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Air Marshals. Yes Or No?

Posted: Fri Feb 06, 2004 8:30 am
by ScottishLaddie
I am planning on doing a discursive/argumentative essay on air marshals as part of my English course. I am hoping to get you guys opinion on air marshals so that I can see the reasons for and against that others have. I have mine. I am hoping for some good feedback as it would help me greatly. Smile
I'll start by saying that, I think from a passengers point of view air marshals are a good thing because they will give the extra feeling of security that may be missing for some people when flying these days. From a pilots point of view I can understand that they would be unhappy having someone in the back cabin with a gun and themselves locked away behind the cockpit door, when really it is their aircraft and they probably feel they should have complete control.
I personally am for them, as I don't like the thought of having a hijacking takeplace at 30something thousand feet and for everyone on the plane to be defenseless and at the hijackers mercy.
So, what does everyone else think. Are you for them or against them and why?
I apologise if this subject has already been discussed. Your help and opinions are much appreciated  Smile/happy/getting dizzy

RE: Air Marshals. Yes Or No?

Posted: Fri Feb 06, 2004 8:36 am
by DeltaMIA
I don't think they are needed, but from a flight crew standpoint it is good to have government representation to handle times of interference with crew member duties. While in most cases out of order passengers tend to ignore a flight crew member, they tend to not ignore the FAM. Also it becomes the governments decision and not the airlines which saves them from legality issues.

RE: Air Marshals. Yes Or No?

Posted: Fri Feb 06, 2004 1:12 pm
by bobb
Red neck pilots [shields up] would immediately prefer to carry their own guns. While others would prefer to stick to flying and let a trained enforcement officer to the task.

Last year there was an article saying due to government's rush to hire marshals, some backgrounds were not checked and they found some with marshals with "history." If that is true, I prefer no marshals to marshals with questionable psyche.

Some airline/pilots don't like live guns onboard period (fear of decompression) causing more harm than good. But then other pilots say stun guns are not reliable. I myself would want to know if this is true? as stun guns seem to be the more effective choice.

RE: Air Marshals. Yes Or No?

Posted: Fri Feb 06, 2004 11:46 pm
by ScottishLaddie
Surely there must be more than two people with opinions they want to make known on the subject!

RE: Air Marshals. Yes Or No?

Posted: Fri Feb 06, 2004 11:48 pm
by UTA_flyinghigh
Yes or no ?
No.

UTA

RE: Air Marshals. Yes Or No?

Posted: Fri Feb 06, 2004 11:50 pm
by ScottishLaddie
UTA_FLYingHIGH, in the original question I did ask WHY.

RE: Air Marshals. Yes Or No?

Posted: Fri Feb 06, 2004 11:55 pm
by col
With Air Marshals we obviously do not have confidence that our ground security is working correctly. Having anybody on a plane with a gun is a safety hazard, and puts the aircraft at greater risk. If you put him on one of my planes, armed, I want to see his personal history, because it has been known for unbalanced people to go into schools, shopping malls, company's and even aircraft to shoot their fellow humans!!!!! No Marshals, No guns, no problem - make it safe on the ground.

RE: Air Marshals. Yes Or No?

Posted: Sat Feb 07, 2004 12:03 am
by mckennasmall
I do not like the thought that there is a gun on board. I think aircrafts is an area where there should be no Guns .

RE: Air Marshals. Yes Or No?

Posted: Sat Feb 07, 2004 12:07 am
by J32driver
Speaking as a part 121 airline captain:

Got no problem with marshalls on my flights. They are invisible and provide another layer of security and protection for my flight attendants. Not worried about decompression. The slugs are designed to penetrate human flesh, not metal. Am I worried about a gun onboard in the cabin? Not really, my door is bullet proof and unless the flight is more than 4 hours its usually not opened at anytime when the plane is off the gate.

I also believe there is a valid argument for guns in the cockpit. Stun guns have serious limitations. A gun is nothing more than a LAST line of defense. If a pilot ever uses a gun, everything behind the cockpit door has already become a total loss. A gun in the cockpit is designed to protect people on the ground, not the people riding in the airplane.

For any further arguments from me about guns in the cockpit, run a search. This horse is dead.

RE: Air Marshals. Yes Or No?

Posted: Sat Feb 07, 2004 12:17 am
by L-188
There can never be enough air marshalls to provide the same level of coverage that armed pilots would.

Besides, who know how many Rambo types they hired to be air marshalls.

RE: Air Marshals. Yes Or No?

Posted: Sat Feb 07, 2004 12:17 am
by col
J32driver

I am the passenger in the back, no bullet proof door to protect me, make it safe on the ground, you are just introducing additional threat. Potential terrorist starts an argument with a fellow passenger, Marshal steps in, several other potential terrorists over throw marshal and obtain gun. With no Marshal the gun is not there, and pax don't get hurt or killed.

RE: Air Marshals. Yes Or No?

Posted: Sat Feb 07, 2004 12:21 am
by ScottishLaddie
I can see your point there Col. Surely marshals getting overpowered would be a major concern in the event of a hijacking. Is there a ratio of air marshals to passengers. it would be ridiculous to have one marshal on a packed 747.

RE: Air Marshals. Yes Or No?

Posted: Sat Feb 07, 2004 12:32 am
by TYSGoVols
So when a cop carries a gun he is a hero and when a pilot carries one he is a redneck? Here is my opinion. Armed AM's are a good idea. Should they carry some non lethals such as pepper spray as well oh yeah they should. Should they have a gun? YES, back in the old days on the ocean liners they even had their own jail cells. Should captains be packing heat, or carrying a gun? Yes they should. How many 9/11 airplanes could have been safely handled after the hijackers where know? Unfortunately we will never know. God bless those pilots and passengers.

In Christ
Garen B.

RE: Air Marshals. Yes Or No?

Posted: Sat Feb 07, 2004 12:35 am
by solnabo
Answer to you´re question: NO NO NO NO.........WAY IN HELL!!!!!!!!!!

Michael//SE

RE: Air Marshals. Yes Or No?

Posted: Sat Feb 07, 2004 1:09 am
by airbazar
No. It's a waste of resources and money, and it only creates a false sense of security. A willing and organized group of terrorists aboard an airplane is a losing battle. They will always outnumber and easily overtake the airmarshalls. The key is to keep terrorists from getting on a plane, not having a showdown in the air between terrorists and airmarshalls.

Now, I agree that these days there are other uses for security personnel onboard airplanes to take care of "unruly" passengers but those should be left to the discretion of the airline and part of the airline's safety and security systems, and not subsidised by Federal tax dollars.

RE: Air Marshals. Yes Or No?

Posted: Sat Feb 07, 2004 1:13 am
by will
No…. Please let us all get back to some normality…

Will…

RE: Air Marshals. Yes Or No?

Posted: Sat Feb 07, 2004 1:15 am
by JGPH1A
No.

The best way to prevent anyone from getting shot is for NOBODY to have a gun on board (same applies everywhere else - HELLOOOO AMERICA !) and to make sure nobody bring weapons aboard. This may offend, but what kind of psycho nutjob wants to become an armed skymarshall in the first place - you just know they'd be itching to do their ra-ra-Rambo impression and blow some punk away - even if that punk is just having a mild disagreement with the FA over the stick of celery in his Bloody Mary.

And who is in overall charge, the captain of the aircraft or the ex Navy Seal with 'Nam flashbacks and the .45 Magnum ? What if they disagree on the nature and level of the threat (see above re stick of celery). Who makes the law ? Until these questions are well and truly answered, no arms on board.


RE: Air Marshals. Yes Or No?

Posted: Sat Feb 07, 2004 1:21 am
by Danny
JGPH1A - couldn't agree more. Every weapon on board is a threat. The best way to secure the plane is to make sure there is nothing dangerous onboard.

RE: Air Marshals. Yes Or No?

Posted: Sat Feb 07, 2004 1:35 am
by kaitak
A survey of RAF personnel has shown that Air Marshals are a good idea!
(It's actually a very senior air force rank in the UK!)

However, as to the use we mean in this thread, I think it's a bad idea. You have an extra gun; how are you going to ensure that the people you hire are stable; anyone can pretend to be, but being allowed to carry a gun in a pressurised cabin can be dangerous.

Another point worthy of mention is that anyone who takes the time to plan a terror attack can make the necessary arrangements to get themselves onto an air marshall's course.

On the whole, I think it is wise, but subject to (1) adequate training and screening, (2) the use of weapons which cannot pierce the aircraft fuselage and (3) the flight crew being aware of the marshall's presence and being able to liaise with him/her as to how any incident should be handled.

RE: Air Marshals. Yes Or No?

Posted: Sat Feb 07, 2004 6:13 am
by NIKV69
I agree that air marshals are a big waste of money, because if our pilots have guns we don't need air marshals!!

ARM OUR PILOTS!!

There is no other way..

RE: Air Marshals. Yes Or No?

Posted: Sat Feb 07, 2004 7:07 am
by VectorVictor
YES

All of you "No" folks will be singing a much different tune should you ever be so unlucky to be on a flight and the unfortunate happens. Every single passenger will be wondering (read:praying) that there is a security person(s) among the passengers to intercede.

"There are no atheists in foxholes"

RE: Air Marshals. Yes Or No?

Posted: Sat Feb 07, 2004 10:08 am
by JAFA
I am a FA. Although I don't care personally for air marshalls, I am glad the program exists. If you aren't a crewmember you have no idea what they will or won't respond to. And I can't tell you. But I will say that being rude to a FA or not following crew instructions will not reveal who the marshall(s) are.
I don't buy the itchy trigger finger argument. All the arguments here against marshalls are biased. Valid arguments don't need terms like "redneck" "a big waste of money" "ex-navy seal with flashbacks" etc. etc.
I am a crewmember that works in the cabin, and I say Air Marshalls are a good thing. They are there to protect the aircraft, passengers, crew, and possibly lives on the ground. We can't fly around with a high threat of terrorism in the skys and do nothing about it. While anything human will not be perfect, the pros outweigh the cons in this case. I think the pilots should be allowed to have guns also. Think about this! What it essentially comes down to. If you were on a hijacked plane on Sep. 11th, would you want air marshalls onboard and or your pilots to have guns? At least you would have had a fighting chance. Even if the worse case scenario happened where the attackers got the guns at least you had a chance to fight back. Sometimes you have to fight fire with fire.

RE: Air Marshals. Yes Or No?

Posted: Sat Feb 07, 2004 10:15 am
by jeffrey1970
I don't know if it would be a good idea for the crew to consult with an air marshall everytime an incident occurs. I think the air marshall should use descresion as to when to intervene. Simply because potential terrorist may try and set up a situation where they create a distraction.

God bless through Jesus,

Jeff