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Disband the FAA
by Phil Trent
10 December 2002

Considering the FAA's dogmatic insistence on preventing pilots from arming themselves, even after 9/11, maybe it's time we reconsidered their vast grant of legislative authority.

Just two months prior to Sept. 11, the FAA officially banned pilots from carrying side arms onto the plane. In actuality, it was a formalization of prior policy that had already been in place for several years.

While the FAA had unusually bad timing, it is clear that pilots and passengers had no means of defending that would not have violated an FAA policy. Even more enlightening is a 1993 test of airport security in which 75% of the knives, guns, grenades, and fake bombs passed through undetected.

For decades, all commercial pilots were required by the federal government to carry firearms to prevent possible hijackings of the U.S mail. The precursor to the FAA was created in the 20s simply to promote commercial airlines. The actual FAA was created in 1958 to regulate them.

When elected officials make mistakes, they are held responsible. When independent agencies make mistakes, it is difficult to place blame because no one knows where the responsibility lies.

The FAA did not accept any blame for Sept. 11. It did not apologize for leaving people on the plane defenseless. On the contrary, the FAA was belligerent. Shortly after the attack, the head of the FAA has the audacity to say that she wouldn’t have even considered allowing pilots to carry firearms prior to 9/11.

Their only real response was the further shake down of passengers to make sure they wouldn’t even have so much as a metal butter knife while in flight. This is highly ironic since it was the passengers of Flight 93 that foiled the attack on Congress, the intended target. It would seem the FAA cannot distinguish the cure from the disease.

In nature, wolves do not attack the strong, but the weak. Terrorists do not fight armies; they slaughter civilians because they are easier prey. Perhaps the FAA would consider that almost every civilian massacre in history has been preceded by disarmament such as in Nazi Germany or Stalinist Russia.

Does Congress have the Constitutional power to grant legislative authority to another body? Do you think the founding fathers even considered that the courts would allow this to exist? It is almost as if the courts have been liquored up for the last 50 years to not realize that a policy is a law if it is identical in every other way except in name.

When the FAA makes a policy that pilots cannot carry side arms that is legislation. The only reason it is not called legislation is because they were appointed. Still, their policies, rules, and regulations have the all the power of laws, such as fines and imprisonment. Isn’t that amazing? You can go to jail by violating the policy of a non-elected official. Most laws don’t have life or death power over our day-to-day lives.

The irony is that Congress delegated its authority to the FAA, which in turn created policies that almost destroyed Congress itself. If the terrorists would have used guns instead of knives, would our brand-new Congress have left the FAA in charge? Would more or less people be alive today if the FAA had never existed?

Dissolve the FAA leave everything up to the airlines. If American Airlines wants to issue guns to passengers and United wants to prohibit them from the flight, let people decide for themselves. Freedom is not to prohibit nor require; it is to choose and to live with the consequences of those decisions.

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