me to think for you.

Others have figured out that armed marshals or passengers aren't the panacea you think they are. From the letters to the LA Times, 1/2/04:

Airliner Edict Smacks of Wild West

Re "U.S. Calls for Marshals on Foreign Jets," Dec. 30: Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge's edict "ordering" non-U.S. airlines to install trained and armed marshals in aircraft flying into the United States has been met with more panic and indignation than acclaim. Whatever happened to clarity of thought?

A comment from David Learmount, safety editor of Flight International magazine, is peculiarly apt and probably fairly representative: "Gunfight at the OK Corral straight down the aisle of an aircraft? I think it's stupid."

Profoundly so. It might play well on celluloid and contribute to the universal culture of mindlessness, possibly even hand President Bush another bonus term in the White House. It certainly has that pungent whiff of electioneering about it. But in the real world it can only add to the fears and anxiety arising from Bush's childish "war on terror" doctrine that followed the twin towers incident and sent the airline industry into a spiral dive and putative decay.

Disneyland, anyone?

Dave Diss
Glengowrie, Australia


Ah, to be lulled into a false sense of security! How perfect for a few Al Qaeda operatives to sign up for air marshal duty for one of these foreign airlines and then use their "required" weapons to take over the plane. These individuals are highly educated, with no criminal background … other than believing in their mission to destroy America. How can you screen for this type of applicant? Ridge had better rethink that idea or we could have a real mess (of our own doing) shortly.

Dave Gunall

If you can't screen armed marshals for terrorists, how much more difficult would it be to screen armed passengers for terrorists? Would you let everyone except those who "look" like terrorists carry a concealed weapon on board? Think, man, think!

As a citizen of a free and democratic state, it is your choice, is it not?
How do you define freedom?
Which has kept the peace for the last 50 years? <<

See Diplomacy Works, Violence Doesn't for the answer. Strength through diplomacy, economic pressure, even military threats—but not actual violence—kept the peace with our greatest opponent, the Soviet Union. Review how JFK resolved the Cuban missile crisis and avoided WW III if you're unclear on the concept.

If you're Scottish, what are you doing lecturing Americans on their own Constitution? Thanks, friend, but we know what freedom and democracy are. They're the ability to take collective action to form a more perfect Union—for instance, by passing gun control laws.

Rob Schmidt

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