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Tool of the day

Old 01-09-2016, 10:07 AM
  #7411  
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Here, lemme take a crack at this:

Originally Posted by cardiomd View Post

Look cactus, I do see your point of view, and I recognize the varied participants. Why do the ones that stay, stay? It is a fantasy that having a known armed crewmember would seal security holes without opening up legion more. Cowboy mentality, enabled by bad policy, and only a subset of fervent participants, as you reference, continue to participate and "put up with a lot."
As it's probably been pointed out, since the advent of KCM, it actually normally takes longer to get through the security checkpoint as an FFDO, than as a "regular" KCM participant. While that change probably weeded out those few who just wanted to get through security faster, a significant majority of FFDOs stayed on.

So then, why do the rest stay? -I- believe (and it's been my actual experience in flying with them) that the ones who stay, by and large, do so because they actually believe in the program and its purposes, and want to make a difference. They want to help deter air piracy, and protect themselves and their passengers in particular, and their country in general, from another 9/11-type incident. Even some of those guys eventually leave--not because they're not qualified or right for the program--but because they eventually get burned out. Burned out, burdened by the continual training, hassle, and bureaucracy of maintaining their qual, on their own time, and their own expense. It's a lot of work to be in this program--but fortunately, a lot of pilots are willing to undertake it.

On the other hand, we have your explanation about the program's participants. Without knowing the first thing about the program, its vetting process, rules, or training; and also without knowing the first thing about its actual participants or their motivation: "Well, obviously, it's due to "cowboy mentality." Seriously, Doc, where do you get off? You're pushing your own political beliefs (not to mention emotion-based statements), and pretending that they constitute a logical argument. Show some proof. Show some statistics. Show something, other than blanket, one-sided personal opinions.

You are welcome to share some scenarios and a good analysis where you think that having a pilot carry a gun on a commercial airliner behind a locked door would be a net advantage, in a new thread. Or just call all doctors a-holes instead. Attacking for stating the obvious is pretty silly.
If you really want to know the "net advantage" of the FFDO program, why don't you ask people who actually run the country's security agencies, instead of just asking only those laymen who espouse the same opinions and prejudices as yourself. The professionals who designed and run the program, as well as every FAM, FBI agent, and Homeland Security guy that I've talked to, all believe that it's an invaluable part of the multiple layers of aviation security. In fact, they see it as the final, last-ditch layer.

Tell you what--until you get around to doing that, I'll just tell you the basics: besides the actual last-ditch defense of the cockpit, those FFDOs are also a huge deterrent to possible air piracy. Everyone knows that there aren't that many FAMs; but every commercial airliner has two pilots, and a significant fraction of them are armed (almost 11%, according to USA Today). BTW, if you need to, you can look up the word "deterrent."

And to help dispel your ignorant "cowboy mentality" argument:
- Until 1987 (when the feds changed the rules) large numbers of pilots carried firearms with them on their aircraft, with zero known record of incidents. In fact, until sometime in the 1960s, commercial pilots carrying US Mail aboard (a substantial percentage of all commercial aircraft), were actually required to carry a firearm with them. Again, zero known record of incidents. Gee, I wonder how it was possible that we didn't have any "cowboy shootouts" in the sky. And this was all before the modern FFDO program.
- FFDOs receive the some of the finest firearms training the federal government has to offer, similar in scope and duration to other federal LEOs.
- FFDOs are required to shoot for proficiency more often than the majority of all US police agencies.
- FFDOs have by far the lowest rate of NDs (negligent discharges) of any federal law enforcement agency, including the FBI and the Secret Service. To the best of my knowledge, there's only been one ND by a FFDO in the program's history, and that was due to a earlier, flawed holster design and its associated procedures.

Fortunately I predict the program will be ended pretty shortly, and rightly so.
"Rightly so"? Are you going to attempt to explain that? The FFDO program is far-and-away the most cost-effective aviation security program the nation has. Recent numbers reflect that it costs the government about $5 per flight with an FFDO aboard protecting the cockpit. That's in contrast to the literally thousands of dollars it costs the government to put a FAM on board that same flight.

To put that in perspective, President Obama, who (like you, presumably) wanted to end the program solely for anti-gun reasons, stated that he wanted to cut funding because it was "too expensive, and not needed with the other layers of aviation security." Too expensive? In 2014, the FFDO program's budget was approx $25 million, which ironically was almost exactly the same amount of money as the government then spent to protect the President and his family (4 people and a dog) for a single, 8-day vacation in Hawaii that same year. You probably don't want to know how many billions the TSA spends each year on its parts of aviation security, to mixed success, I might add. Something like 25% or more of prohibited items make it through TSA screening. That's why we have multiple layers in the first place, including the FFDO last layer.

I do help people on APC professionally and have done so in the past. I'll buy a round if I ever see you in the terminal. We should make APC luggage tags!

I see why other fellow pilots are reluctant to bring up touchy subjects, despite the vast majority having identical feelings to me.
I actually had to stare at this sentence for a while before responding.

Doc, if you really believe that the "vast majority" of commercial pilots have "identical feelings to [you]" with regard to the FFDO program, then you seriously need to see a doctor yourself. You are clearly and dangerously deluded. Do you actually know any commercial pilots?

I don't have to spend hours with a potentially armed hothead in a tiny room, and if I did I might not express my views in the same way. As others here have said, though, sometimes it is good to break the echo-chamber. We doctors need and do that often.

I am a gun owner myself, but the post-1990's NRA and increasingly crazy carry-your-gun-everywhere extremists left me, and most people dedicated to healing, a long long time ago.
One last factoid for you to consider, to go along with your "carry-your-gun-everywhere extremist" emotional argument: Did you know that licensed CCW permittees, as a demographic, commit fewer crimes than essentially any other identifiable demographic? And that includes police officers. Let that sink in: that means that statistically, you personally are more likely to be the victim of a crime perpetrated by a cop, than you are to be by a CCW permittee. I guess that means we should disarm the cops too, right?

Anyway, this has gone on for a while, so perhaps you can start a new thread, and actually provide answers to your own questions, as I have attempted to do for you.

Tell us why you believe FFDOs all have "cowboy mentality." Tell us why the program is based on "bad policy," and what exactly is "bad" about it. This time, make sure you provide actual facts, statistics, and instances.

Please, as you suggested, share some scenarios and analysis of why "having a pilot carry a gun on a commercial airliner behind a locked door" would be a net DIS-advantage. I answered you, and explained the program's benefits and advantages, and how it has been accomplished extremely safely, and incredibly cost-effectively. Again, be sure to give actual facts and examples that show what's "bad" about it, instead of just projecting your opinions and feelings.

So therefore I'm going to have to renominate you as "Tool of the Day." Not because you have different opinions than I, but because you put forth your emotions and personal prejudice, pretending them to be truth, without offering any actual facts to back them up. Worse yet, you then attempted to lend the moral authority that you wield as a doctor to bolster your personal opinion, instead of providing those facts. Good God--I certainly hope that you don't make your medical decisions based solely on your own emotions, unproven suppositions, or political considerations, and without the slightest bit of actual knowledge of how something works.

Congratulations! You're the "Tool" of today; hopefully you'll do better tomorrow. I look forward to you explaining yourself.

Bubba

Last edited by SWA Bubba; 01-09-2016 at 10:33 AM.
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Old 01-09-2016, 10:28 AM
  #7412  
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Can the Tools please take the FFDO discussion to its own thread.
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Old 01-09-2016, 10:36 AM
  #7413  
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Originally Posted by AC560 View Post
Can the Tools please take the FFDO discussion to its own thread.

Agreed, guilty as charged.

(spraying myself with anti-tool bleach)
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Old 01-09-2016, 11:02 AM
  #7414  
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Originally Posted by SWA Bubba View Post
Here, lemme take a crack at this:

Congratulations! You're the "Tool" of today; hopefully you'll do better tomorrow. I look forward to you explaining yourself.

Bubba
Bubba, you are hereby nominated for "Untool of the Day!" A rational and well written response to a tool. Thank you. Now, as others have said, let's move on to the special tools that stand out each day, rather than rehashing well-established tools!
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Old 01-09-2016, 11:12 AM
  #7415  
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Originally Posted by DeadHead View Post



Words.......I have none.
Please return the brain cells I sacrificed to process that. And the 5:15 of my life as well.
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Old 01-09-2016, 11:25 AM
  #7416  
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Old 01-09-2016, 11:25 AM
  #7417  
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Originally Posted by BeatNavy View Post
And who might that have been?
George Bagley, also known as the Bagwan referring to QX pilots during contract negotiations. He wrote it in his CEO message in the front of their on board magazine.
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Old 01-09-2016, 11:29 AM
  #7418  
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Originally Posted by ShyGuy View Post
Hat's would have made all the difference....
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Old 01-09-2016, 12:03 PM
  #7419  
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Originally Posted by zippinbye View Post
Bubba, you are hereby nominated for "Untool of the Day!" A rational and well written response to a tool. Thank you. Now, as others have said, let's move on to the special tools that stand out each day, rather than rehashing well-established tools!
Agreed. Thanks, Bubba.

The doctor has been moved to ignore list to improve my APC experience.
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Old 01-09-2016, 12:45 PM
  #7420  
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Originally Posted by Monkeyfly View Post
Agreed. Thanks, Bubba.

The doctor has been moved to ignore list to improve my APC experience.
Yeah, nothing like groupthink to improve your day and expand your mind.
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