BELLEVUE, WA. – The failure of Seattle, WA police to stop a knife-wielding suspect with shots from two “Taser” electric guns in an incident that turned deadly Nov. 26 underscores the necessity for airline pilots to be allowed to carry handguns to protect their aircraft from terrorist takeover, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms said today.
Seattle police were unable to subdue the suspect, who charged officers with knife in hand, before he was shot dead by a SWAT officer.
“Here we have a documented case that proves Tasers cannot always stop someone with a knife in his hand,” observed CCRKBA Executive Director Joe Waldron, “yet at least four commercial airlines, and several Congressional anti-gunners, would put those in airplane cockpits as the only allowable defensive weapon for pilots to prevent the kind of skyjacking that occurred on Sept. 11. This is clearly where political correctness collides with passenger safety.”
CCRKBA was first to call for the arming of properly trained and qualified airline pilots within hours of the September terrorist attacks, when it was learned the hijackers had commandeered four passenger jets with box cutters and small knives. Despite federal legislation that allows pilots to fly armed, airlines appear to be balking, and anti-gunners are publicly opposed to the idea.
However, Taser International Founder Steve Tuttle said his product “is not a magic bulletâ€¦I wish my advanced Taser was a perfect weapon, but it’s not. Nothing works all the time.” Both he, and the police, admit that non-lethal weapons, such as the Taser, “aren’t meant to replace shooting people, if that’s necessary.”
“The parallel between what happened on the ground in Seattle and what occurred in the skies over New York, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C. is devastating to the argument that a Taser in the cockpit is the answer to airline safety,” Waldron noted. “When the manufacturer acknowledges that his product may not do the job, it is time for airlines to stop playing politically correct games at the possible risk of passenger lives.”
Seattle police said that the Taser guns work “more than 90 percent of the time.”
“That’s not good enough at 35,000 feet, when you cannot call in a SWAT team,” Waldron stated. “In such situations, you cannot trust your life, the lives of your passengers and the lives of innocent citizens on the ground, to anything less than a 100 percent reliable weapon, and that happens to be a handgun wielded by a properly trained person, in this case, the pilot.
“It boils down to mathematics,” Waldron observed. “What makes worse headlines for an airline, a hundred dead passengers, or one dead hijacker?”