02/09/2007: In today’s Wall Street Journal, Laura Meckler and Susan Carey illustrate the problems faced by our 2,500-4,000 Air Marshals.
Unfortunately, neither Meckler nor Carey addresses a fundamental question that needs to be asked: why is this even a federal program?
We can make the airlines safer without expanding the federal bureaucracy. Here’s how…
(1) Congress can pass a law authorizing (nor mandating) airlines to form a concealed carry network. Participation in this network would be completely optional.
(2) Any citizen, airport worker, and aircrew member may apply for a carry permit that would allow for concealed carry on any flight with a participating airline.
(3) Granting of such permits would be contingent upon:
- A clean criminal background check.
- Successful completion of a training program that includes rigorous tactical situations and advanced marxmanship.
- Demonstrated proficiency in all relevant skills.
(4) Permit holders would have to renew annually, with background checks every time.
(5) The program would be maintained by the airlines, not by the government.
This would allow the ranks of armed air travelers to swell from between 2,500-4,000 to well over 10,000. They would be as proficient–many even more so–in the use of firearms as any G-person is.
And they would not be government agents.