Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Talk about shooting yourself in the foot (as it were)

Yesterday came reports that the Obama administration might force wounded veterans to get treatment under their own private health insurance. Now comes news that the administration has suspended the program that allows commercial pilots to safely carry firearms aboard planes.

The Federal Flight Deck Officers program was instituted after 9/11 to enable formal training of pilots in firearms use as a way to protect passengers in case a genuine security risk (not just a terrorist threat) emerges when a plane is aloft. And yet a Washington Times editorial says the White House has secretly diverted $2 million that was used to train flight officers and instead will pay bureaucrats to harass, er, "conduct field inspections" of pilots who have been certified to carry.

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.

Unless you're openly hostile to personal firearms ownership, there's no explanation for this switch. And don't doubt for a second that Second Amendment groups are already lining up candidates to run against any lawmaker who defends this lunacy.

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