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Guns Near a Plane

Apparently there’s some pant s**tting hysteria (PSH) going on over a firing range which is located near an airport. At least PSH from local authorities. The FAA has apparently never been concerned about the location of the range, and neither has Scott AFB, which unlike the civilian airport, has its flightpath for the main runway directly over the range.

My opinion would be that the airport is just a pretense. Someone doesn’t like the icky gun range in their neighborhood. Aviation folks and shooters actually have a lot in common in terms of our hobbies. If anyone out there has Netflix, I would highly recommend getting the documentary “One Six Right,” which is about Van Nuys Airport in California, the busiest General Aviation airport int he world. Many of the fears aviation guys have, about airports being closed because of noise complaints, and the loss of people interested in flying, reflect many of our same problems. Much like a shooting range, once neighbors manage to shut it down, it’s gone forever.

8 Responses to “Guns Near a Plane”

  1. JS says:

    I’m glad I’m not the only one that drew a correlation between general aviation pilots and gun owners. I’m both and can assure you we face the same threats from the same type of people.

    The difference lies in how regulations and laws are enacted on the gun community vs the aviation community. The gun community makes a big uproar about the ATF passing regulations regarding importation of weapons, but that’s the world pilots live in every day. We don’t have the congressional oversight or political capital that the gun lobby does and restrictive regulations don’t require acts of congress or a legislature. There are many in congress who would impose taxes on GA without thinking twice about it, because there is little incentive for them to care about us.

    For our gun rights to be impacted, it requires passing of laws, for the most part someone can’t just stroke a pen and impose restrictive regulations on gun owners. For pilots, we are at the will of the FAA AND of Congress, which leads to a lot of restrictive regulations, nightmarish encounters with the government, and heavy taxation. This is furthered by the lack of an effective aviation lobby (AOPA is effective, but not when compared to the NRA) and the rapidly dwindling aviation community. We have little recourse but to accept the hand we are dealt and try to keep flying, but as time goes on the ability for the average person to fly is going away quickly due to government intervention.

    We face the extinction of the general aviation community and it isn’t far off. There are proposals out now that will essentially make GA like it is in Europe, which is essentially dead. You are right to draw a relationship between the two, the threats we face from the government and the ignorant population are the same, but the resistance given by the GA community is far less than that of the gun lobby.

  2. Chas says:

    Markie Marxist sez: “As the Greek writer Aesop once put it, ‘Any excuse will serve a tyrant’. We Marxists have taken that as a useful rule of thumb for forcing people to comply with our wishes.”

  3. Jeff says:

    JS nailed it.

    I’m also a GA pilot and gun owner.
    The bureaucracy is excruciating.

    Unintended Consequences gets into it a bit with the FAA regs if your not very knowledgeable about it.

  4. Dave says:

    Well, I live near CVG (Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport), and guess what? They have an airport police department. Guess what else? They shoot their guns at their outdoor firing range, which is right on airport property, not too far from the end of one of the runways! Haven’t managed to drop a 767 yet…

  5. Sebastian says:

    There’s a range in Bucks County right next to an airport too. They are on the other end of the county from me. It seems to me it’s a natural place to put one. Lots of open space, and you get to piss off the same people who move next to a gun range/airport and then complain about the noise :)

  6. beatbox says:

    How strange. I shoot at a range a stones throw from Andrews AFB. You would think that would be VERY dangerous.

  7. TS says:

    JS: “There are proposals out now that will essentially make GA like it is in Europe, which is essentially dead.”

    Compare our rates of small aircraft death to other civilized industrial countries. Don’t you want that? Obviously GA control works. If you don’t have people flying, you won’t have people dying by flying.

  8. JS says:

    Oh, something else worth noting in regards to the airport/gun range thing.

    I’ve HEARD (from several older pilots) that some airports actually send the local PD out to airports with shotguns to eliminate the birds around the airport (if they are posing a threat to aircraft). I’ve never personally experienced this as most of the airports I go to use “friendlier” methods and it’s likely something that was used more in the past, but such methods wouldn’t be allowed if it were unsafe for aircraft.

    It would take a lot for a stray bullet to take down an aircraft, even a small aircraft. It would have to be a really lucky “shot” to cause a severe accident. I consider the risk of morons with laser pointers far greater than having a gun range near the airport.

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