Monday, December 14, 2009

There's just so much wrong here.....


As you see in the sidebar to the right here, I am an airline pilot.

And, maybe you haven't thought of it in the past, but occasionally law enforcement officers travel with their weapons. I'm not going to go into any details here, but there is a procedure for them to do this.

Again, you probably haven't even considered any of this, but when a law enforcement officer travels on my plane, the airline makes sure that I am notified of this. I hope this makes sense (and conversely, I hope that it wouldn't make sense if they didn't.).

Anyhoo, one of the things that sort of bothers me is the number of .gov employees who are armed. Case in point: I once had a guy from the Inspector General's office of the Department of Agriculture. This bothered me on two levels: An IG generally works with internal problems. Why would an IG employee need to be armed? And secondly, what is the Dept. of Ag. going to do with a gun anyway? Are there felony meat-packers out there?

Another case that bothered me was an EPA official. Do they envision a scenario where he'll need to shoot a polluter?

Enough of that, though.....

Courtesy of Doug Ross at Director Blue, I see that the EPA Criminal Investigation Division is in need of 40 new Glock 19s.
NAICS code 332994 – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Criminal Investigations Division intends to award a sole source firm-fixed-price Purchase Order to Glock, Inc. under the authority of FAR Part 13, Simplified Acquisition Procedures for 40 Model G-19, 9mm frame handguns with finger grove and rail frames, Tijico night sights, extended magazine catches and 3.5lb/NY1 Trigger magazines. The Glock model G-19 is the Agency standard firearm and is the only pistol that fits our training, certified repair technician contracts, and equipment capabilities without a major change to Agency operations. Our agents are trained with the Glock pistol, and changing to another manufacturer would require transition training for each agent that could range from 1 to 3 days depending on the manufacturer. Additionally, our Agents are outfitted with holsters and magazine clips that are fitted to the Glock model firearm. Furthermore, EPA-CID has a large amount of spare parts for the Glock weapons and to retool these parts would require substantial expenditure for the Government.
I hope that the rest of the EPA (especially their armed officers) are better at their jobs than the contracting officer who requested this order. "Tijico" night sights do not exist. Trijicon night sights, on the other hand, do. Also, I'm wondering if Ms. Lynch knows what a "3.5lb/NY1 Trigger magazine" is. I know what a 3.5lb trigger is. And I know what a NY1 trigger is too. But I don't know what a "3.5lb/NY1 Trigger magazine" is, and I suspect that Ms. Lynch doesn't either. Finally, there are magazines and there are clips. There is a difference, and this contract proposal doesn't seem to know that there is.


Warthog said...

Just throwing it out there, but there is a Steven Segal movie where he goes down south to investigate reports of corperate poluting. He was an EPA inforcement officer.

I can see it being odd them carrying weapons for work based on their title. But hell, I think everyone should carry at all times so I have no problem with it. Except for the fact We tax payers are buying the guns.

azlibertarian said...

Well, I guess if I were to set things up, it would go something like this....

First of all, it needn't be said that I would greatly trim the size of the

However, once I was done with those cuts, I would have law enforcement agencies and regulatory agencies.

I would allow sworn employees of law enforcement agencies to carry firearms.

I would not have employees of regulatory agencies carry weapons.

As I understand their logic here, "the regulators" typically say that they occasionally have to execute a search warrant or otherwise act as an unwelcome "regulator" on the property controlled by "the regulated". In these situations, I would have them call the US Marshals to act as their law enforcement.

But having armed employees at the EPA, the IRS, the FDIC, and other regulatory agencies just seems to be too much. YMMV.

And I agree about everyone carrying at all times, with this caveat....

As a practical point, I believe that most people who have a CCW don't carry their guns. They ought to, but the guns are heavy, sometimes difficult to conceal, or for some other reason, the CCW holders decide that not carrying is simply better than carrying. Also, I know that most people who own a gun don't practice. Shooting, and the ammo it requires, is expensive (especially lately). I would be very surprised if the average Arizona gun-owner shot more than 100 rounds a year. Shooting is a perishable skill, and IMO, that is simply not enough to maintain what I consider to be a minimum proficiency for my caveat below.

And my caveat is: As an airline pilot, the "people density" on my plane means that, if you're going to need to shoot, you're going to have to be a very good shot to hit exactly who you intend. For the reasons I've stated above, I don't believe the Average Joe has this skill. [FWIW, for years my goal has been to shoot one IDPA match per month. I probably average 1500-2000 rounds per year. I don't have the skill I'm talking about here.]

So, for as much as it goes against libertarian principles, I would prevent the Average Joe from carrying in anyplace that has this sort of "density" problem. I wish there was a libertarian answer to this problem, but I just can't come up with one.

Diogenes said...

So, for as much as it goes against libertarian principles, I would prevent the Average Joe from carrying in anyplace that has this sort of "density" problem. I wish there was a libertarian answer to this problem, but I just can't come up with one."

I would think the uncertainty of not knowing how many were carrying in that "density" problem would be deterrent enough that such an occasion shouldn't arrive. Imagine a 'terrorist' raising a his fist and yelling 'Allah Akbar' then having 15 or 20 people draw down on him. NO shots fired but weapons drawn.
I think that possibility would deter many 'issues' where now our weapons free zones are encouraging to those that wish others harm with minimal risk to their plans.

azlibertarian said...

"...Imagine a 'terrorist' raising a his fist and yelling 'Allah Akbar' then having 15 or 20 people draw down on him. NO shots fired but weapons drawn...."

OK. How are you going to guarantee "no shots fired"?

But even if you could, we're still faced with a fatal (no pun intended) problem here: If you allow those 15-20 "good guys" to have their guns on a plane, then, by definition, you've also allowed the terrorists to walk on with theirs.

Let's say 8 armed "good guys" get on a plane, and another 8 armed "bad guys" do too. I contend the bad guys have the advantage here: They know who they are, and, we'd have to assume, are trained with a plan they're pursuing. The "good guys", in all likelihood, would be reacting to whatever happens, and not be able to act as a cohesive unit, but rather as a group of individuals.

And because the "good guys" would be there as individuals, how would they know who was a terrorist, and who was a good guy? I just think the most likely outcome would be for a circular firing squad, and if for that reason alone, dooms the idea.

I am very much pro-gun and believe that the libertarian answer (**snicker** Like there's any one libertarian answer to every question. Getting libertarians to agree with each other is like herding cats.) is best in most situations. But allowing civilians to carry guns on a plane is an exception to this.