I have never really been in favor of issuing handguns to pilots 'to defeat terrorism,' for a couple of reasons which nobody has been able to argue me out of. First of all, the cockpit of an airliner is the last place I want a gunfight. Second, if the pilot is at his or her duty station, then no matter what other person he shoots at, they will likely have passengers directly behind him or her. Finally, deliberately placing guns on civil aviation flights just seemed to me to be asking for accidents which really had a higher probability than a skyjacking, and given what bullets do to airplanes, that seemed a bad idea.
Of course, I did tell myself that at least they'd likely have appropriate equipment.
Today I read this, and the first thing I thought after saying "Yep, there you go, unintended discharge in flight" was hey, wait a minute, don't they make ammunition specifically for use in situations like this? Well, yes, yes they do, and it's called Reduced Recoil, Low Penetration ammo and seems to be a type of frangible ammunition.
I really, really, really want to know if that pilot's USP was loaded with RRLP ammo. If it wasn't, I want to know why not.
Posted by jbz at March 25, 2008 11:44 PM