Front Sight

Handgun Training in the Skies: Arm the Pilots

This CNN article clearly illustrates both sides of the argument for why we should arm our pilots and get them safe and effective handgun training. The pro side goes a little something like this: terrorists are a threat to our national security; terrorists have already successfully taken over several aircrafts; the terrorists were armed very lightly and would never be able to overpower fully trained, capable firearms users. The con side goes a little something like this: “I think the pilot has enough to do.” According to Horizon Airlines pilot Geoff Rowe, “We should focus on (terrorists) not getting on board.” This is true. But what if the terrorists DO get on board? Is that a part of what the pilot has enough of to do?

The clear response to Rowe’s argument is what Don Worley, who flew as an armed pilot for a year and still carries a concealed weapon, answers: handgun training for pilots and guns in the cockpit are the only answer. "When you take on that kind of responsibility, you are the only authority onboard that aircraft. You can't call 911. There's no policemen or sheriff.” Worley clearly shows exactly what kind of mindset is necessary for a pilot: responsibility. The pilot has no one to turn to in the cockpit. He might have an air marshal on board, but what if he doesn’t? The pilot is the last line of responsibility, if he doesn’t take charge and handle a lethal situation, it would be the end of everyone on that plane’s lives. Handgun training gives the mental and physical preparation for such a situation.

While there is a potential safety hazard in bullets from handguns being able to down a plane through rupturing a fuel line, wrenching a hole in the fuselage or even sparking a fire. Proponents say that special ammunition now available could lessen the odds of such an occurrence. With these facts presented, why shouldn’t all pilots be receiving handgun training?

So says Dr. Ignatius Piazza, founder and director of Front Sight Firearms Training Institute. Dr. Piazza has opened his doors to pilots, offering free handgun training and concealed carry training to pilots. Piazza realizes we must keep our pilots and passengers safe, so he is doing something about it. Front Sight is definitely the place to get the right training, more students are trained at Front Sight than all other shooting schools in America combined. Front Sight and Dr. Piazza are hoping to lead the way for handgun training for pilots.

Back to the CNN Article on Front Sight.