RANGER AGAINST WAR: Does the Badge Count? <

Monday, April 16, 2007

Does the Badge Count?

Off we go into the wild blue yonder,
Climbing high into the sun;

Here they come zooming to meet our thunder,

At 'em boys, Give 'er the gun!
--Into the Wild Blue Yonder (Air Force Song)

Gun & Ammo
magazine (''News in Brief,'' May 2007) mentions the disgruntlement that some of today's armed pilots are expressing over a lack of firearms training targeted for them.

''A new, federal refresher course was recently offered, but it didn't sit well with everyone.'' Pilots must take the course, at their own expense, within three to five years of getting their guns.

Quoting from an earlier
Washington Post article, one pilot said, ''This is going to cost me $2,000 [in expenses and lost work.] If this was a really great program, they would treat us like adults.'' Sorry to be the one to tell you, Mr. Armed Pilot, but there are few really great programs in these United States anymore.

The pilots have also expressed the desire for more supervision in between range visits, maybe something that could be offered in the airports themselves. Though that request was not addressed specifically, federal agents did say they
''plan to issue police-like badges to pilots in coming months to help them better identify themselves in a crisis.''

Brilliant. This need to i.d. oneself as
armed pilot would seem to be superannuated in the actual need to enlist the service of your weapon. Those federal law dogs...always thinking.

Psychological testing is also part of the certification process, which will hopefully weed out cases like last week's hapless Northwest Air pilot.
The flight was canceled ''because the pilot was yelling obscenities during a cell phone conversation while people were boarding and cursed one passenger,'' a federal official said.

''Northwest removed the pilot from the aircraft, and returned him to his home base in Detroit for an investigation.'' Perhaps he was just upset about the killing news recently of the Japanese automakers trouncing the Motor City.


Blogger Lurch said...

Is i possible you're looking at this from the wrong end?

That NorthWest pilot was such a bad dude with a cell phone, you can just imagine how deadly he would have been with a gun.

Monday, April 16, 2007 at 11:15:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

Yes, Lurch, just what we need--bad ass pilots, ala Deadwood, replete with waxed dusters and scowls, as they roll their little carry-ons down the concourse.

It is in keeping with USA's new Jean Claude van Damme ethos. Unfortunately, those to whom this image appeals have forgotten that attitude was reserved for the men in black in the old Westerns. We used to ally ourselves with the good guys, for whom aggressive posturing was outre.

How sad that we're allowing ourselves to shuttle all our bearings which brought this country to greatness.

Monday, April 16, 2007 at 12:51:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lurch said...

Claude van Damme? Ain't that some kinda furrin name? Way, ah betcha it is! What kinda cheese-eatin surrender monkey country does Cla-awd come from, hey? Belgian? Don't them furriner belgies speak French?

Pshaw! Ain't they got them no real action heroes like John Wayne or Chuck Norris or even dirty-toenail Harry?

Monday, April 16, 2007 at 4:45:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...


Yessir, cheese-eatin', and we're not talking Velveeta. That's why he's gotta do them fancy high kicks; kind of a cover fore he goes back to a nice fromage plate.

Again, it's in line with our new wussy nation image. Richard Gere started it with the whole Dalai Lama thing. Couldn't have just stayed with the Officer and a Gentleman image. Then Brad Pitt, and Leonardo DiCaprio... Gone are the Sean Connery's.

Re. your suspicions on the Belgians: all them foreigners are suspected of speaking French (apologies to my French reader.)

Monday, April 16, 2007 at 5:01:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous trip wire said...

Hey Ranger, check this out.


Monday, April 16, 2007 at 11:45:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...


''It’s like a bad poker hand, and the Marines have been investing in it for 20 years.'' And they're going to keep it out of the heat of battle?

Doesn't sound very promising. A half-baked aircraft for a half-baked endeavor. Sad for the Marines who will be relying on it.

Monday, April 16, 2007 at 11:57:00 PM GMT-5  

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