T
H
E

L
I
B
E
R
T
A
R
I
A
N

E
N
T
E
R
P
R
I
S
E


I
s
s
u
e

142

THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 142, October 8, 2001
More Harm Than Good?

'Stop Complying Now ...
Don't Give the Government-Regulated Airlines Your Business'

by Vin Suprynowicz
vin@lvrj.com

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"The next time someone tells you that the militia referred to in the Second Amendment has been 'superceded' by the National Guard, ask them who it was that prevented United Airlines Flight 93 from reaching its target," writes Boston University Professor Randy E. Barnett.

"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 terrorism."

"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 Law."

"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 National Guard.

'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 Militia.' ..."

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 explains.

"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. 11.

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 submit.

"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 fast-food joints.

"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 11. ..."

- - -

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 enforced uniformity?

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 frangible ammo.

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 ground?



Vin Suprynowicz is assistant editorial page editor of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Subscribe to his monthly newsletter by sending $72 to Privacy Alert, 561 Keystone Ave., Suite 684, Reno, NV 89503 -- or dialing 775-348-8591.


Next to advance to the next article, or
Previous to return to the previous article, or
Table of Contents to return to The Libertarian Enterprise, Number 142, October 8, 2001.