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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Feb. 9, 2010 / 25 Shevat 5770

Active, retired law officers should be able to carry guns on planes to help stop terrorists

By Michael Smerconish



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | President Obama has the chance to give new meaning to the phrase "carry-on" as it applies to air travel. Here's hoping he pulls the trigger.

The Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association (FLEOA) is the country's largest nonprofit group that exclusively represents federal law enforcement officers. Its 26,000 members work for an alphabet soup of national-security entities: the FBI, DEA, and FEMA, for example. Not to mention Homeland Security agencies like Border Patrol, Secret Service, and the Transportation Security Administration.

The FLEOA has just asked the president to allow all appropriately certified federal, state, and local officers to take guns aboard domestic flights. Currently, those officers are authorized by law to carry wherever they are in the country. But the overwhelming majority cannot take a gun onto a plane unless they have department approval — and only when the travel is work-related. The FLEOA wants that allowance expanded to include all officers — active or retired, federal or local, on or off duty — and all types of travel.

In other words, this request could empower countless law enforcement workers to pack heat on domestic flights as an added line of defense against terrorists.

Spare me predictions of Wild West-style shoot-outs that would break out before the pilot turns off the "fasten seat belt" sign. Not just anybody would be able to take a gun onto a plane. Those authorized to do so would be obligated to meet standards set forth by the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act of 2004, including federal air marshal training and registration, medical certification, and up-to-date firearms qualifications. They would have to submit to quarterly or semiannual firearms tests as well as in-flight tactical and awareness training.

These officers are clearly capable of becoming another in-flight deterrent in case of emergency. Active and retired officers, the FLEOA correctly notes, have garnered "invaluable" experience and training in firearms use. Most significant in my mind are their skills "in surveillance techniques to identify potential criminals or terrorists" that could be put to use in the air.

The need for that expertise is acute. A CBS News report last week indicated that an estimated 3,000 to 4,000 federal air marshals are expected to cover the approximately 27,000 domestic and international flights in the air each day.

Letter from JWR publisher


Not surprisingly, there was no such figure present on the Detroit-bound flight that Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab tried to bomb in December. Nor is there a marshal presence on the overwhelming majority of flights entering and leaving the United States each day. Post-Christmas, many federal air marshals — who carry firearms on planes — were shifted from domestic flights to international flights, further eroding the already scant coverage.

The Air Transport Association, a trade organization of the country's largest airlines, said in an e-mailed statement that it "believes commercial airline cabin security is best handled through the Federal Air Marshal program." FLEOA, on the other hand, sees a void that can be easily and logically plugged — at no cost to the government. As FLEOA President Jon Adler told me during an interview, "To have 800,000-plus — actually closer to a million, including honorably retired officers — sitting on the bench, if you will, not being called into play to increase air travel safety, is mind-boggling."

Arthur Wolk, a Philadelphia lawyer, pilot, and aviation expert sees it differently. "The only way to prevent terrorism in aviation is to prevent the terrorists from getting to the airport," he wrote in an e-mail message. "That means keeping them out of the country, profiling, no-fly lists that are accurate and up to date, immigration reform, and careful surveillance of fifth columns now being nurtured in this country."

He makes sense, but that is not happening.

Over the past decade, it has fallen to the passengers themselves to foil attacks on planes. The Christmas Day near miss was only the latest example.

On 9/11, the heroic passengers and crew aboard United Flight 93 forced their attackers to ground the plane 20 minutes short of its intended target in Washington. It's not hard to envision a different outcome for that flight (or the others hijacked that morning) had an officer with a concealed weapon been onboard. The same can be said for American Airlines Flight 63, where attendants and passengers subdued shoe bomber Richard Reid as he tried to ignite the explosives hidden at his feet.

Airport security measures won't always prevent terrorists from boarding airplanes with weapons. And security is even less stringent at train stations and other travel hubs.

U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, D., N.J., got it right when he recently said: "If we think we're going to stop the terrorists from getting on planes and trains by technology, we are dead wrong, and I don't want us to be dead." He continued: "We need to understand that this is a human intervention situation and that we must spend more time at putting boots on the ground and people behind the lines who understand what's going on, who can know what the enemy is all about."

Airline passengers are, like it or not, the last line of "human intervention" between terrorists and their targets. Why not empower them by allowing active and retired law enforcement officers to stow a new kind of carry-on?

President Obama has the chance to give new meaning to the phrase "carry-on" as it applies to air travel. Here's hoping he pulls the trigger.

The Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association (FLEOA), the country's largest nonprofit group that exclusively represents federal law enforcement officers, has just asked the president to allow all appropriately certified federal, state, and local officers to take guns aboard domestic flights.

This request could empower countless law enforcement workers to pack heat on domestic flights as an added line of defense against terrorists.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

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Previously:


02/04/10 How to bring tech up to speed
01/28/10 Campaign donations must be fully and immediately disclosed online
01/07/10 The flying emperor still has no clothes, and no one is willing to say so
12/24/09 A law to mandate college football playoffs?
12/17/09 Cheney's abuse of freedom of speech
11/26/09 The true cost of freedom from anxiety
10/27/09 If GOP wants to win in 2012, it must reshape its primary process
10/08/09 It's time to get smarter on extended school day
09/03/09 What a summer of eulogizing flawed public figures reveals about society
08/12/09 It's time for cyclists and motorists to reconcile
08/05/09 Faces have changed, but vitriol remains
06/25/09 Fair comment or foul? Warm up the Muzzle Meter
06/08/09 Believability is key in crime-hoax villains
05/14/09 Did Hollywood inspire the meltdown men?
04/20/09 Let's give killers their due: Anonymity
03/12/09 Uninsured who can't afford medical care lose a lot more
02/06/09 My debate with Musharraf on hunt for bin Laden
01/29/09 Torture must remain an option
01/15/09 Making a case for suing Madoff
12/22/08 A difficult but rational chat about ‘plans’
12/17/08 Facebook epidemic: More than 120 million have joined, many too old for this nonsense
12/01/08 The high price of downsizing the news biz
11/14/08 Prescience on greed, arrogance of a system
09/29/08 Closer look at party lines
08/26/08 Obama's pick creates GOP opportunity
08/21/08 Fishing with the Angry Everyman
07/31/08 The perils of e-mail: Ponder, then click
05/22/08 Two very different sides of the Internet
02/12/08 Sublimely ridiculous suits
11/28/08 Cell phones cut out secondary circle of kinship
09/26/07 What do we owe those who have died in Iraq?
08/30/07 A Navy SEAL's gut-wrenching tale of survival
07/30/07 First it was a faux pas, now it's a new word


© 2008, The Philadelphia Inquirer Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

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