Guns in the cockpit, the argument of having guns in the cockpit.

Essay by mhb July 2004

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Guns in the Cockpit

Allowing guns in the cockpit of a commercial aircraft has been a much argued topic. Two sides to this argument are those who think that a pilot would be able to safely and responsibly carry a firearm onboard his plane and those who believe that guns shouldn't be allowed on an airplane no matter who is carrying it.

First, since the terrorist attack on 9/11 pilots have been requesting special permission to carry a firearm onto a plane. A modern commercial airline pilot is trusted to operate one of the most complex machines ever devised by man. If a pilot can competently operate an aircraft, he should very easily be capable of properly, and safely, carrying a firearm. A pilot may be able to properly and safely carry a firearm but accurately discharging a firearm in a pitching and rolling aircraft is a difficult task for anyone, and if a gun is discharged improperly it can cause a rapid depressurization of the aircraft Let alone firing a shot in a crowded aircraft full of passengers is very dangerous.

Now if they're only allowed to carry Safety Shots, then that is a different story. These rounds won't even penetrate sheetrock, but they can kill a person Winchester has developed a new type of round for pilots; if this round collides with anything it will fragment. This will drastically reduce the chance of a round puncturing the skin of the aircraft.

A current airline pilot is expected to defend himself while strapped in his seat, with a small emergency axe by his feet. The attacker will be coming from behind with a weapon; and it's very difficult to effectively swing an axe while sitting the wrong way. Pilots will need a weapon with a longer range. Some people...