Could guns have prevented 9/11?

Could guns have prevented 9/11?

smoking-gunRecent murder rampages in Colorado, Connecticut, Arizona, Texas, Oregon and other places have served as catalysts for discussion surrounding gun control. Yet entirely overlooked is a rule altered prior to 9/11, which may have changed the course of that infamous day, and which adds perspective to knee-jerk pleas for stricter firearm regulation.

Consider the media’s reaction following the shootings mentioned above:

If roads were collapsing all across the United States, killing dozens of drivers, we would surely see that as a moment to talk about what we could do to keep roads from collapsing. If terrorists were detonating bombs in port after port, you can be sure Congress would be working to upgrade the nation’s security measures. If a plague was ripping through communities, public-health officials would be working feverishly to contain it.

Only with gun violence do we respond to repeated tragedies by saying that mourning is acceptable but discussing how to prevent more tragedies is not. ‘Too soon,’ howl supporters of loose gun laws. But as others have observed, talking about how to stop mass shootings in the aftermath of a string of mass shootings isn’t ‘too soon.’ It’s much too late.

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If the aforementioned shootings argue for more immediate gun control, then 9/11 should argue the opposite. According to WND, just two months before that horrific event, a rule allowing pilots to carry guns was rescinded. Imagine if the pilots of the doomed aircrafts had been armed. Would 9/11 have happened? Would it have occurred on the same scale? How many hundreds–or thousands–of lives could have been saved?

The answers will forever be unknown, but it is certainly something to ponder in light of the current debate.

David Weinberger

David Weinberger

David Weinberger previously worked at the Heritage Foundation. He currently resides in the Twin Cities, and he blogs at


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