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Wednesday, 22 May, 2002

Bush to Flying Public: Drop Dead

Boulder, CO — The newly formed America First Party opposes the decision by Bush administration appointees to not allow commercial airline pilots to be armed. "This administrative dictate flies in the face of the best advice of those ultimately responsible for the planes and their passengers-the pilots. At a time where President Bush permits our military to shoot down hijacked commercial jets, killing everyone on board, it shows contempt for the American people to reject the request of the nation's largest pilot union to allow armed pilots as a final life saving option," said America First Party Interim Chair Dan Charles.

Mr. Charles continued, "Whether the threat to our safety is from all too common crime or the new threat of terrorism, we cannot simply rely on the government to protect us. President Bush has admitted that putting sky marshals on every plane is not an option as it would cost nearly 5 billion dollars and require more than 40,000 new personnel. Our Founding Fathers recognized that a properly trained and equipped citizen is the best defense in the home, on land, and at sea. Surely the same is true for the air."

America First Party candidate for Tennessee's 97th State House district James Edwards noted, "Most pilots have had years of military training. They also expressed a willingness to go through sky marshal firearms training program. This would give pilots the special skills to subdue a hijacker without damage to the plane or the passengers they are responsible for. If we are truly going to battle terrorism, we must all participate, we must all be vigilant."

Legislation is currently before both houses of Congress to allow pilots to be armed. Jean Groves, National Committee Member of the New Hampshire America First Party, urged passage just such a bill. "I call for Congress to reverse this Bush administration decision. Allowing our pilots access to firearms would create a second line of defense and possibly prevent a repeat of the tragedy that happened on September 11, 2001. Pilots are responsible for the lives on their plane. It is unfortunate that Republicans and Democrats have turned their back on both the American people and the wisdom of our nation's Founders. However, we are not surprised."

Dan Charles Interim Chair/Treasurer (303) 449-0258
Romelle Winters   Press Secretary   (662) 453-8412
Other contacts available upon request


America First Party ~ 405 River Road ~ Greenwood, Mississippi 38930
Telephone (866) SOS-USA1 ~ Fax (662) 453-7787 ~ E-mail
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John Pittman Hey, National Treasurer
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