Special to TLE
"The next time someone tells you that the militia referred to in the
Second Amendment has been 'superceded' by the National Guard, ask
them who it was that prevented United Airlines Flight 93 from
reaching its target," writes Boston University Professor Randy E.
"The National Guard? The regular Army? The D.C. Police Department?"
asks Prof. Barnett in his Sept. 18 article for nationalreview.com,
titled "Flight 93 Saved by the Militia: Arming an army against
"None of these had a presence on Flight 93 because, in a free
society, professional law-enforcement and military personnel cannot
be everywhere. Terrorists and criminals are well aware of this --
indeed, they count on it.
"Who is everywhere? The people the Founders referred to as the
'general militia.' Cell-phone calls from the plane have now revealed
that it was members of the general militia, not organized law
enforcement, who successfully prevented Flight 93 from reaching its
intended target at the cost of their own lives," continues Prof.
Barnett, author of "The Structure of Liberty: Justice and the Rule of
"The characterization of these heroes as members of the militia is
not just the opinion of one law professor. It is clearly stated in
Federal statutes. Perhaps you will not believe me unless I quote
Section 311 of US Code Title 10, entitled, 'Militia: composition and
classes' in its entirety:
" 'a) The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied
males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section 313
of title 32, under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a
declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States and
of female citizens of the United States who are members of the
'b) The classes of the militia are --
'1) the organized militia, which consists of the National Guard and
the Naval Militia; and
'2) the unorganized militia, which consists of the members of the
militia who are not members of the National Guard or the Naval
It was militia members who saved whatever was the terrorists' target
-- whether the White House or the Capitol -- at the cost of their
lives. And this should help us figure out what would actually works
to block the success of any such future efforts, Prof. Barnett
"Asking all of us if we packed our own bags did not stop this attack.
X-rays of all carry-on baggage did not stop this attack (though it
may well have confined the attackers to using knives). And preventing
us from using e-tickets or checking our bags at the street ... would
neither have stopped this nor any future attack. ...
"Here is the cold hard fact of the matter: Often -- whether on an
airplane, subway, cruise ship, or in a high school -- only self
defense by the 'unorganized militia' will be available when domestic
or foreign terrorists chose their next moment of murder. ..."
- - -
I'd booked a 7 a.m. flight to Phoenix on Oct. 6 so I could hear Aaron
Zelman speak at Marc Victor's Freedom Summit in Scottsdale -- my
travel agent sent me a written warning to show up at the airport two
hours early for a one-hour flight, so I could be diligently searched
for toenail clippers by the same worthless stooges who allowed every
single hijack gang to slip through their "security screens" on Sept.
But within hours of booking my fare, I was shamed by the following,
stirring message from Mr. Zelman, executive director of Jews for the
Preservation of Firearms Ownership (web site www.jpfo.org.)
"Don't Finance the Murder of the Bill of Rights, or Why I Am
Canceling My Appearance at the Freedom Summit:
"To reach the Summit in Arizona," my friend Aaron wrote, "I would
have to fly from my home in Wisconsin. This I can no longer do -- not
with the latest 'heightened (and useless) airport security measures'
designed to treat me like a criminal, a serf, or both.
"I will never set foot on a commercial airliner until the airlines,
the airport authorities, the FAA, and all other would-be regulators
of air travel respect my rights. (And I'm talking about inborn
rights, the ones Americans have bled and died for. ...)
"Arbitrary searches don't halt violence. But as if they missed that
entire point on September 11, 2001, the airlines and the regulators
... want more of the same. Walk through their scanners. Humbly answer
their questions, praying that you don't sound nervous or
'suspicious.' Open your bags. Open your purses. Open your shaving
kits or your lipstick tubes. Bend over and open whatever orifice they
might wish to inspect once they've determined your willingness to
"Disarming me and you doesn't make the nation's skies safe. But --
tragically missing that point, also -- these police-statist cowards
now want to make sure that millions of people are deprived even of
their razor blades, Girl Scout knives -- even plastic knives from
"What will they want to take next? Our shoes so that we can't kick
them? Our pens so that we can't gouge them? Our teeth so that we
can't bite them? ...
"Stop complying now. ... Don't give the government-regulated airlines
your business. They're already in financial trouble, and they've
earned it. Let them go bankrupt. Let them pay the price for
conditioning us to act like cattle and lulling us into submission.
"Give them the Smith & Wesson treatment," Aaron advises, referring to
the firearms manufacturer that signed an agreement with the Clinton
administration to manufacture guns with electronic switches that
could be remotely turned off by police, as well as requiring its
distributors to place dangerous "trigger locks" on every gun they
sold ... not just on S&W products.
American gun buyers boycotted once-popular S&W, forcing their British
owners to sell off the company last summer for pennies on the dollar.
"So let the airlines go under," Mr. Zelman concludes. "To put it
bluntly, corporations, regulators, and legislators who don't approve
of free, armed Americans flying on airplanes are domestic terrorists.
We already saw the mass bloodshed they helped perpetrate on September
- - -
As this is written, I haven't yet decided whether to join Aaron's
boycott and drive the six hours to Phoenix (the Freedom Summit
organizers have slated my own speech for Sunday morning -- see
www.freedomsummit.com/home.htm.) I speak at some location or other
around the country at least once a month, and I couldn't reach a lot
of those places without flying. Do I do more good by setting forth
and proselytizing for freedom in my own, halting way ... or more harm
by hanging my holster on the wall when I leave for the airport, going
along with this current regime of traveler disarmament?
But Aaron is right. President Bush set his jaw and spoke firmly on
Sept. 20 of defending the free market and the capitalist way -- and
then within hours cut a deal with Congress to authorize a $15 billion
bailout of U.S. airlines, to include $5 billion in taxpayer cash, $10
billion in "loan guarantees," and unspecified "liability protection."
In fact, the airlines are and should be liable for whatever
negligence juries decide they displayed in allowing more than 6,000
deaths on Sept. 11, all of which could have been prevented if they'd
allowed their passengers (especially such disarmed heroes as Todd
Beamer and Jeremy Glick of Flight 93) to fly armed, honoring the
intent of the U.S. Constitution.
Enough simpering about "the right of private carriers to set the
terms of their private contracts." There are dozens of major airlines
-- which one advertises that I'm welcome to carry my perfectly legal
gun on board, and light up a Salem while I'm at it? Isn't the free
market supposed to be about competition and diversity, rather than
FAA regulations (Title 14, Chapter I, Section 108.11) allow any
government agent to carry a gun on a plane, of course. As for us
second-class "civilians," the "certificate holder" (airline) can
authorize anyone they like to carry firearms on their planes,
providing said passenger or crew member demonstrates they have passed
a gun safety course which is "acceptable to the Administrator."
The threat of bankruptcy is precisely the goad that might finally
motivate some of these mincing wimps, these accessories to murder, to
post signs declaring that armed passengers are welcome -- please
check in at the gate to top off your magazines with complimentary
Instead, we now propose to put this major section of the American
economy on a permanent government dole, allowing them to continue the
murderous tyranny of Victim Disarmament while their passengers die by
the hundreds, taking with them thousands of innocent victims on the
Vin Suprynowicz is assistant editorial page editor of the Las Vegas
Review-Journal. Subscribe to his monthly newsletter by sending $72 to
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