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Old Apr 20, 17, 8:10 pm   #1
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US Air Marshal Left Loaded Gun in Airplane Bathroom on TATL DL Flight

Good-nyss! How careless!

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/20/u...room.html?_r=0

Last edited by SeaHawg; Apr 21, 17 at 8:46 am
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Old Apr 20, 17, 8:16 pm   #2
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All the more reason to get rid of the Air Marshal program. If anything happens you can be sure the passengers will take care of it. They are just government sponges that eat up F space.
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Old Apr 20, 17, 8:46 pm   #3
  
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This is like a surgeon leaving a scalpel in the patient's body.
Some mistakes unfortunately cannot be ignored.
Not saying that the air marshal should go to prison or anything but it should have prevent the air marshal from continuing with this career path.
Apparently, this incident is fine and the staff is cleared to carry on with normal duties (aka fly with loaded weapon) just days after the incident?
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Old Apr 20, 17, 9:45 pm   #4
  
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I found it interesting that the article says the passenger who found it gave the weapon to a member of the flight crew. If I found it, the last thing I would do is pick it up. Can you imagine what could happen if someone else saw you carrying a gun down the aisle!
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Old Apr 20, 17, 10:01 pm   #5
  
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Originally Posted by flyerslc View Post
I found it interesting that the article says the passenger who found it gave the weapon to a member of the flight crew. If I found it, the last thing I would do is pick it up. Can you imagine what could happen if someone else saw you carrying a gun down the aisle!
Yeah I'd keep the door locked and hit the FA call button. Taking it out of the lavatory could be like the Harold & Kumar airplane scene, full of misunderstandings.
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Old Apr 20, 17, 10:53 pm   #6
  
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The original Marshall program was in response to hijackings in the 60's and 70's. Then hijackings faded and our appetite for the costs diminished and by the mid 80's air marshalls were a memory. Then 9/11 happened. Suddenly we had motivation and we were ready to spend the money necessary to ensure that it could never happen again. But now it's been a while and memories fade....

Do marshalls prevent hijackings - it's hard to prove a negative. But are we willing to spend the money necessary to protect against a tragic event - in hindsight we are. Are we likely to have another take over, can we justify a billion dollar program... the answer may depend on whether you are on the plane when it happens.

A billion dollars is a lot of money. But what are the lives of 200+/- passengers and crew worth? Forty years ago Ford was crucified when they made the decision not to spend the millions it would take to address an issue in the Pinto fuel tank. At one point it seemed like a valid decision but in hindsight it was seen as callous and indifferent.

So we got a rookie Marshall who screwed up. Maybe she gets suspended. Maybe she gets fired. If highly educated surgeons can make mistakes is it really realistic to expect that a cop will never have a mishap? That is not to say that there shouldn't be, or won't be, discipline. The feds are known for taking their time to render disciplinary decisions. She could well work for another month before being disciplined (and the appeal that will surely follow). Mistakes happen - it doesn't mean every air Marshall is bad.

But the program itself - everybody thinks cops are a waste of money until they need one. Our country wastes money on nonsense every day. If some day someone I care about is on a plane that is attacked I hope there is a marshall aboard. That marshall may or may not save the day. But I prefer the odds with a marshall verses without.
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Old Apr 20, 17, 11:07 pm   #7
  
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Originally Posted by FirstInFlight View Post
The original Marshall program was in response to hijackings in the 60's and 70's. Then hijackings faded and our appetite for the costs diminished and by the mid 80's air marshalls were a memory. Then 9/11 happened. Suddenly we had motivation and we were ready to spend the money necessary to ensure that it could never happen again. But now it's been a while and memories fade....

Do marshalls prevent hijackings - it's hard to prove a negative. But are we willing to spend the money necessary to protect against a tragic event - in hindsight we are. Are we likely to have another take over, can we justify a billion dollar program... the answer may depend on whether you are on the plane when it happens.

A billion dollars is a lot of money. But what are the lives of 200+/- passengers and crew worth? Forty years ago Ford was crucified when they made the decision not to spend the millions it would take to address an issue in the Pinto fuel tank. At one point it seemed like a valid decision but in hindsight it was seen as callous and indifferent.

So we got a rookie Marshall who screwed up. Maybe she gets suspended. Maybe she gets fired. If highly educated surgeons can make mistakes is it really realistic to expect that a cop will never have a mishap? That is not to say that there shouldn't be, or won't be, discipline. The feds are known for taking their time to render disciplinary decisions. She could well work for another month before being disciplined (and the appeal that will surely follow). Mistakes happen - it doesn't mean every air Marshall is bad.

But the program itself - everybody thinks cops are a waste of money until they need one. Our country wastes money on nonsense every day. If some day someone I care about is on a plane that is attacked I hope there is a marshall aboard. That marshall may or may not save the day. But I prefer the odds with a marshall verses without.
Perhaps it needs to be more strategic. The program in Canada started after 9/11 it was to address concerns the American's had about Air Canada flying into Regan National Airport without having air marshals. They put RCMP officers onto those flights. I don't think the Canadian program expanded much beyond that.

Perhaps it needs to be more strategic in the US. If there are a handful of routes of concern put them on those routes and get rid of them everywhere else.
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Old Apr 20, 17, 11:13 pm   #8
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We have already seen that the passengers are more than capable of handling a problem passenger. Passengers on a Southwest flight had to kill one. When the TSA took over the air marshal program they got rid of the firearm accuracy test. I wouldn't want one of them shooting around an airplane. My grandmother probably has better accuracy. Watch the documentary "Please Remove Your Shoes". It is very eye opening.
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Old Apr 21, 17, 12:19 am   #9
  
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Originally Posted by flyerslc View Post
I found it interesting that the article says the passenger who found it gave the weapon to a member of the flight crew. If I found it, the last thing I would do is pick it up. Can you imagine what could happen if someone else saw you carrying a gun down the aisle!
If I found a loaded gun, I wouldn't hand it to another person without making it safe (by removing the magazine and clearing the chamber) unless I know that person is capable of safely handling a loaded firearm. Once any cartridges have been removed from both the chamber and the feeding path the gun is little more than a hunk of inert metal.
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Old Apr 21, 17, 12:25 am   #10
  
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I would have stuck it in my waistband and quit drinking Woodford until we landed.
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Old Apr 21, 17, 12:26 am   #11
  
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Originally Posted by FirstInFlight View Post
The original Marshall program was in response to hijackings in the 60's and 70's. Then hijackings faded and our appetite for the costs diminished and by the mid 80's air marshalls were a memory. Then 9/11 happened. Suddenly we had motivation and we were ready to spend the money necessary to ensure that it could never happen again. But now it's been a while and memories fade....

Do marshalls prevent hijackings - it's hard to prove a negative. But are we willing to spend the money necessary to protect against a tragic event - in hindsight we are. Are we likely to have another take over, can we justify a billion dollar program... the answer may depend on whether you are on the plane when it happens.

A billion dollars is a lot of money. But what are the lives of 200+/- passengers and crew worth? Forty years ago Ford was crucified when they made the decision not to spend the millions it would take to address an issue in the Pinto fuel tank. At one point it seemed like a valid decision but in hindsight it was seen as callous and indifferent.

So we got a rookie Marshall who screwed up. Maybe she gets suspended. Maybe she gets fired. If highly educated surgeons can make mistakes is it really realistic to expect that a cop will never have a mishap? That is not to say that there shouldn't be, or won't be, discipline. The feds are known for taking their time to render disciplinary decisions. She could well work for another month before being disciplined (and the appeal that will surely follow). Mistakes happen - it doesn't mean every air Marshall is bad.

But the program itself - everybody thinks cops are a waste of money until they need one. Our country wastes money on nonsense every day. If some day someone I care about is on a plane that is attacked I hope there is a marshall aboard. That marshall may or may not save the day. But I prefer the odds with a marshall verses without.


Very well said. I agree. Certainly there are plenty of other places where billions of dollars are wasted that we could cut. Furthermore, think of the economic activity that the 1B dollars protects. Air travel is an essential part of our economy.
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Old Apr 21, 17, 12:48 am   #12
  
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Originally Posted by readywhenyouare View Post
We have already seen that the passengers are more than capable of handling a problem passenger. Passengers on a Southwest flight had to kill one. When the TSA took over the air marshal program they got rid of the firearm accuracy test. I wouldn't want one of them shooting around an airplane. My grandmother probably has better accuracy. Watch the documentary "Please Remove Your Shoes". It is very eye opening.
Definitely. When you kettles in the back start getting uppity, all of the pax up in F should be able to handle it by ramming you with the drink carts.
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Old Apr 21, 17, 1:25 am   #13
  
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This is pretty disturbing.
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Old Apr 21, 17, 1:43 am   #14
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All the more reason to get rid of the Air Marshal program. If anything happens you can be sure the passengers will take care of it. They are just government sponges that eat up F space.
+1

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Originally Posted by eigenvector View Post
If I found a loaded gun, I wouldn't hand it to another person without making it safe (by removing the magazine and clearing the chamber) unless I know that person is capable of safely handling a loaded firearm. Once any cartridges have been removed from both the chamber and the feeding path the gun is little more than a hunk of inert metal.
I would also do so before handing it to someone else. However, the sound of racking the slide is probably going to perk up the ears of the FAM if they're paying attention. And there can be more than one FAM on a flight. Not sure I'd want to put a FAM in the position of hearing that sound and having to determine whether or not I was a threat... decent chance it doesn't end well. Seems like the least risky course of action is to remain with it but avoid handling it, call an FA over, and have them summon the FAM.
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Old Apr 21, 17, 2:25 am   #15
  
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Another data point that hasn't been pointed out in this thread is that the FAM was probably a male and there is a 100% chance he dropped a deuce in his visit to the jon. RI(FT)P TH!
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