Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Another Role Rand Paul Sees for Government

I have no problem with pilots carrying arms. But, the policy should be left up to each individual airline. A problem comes in when government gets in the middle to decide pilot carrying policies and when it gets in the  middle to "train" pilots. Why not just let airlines decide for themselves pilot gun carrying policies and how pilots are trained?

Rand Paul has a different view

Today, Rand attended the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing to review President Obama’s proposed FY2014 budget for the Department of Homeland Security. In this budget, President Obama ceases funding for the Federal Flight Deck Officer Program. This program allows pilots of commercial airlines to carry firearms.

During the hearing, instead of getting to the heart of the matter, and calling for airlines to design their own security programs, Rand argued for putting back in the budget the government training program for pilots. He also argued for spreading the government training through out the country---having local government authorities do the training. That is, leaving it a government program, without any discussion of the private sector. How is this shrinking government?  Most alarming, he called for less stringent special training for former military personnel. Why do we want to put former military personnel on a pedestal? This reeks of signalling the supposed value of government. In this case, the special value of government hired and trained killers.

Rand's grilling of Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano also showed another important failed understanding by Rand about how the free market works versus central planning. A return to free markets would result in creativity unleashed in the airline security sector, keeping airline security, as part of the government, suffocates innovation, but, what's more, it expands the government security state for no good reason. The expansion of the security state is always a very bad thing. Rand's position here is very disappointing.

Here's the video, followed by the transcript of Rand questioning Napolitano.


SEN. PAUL: Madam Secretary, thank you for coming today and for your testimony. Are you in favor of having our commercial pilots armed?

HON. NAPOLITANO: I think properly trained and if they are -- have gone through our Federal Flight Deck Officer program, arming can be appropriate, yes.

SEN. PAUL: I guess I’m concerned because in your budget, the Administration’s budget, we zeroed out the funding for training of pilots. I think that’s been done a couple of times and we had to add it back in. We’re wondering about your commitment to arming pilots.

HON. NAPOLITANO: Well, I’ll tell you the reason why we zeroed it out, Senator, and that is – and it goes to a lot of the changes in the budget. We’re moving to risk-based. And an FFDO program is not risk-based. It’s just happenstance, where you happen to have a pilot on board that went through the training or not. We’re offering the training to air carriers if they want their pilots covered. But we would rather stick with the FAMS [Federal Air Marshal Service], who are portion-based on risk.

SEN. PAUL: I don’t think I can over emphasize the importance of deterrence and part of deterrence is not knowing who’s armed and who’s not armed, not knowing whose house has guns and whose doesn’t. That’s why we don’t want registries published of who owns guns and who don’t. I feel better even if 5 percent of the pilots have it because the terrorists don’t know which 5 percent of the pilots have it.

I think zeroing out the funding shows a lack of commitment to the idea of self-defense and sends a huge signal to terrorists around world if we’re t not going to arm our pilots. In fact, I think we need to go the opposite direction. I think we have one training facility in New Mexico where the pilots are trained. Is that where they’re trained? Anyway, the pilots complain about the cost, expense, also, and the time away. It’s a 48-hour program. We have training facilities for policemen in every state. I don’t see why we couldn’t cooperate, make it a lot cheaper.

I’m for saving money. We have all kinds of sunk costs in training facilities for police officers, state troopers, you know, shouldn’t have to be done in one place. You’ve got a manual, send the manual around, let them learn how to do it and have it done.

We have conceal and carry in most of the states around the country. There’s no reason why you can’t have local training. I would take military officers who have had extensive training already and exempt them from half the program so they can save time and expense on getting it done. But I think the idea of deterrence can’t be measured. You can’t, you know, you can’t measure how important it is to have deterrence. But I think that a lot of us would argue that having pilots armed is a great deal of deterrence and we shouldn’t send any indication to any terrorist around the world that we aren’t serious about having our pilots armed. Thank you.


  1. "A return to free markets would result in creativity unleashed in the airline security sector, keeping airline security, as part of the government, suffocates innovation, but, what's more, it expands the government security state for no good reason."

    Bingo. Airlines could have free armed security on every flight. Implement a passenger firearm training program in which they qualify on agreed industry standards, and carry specific ammunition in specific calibers.

    Maybe reduced / subsidized qualification pricing or full pricing for the qualification and a small discount for every flight you go armed.

    Issue solved. Next.

    Government *is* the problem. Anyone who has worked in either state or federal government knows that budgets are based on use. If you don't use it all, you lose it. In order to move up / grow your department, you have to make the case for a larger budget. The government model is the exact opposite of the free-market model where efficiency is the norm.

    You can't solve the issue by adding more government intervention. It is government that puts the sand (ethanol) in the gas tank. It's like saying when the car doesn't start, we need to add more sand. Fundamentally the people have to understand this before our problems have real solutions.

  2. "She wears underwears with dick holes in em"