- College algebra to be removed from Southeast required curriculum (10/10/17)1
- State declares test results for schools invalid (10/4/17)2
- Child-custody advocate: State law needs fix to provide parents with more equal custody (10/12/17)
- One of Cape's oldest mom-and-pop restaurants opens in new location (10/10/17)
- Past Rowdy the Redhawk mascot's identity revealed (10/15/17)
- Cancer will 'change your life, but it doesn't have to rule it' (10/8/17)
- Police chief, council: Cape Girardeau faces growing gun violence (10/17/17)4
- Bills addressing equal child custody to be filed, legislators say (10/13/17)
- Developer asks court to OK tax district board for improvements near Hobby Lobby (10/17/17)4
- Sikeston singer moves on with 'The Voice' (10/16/17)
Give airline crews what they need for safety
Since commercial aircraft played such a significant role in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the safety of airline pilots, crew members and passengers has been a topic of paramount importance.
Last week, the Bush administration decided not to arm pilots with firearms, saying newly required security doors were a better safeguard. In addition, armed marshals are being hired for some flights, but it is unlikely there will ever be enough of these professionals to cover every plane in the sky.
Pilots and flight attendants both say they would like to be armed to deal with dangerous passengers. Passengers -- their numbers are down drastically out of safety concerns -- also have some expectation that steps will be taken to ensure their protection while on board.
There has to be some middle ground. Stun guns have been suggested as an alternative to firearms. And flight crews can be trained to deal with would-be hijackers.
The message to the public needs to be one of preparation and strength, not limits that keep airline employees from having everything they need to protect themselves and their passengers.