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  1. #1
    Xiphos's Avatar
    Xiphos is online now I Void Warranties
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    Obama Kills FFDO Program

    The Washington Times
    Tuesday, March 17, 2009
    EDITORIAL: Guns on a plane

    After the September 11 attacks, commercial airline pilots were allowed to carry guns if they completed a federal-safety program. No longer would unarmed pilots be defenseless as remorseless hijackers seized control of aircraft and rammed them into buildings.

    Now President Obama is quietly ending the federal firearms program, risking public safety on airlines in the name of an anti-gun ideology.

    The Obama administration this past week diverted some $2 million from the pilot training program to hire more supervisory staff, who will engage in field inspections of pilots.

    This looks like completely unnecessary harassment of the pilots. The 12,000 Federal Flight Deck Officers, the pilots who have been approved to carry guns, are reported to have the best behavior of any federal law enforcement agency. There are no cases where any of them has improperly brandished or used a gun. There are just a few cases where officers have improperly used their IDs.

    Fewer than one percent of the officers have any administrative actions brought against them and, we are told, virtually all of those cases “are trumped up.”

    Take a case against one flight officer who had visited the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles within the last few weeks. While there, the pilot noticed that federal law enforcement officers can, with the approval of a superior, obtain a license plate that cannot be traced, a key safety feature for law enforcement personnel. So the pilot asked if, as a member of the federal program, he was eligible. The DMV staffer checked and said “no.” The next day administrative actions were brought against the pilot for “misrepresenting himself.” These are the kinds of cases that President Obama wants to investigate.

    Since Mr. Obama's election, pilots have told us that the approval process for letting pilots carry guns on planes slowed significantly. Last week the problem went from bad to worse. Federal Flight Deck Officers - the pilots who have been approved to carry guns - indicate that the approval process has stalled out.

    Pilots cannot openly speak about the changing policies for fear of retaliation from the Transportation Security Administration. Pilots who act in any way that causes a “loss of confidence” in the armed pilot program risk criminal prosecution as well as their removal from the program. Despite these threats, pilots in the Federal Flight Deck Officers program have raised real concerns in multiple interviews.

    Arming pilots after Sept. 11 was nothing new. Until the early 1960s, American commercial passenger pilots on any flight carrying U.S. mail were required to carry handguns. Indeed, U.S. pilots were still allowed to carry guns until as recently as 1987. There are no records that any of these pilots (either military or commercial) ever causing any significant problems.

    Screening of airplane passengers is hardly perfect. While armed marshals are helpful, the program covers less than 3 percent of the flights out of Washington D.C.'s three airports and even fewer across the country. Sky marshals are costly and quit more often than other law-enforcement officers.

    Armed pilots are a cost-effective backup layer of security. Terrorists can only enter the cockpit through one narrow entrance, and armed pilots have some time to prepare themselves as hijackers penetrate the strengthened cockpit doors. With pilots, we have people who are willing to take on the burden of protecting the planes for free. About 70 percent of the pilots at major American carriers have military backgrounds.

    Frankly, as a matter of pure politics, we cannot understand what the administration is thinking. Nearly 40 House Democrats are in districts were the NRA is more popular than House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. We can't find any independent poll in which the public is demanding that pilots disarm. Why does this move make sense?

    Only anti-gun extremists and terrorist recruits are worried about armed pilots. So why is the Obama administration catering to this tiny lobby at the expense of public safety?
    Pleasing nobody, one person at a time.

    That which does not kill me, better start fucking running.

    If I lived every day like it was my last, the body count would be staggering.

    I intend to go in harm's way. -John Paul Jones

    Hunt the wolf, and bring light to the dark places that others fear to go. LT COL Dave Grossman

  2. #2
    pgg's Avatar
    pgg
    pgg is online now Damnit, I'm hungry again.
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    Doesn't surprise me at all.
    'Political Correctness is a doctrine fostered by a
    delusional, illogical liberal minority, and rabidly
    promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which
    holds forth the proposition that it is entirely
    possible to pick up a turd by the clean end!'

    “A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity.” Sigmund Freud

  3. #3
    Terminator's Avatar
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    I'm not surprised. And I don't think the people buying up guns and ammo are totally crazy either.

  4. #4
    Captain America's Avatar
    Captain America is offline Reed and Malloy were my FTOs
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    Coming to a city or the sky near you in the very forseeable future, a major terrorist incident courtesy of the Obama Administration. That will do wonders for the economy. But at least we will know why pigs stink in Iowa.
    SI VIS PACEM PARA BELLUM

    "It's a great life. You risk your skin catching killers and the juries turn them loose so they can come back and shoot at you again. If your honest , your poor your whole life. And , In the end , you wind up dying all alone on some dirty street. For what? For nothing. For a tin star."
    -Ex-Sheriff Martin Howe to Will Kane in "High Noon"

    Far from being a handicap to command, compassion is the measure of it. For unless one values the lives of his soldiers and is tormented by their ordeals , he is unfit to command.
    -General Omar Bradley, United States Army

    Renniger-Richards-Griswold-Owens

  5. #5
    MacLean's Avatar
    MacLean is offline O/R Gun mod
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    What an asshole.

    Trust them with a plane, but lets take away their guns.
    I'm your huckleberry...

    Quemadmoeum gladis nemeinum occidit, occidentus telum est!

    You can be the weapon, and the gun in your hand is a tool - or the gun is a weapon and you are the tool.


    I was looking for a saint who was a devil of a lover,
    but every girl I found was either one way or the other...



  6. #6
    countybear's Avatar
    countybear is offline BDRT - Baby Daddy Removal Team
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    So, do you now feel 'safer' America?

    "The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money."
    - Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

    Tell me not, Sweet, I am unkind,
    That from the nunnery
    Of thy chaste breast and quiet mind
    To war and arms I fly.
    - Lovelace

    The opinions expressed by this poster are wholly his own, and should never be construed to even remotely be in representation of his employer, its agencies or assigns. In fact, they probably fail to be in alignment with the opinions of any rational human being.

  7. #7
    gopherpuckfan's Avatar
    gopherpuckfan is offline I'm from the government and I'm here to help
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    I hope the program continues. Since off-duty LEO's can't carry, I'm glad there's someone with a firearm on board who's trained.

    Federal Officials Deny Report That Obama Seeks to End Pilot Gun Program - Presidential Politics | Political News - FOXNews.com

    Federal Officials Deny Report That Obama Seeks to End Pilot Gun Program

    Federal officials are denying a report that the Obama administration is attempting to end a program that allows trained airline pilots to carry guns.

    Federal officials are denying a report that the Obama administration is seeking to end a program that allows trained airline pilots to carry guns.

    In an editorial published Tuesday in The Washington Times, the newspaper wrote that "President Obama is quietly ending the federal firearms program, risking public safety on airlines in the name of an anti-gun ideology."

    Sterling Payne, a spokeswoman for the Transportation Security Administration, denied the report and said the program that oversees a reported 12,000 federal flight deck officers (FFDO) is actually expanding.

    "It's inaccurate, this program continues to grow," Payne told FOXNews.com of the editorial. "TSA continues to recruit and put new FFDOs on planes, and we continue to train them and do recurring training."

    Payne said TSA officials have recently opened a training center for FFDOs in Atlantic City, N.J., with others planned to open in Texas and other states. She declined, citing security concerns, to say how many federal flight deck officers are authorized by the agency, citing security concerns.

    "We have thousands of FFDOs right now and we add thousands each year," Payne said.

    Representatives from The Washington Times did not return a request for comment. A White House spokesman declined to speak on the matter, saying it was being handled by TSA officials.

    In a statement issued Tuesday, the Airlines Pilots Association International -- the world's largest airline pilot union, representing nearly 52,250 pilots in the U.S. and Canada -- said the Times editorial "couldn't be further from the truth."

    "ALPA representatives met with TSA executives this afternoon and were told in no uncertain terms that TSA embraces the FFDO program, that there are no plans to reduce or restrict its growth, and that in fact the agency fully intends to grow and expand the program," the statement read. "Government representatives acknowledged that the program needs additional funding to achieve these goals, and that they are actively seeking same."

    TSA officials are currently training up to 1,500 pilots annually for the program, which was instituted after the Sept. 11 attacks, according to ALPA's statement.

    "The size of the FFDO cadre has grown so large that additional resources are needed to provide greater structure and oversight to this important program, which TSA referred to [Tuesday] as 'an important layer of defense.'"

    According to TSA's Web site, the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks "demonstrated the need for a multi-layered approach to securing commercial airlines -- and in particular the cockpit -- from terrorist and criminal assault."
    The views expressed in the above post are the sole opinion of the author and do not reflect any official position by the author's employer and/or municipality.

  8. #8
    MacLean's Avatar
    MacLean is offline O/R Gun mod
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    Trial balloon?
    I'm your huckleberry...

    Quemadmoeum gladis nemeinum occidit, occidentus telum est!

    You can be the weapon, and the gun in your hand is a tool - or the gun is a weapon and you are the tool.


    I was looking for a saint who was a devil of a lover,
    but every girl I found was either one way or the other...



  9. #9
    TXCharlie's Avatar
    TXCharlie is offline Former & Future Reserve Officer
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    Quote Originally Posted by maclean View Post
    Trial balloon?
    I can hear the thud of lead balloons all around Washington - Obama's people are managing to piss absolutely everyone off about something, it seems.

    (\__/)
    (='.'=) This is Bunny. Copy and paste Bunny into your
    (")_(") signature to help him gain world domination.

  10. #10
    sgtbear111's Avatar
    sgtbear111 is offline retired
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    Welcome to the world of lawyers. With the lawyer-Party at the helm, the ship of state will be aground on the rocks, as procedure and processes are placed ahead of judgement, leadership and action.

    Hasn't anyone figured out that Leadership is not a requirement or desirable quality to have in a lawyer? The bad people wipe their ass with US quality legal bond paper, or they prefer it over dried goat dung as a fuel for their cooking fires.
    Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Some stay for awhile and leave footprints on our hearts. And we are never, ever the same.-- Anonymous

    Old People, like me, may not be around to witness the destruction of our Nation. The rest of you may not survive the collapse. We all have the sworn duty to prevent it.

    The light of hope burns brighter than the fires of doom.

 

 

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