Re: Fw: FAA Plans to Disarm Flight Crews -- 09-20-2001

From: Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (
Date: Sun Sep 23 2001 - 06:45:26 MDT

Samantha Atkins wrote:
> "Olga Bourlin" <> writes:
> > ( - A new Federal Aviation Regulation would take away the right
> > of pilots, co-pilots, and navigators to carry firearms and other weapons for
> > self-defense.
> Insanity rules. Just one more datum leading to the conclusion that the Feds
> are more interested in stripping the populace of rights than in our true
> protection or even stopping terrorist acts. Collect the whole set of such
> telltale signs. Be the first on your block to understand where our greatest
> danger lies.

Excuse me, but I have to speak out on this one. I think a collection of
unarmed passengers have a better chance of taking out terrorists armed
with knives, than a collection of passengers sparsely armed with guns but
mostly unarmed would have of taking out terrorists with guns. Guns are
one of the great equalizers of battles. It seems to me that if I'm on a
plane, I want the situation to remain as unequal as possible, i.e. 200
passengers, five terrorists. I do not want guns or even tasers to drop
down from the ceiling. A policy of keeping everyone down to the level of
fists and/or knives seems like a fine policy to me - as long as it works.
If there's only one gun on the plane and the pilot has it, anyone who can
get that gun away from the pilot has a considerably better chance of
taking over the plane, or at least of killing a lot more passengers before
finally being ripped apart by teeth and fingernails. And airline
enforcement of a gun-free environment has apparently been pretty effective
so far; the last batch of terrorists had to make do with box cutters. So
this is not *totally* nonsensical in the usual "harms the lawabiders but
not the lawbreakers" sense.

-- -- -- -- --
Eliezer S. Yudkowsky
Research Fellow, Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence

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