May 23, 2002

Guns for Everyone! (Except Pilots)

The Bush administration blocked the proposal by the pilots' union to allow them to carry guns in the cockpit.

What is up with this? Isn't this the crowd that believes the constitution guarantees that everyone have guns? During the campaign, an NRA big cheese said if Bush won, "We'll have a president where we'll work out of his office."

These are the guys who come out after a school shooting that leaves a pile of dead students and say that any attempt to enact any sort of restriction on the purchase of firearms is some sort of cheap opportunism. "Of course the gun control people use this tragedy to push their gun control agenda," they say.

The pro-gun types believe that any single infringement on freedom to buy guns on a whim is merely an insidious step toward a situation where they imagine that none of the free men in America will have guns to protect their families and profits and the government will "take over." As if the government doesn't already have way more control than you are ever going to fight off with any of your guns. Ever see the footage of Waco?

So why then doesn't the Bush administration want pilots to be able to carry guns? One professional group who should -- of all people -- be qualified to handle a firearm, the one group of people who really should be armed to protect all the people in the air and all the people on the ground.

So what are we to make of this? What can this possibly mean?

It's always so hard not to jump to the most sinister conclusions with the Bushes. It is only from that viewpoint that everything they do makes sense. After a while nothing they could do would surprise you. And yet they do somehow always seem to outdo themselves. As I heard someone say in a lecture played on WBAI today, "The only reason we haven't stopped it is that we can't believe it. We can't believe people could be so evil!"

Why would they not want to do one of the few things that are possible to do to try to prevent a recurrence of 911? Why would they not want the American people to have that protection? It seems like such a little thing as they talk about billions on this weapon system and that weapon system.

What message are they sending? They are telling the world -- potential terrorist and potential victim -- that it will not be safe to fly, that nothing has been done that could stop another 911 from happening again. Why would they want that?

Well it's awfully hard not to come back to the tremendous benefits they have created for themselves out of the catastrophe of Sept. 11. It's hard to avoid coming to terms with the fact that it has given them everything they ever wanted. So why wouldn't they be a little sad to think it could never happen again?

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