Regardless, my fellow pilots should be applauded for their tireless efforts in writing a new chapter of airline history. But at the time, I felt as though they were reacting out of pure adrenaline in the wake of September 11. It was an understandable reaction. My airline lost two crews and two airplanes that day, notwithstanding the thousands of other lives. Airline pilots are not the type to sit on their hands and wait for somebody else to solve the problem. As the investigations into September 11 uncovered the facts, we all learned about our enemy. The enemy was not a haphazard group of unshaven, Middle Eastern men envious of American freedoms, but an organized army of educated religious zealots who wanted to unite the Islamic world by way of death and destruction. I did the research. I had to. I owed it to my passengers because, believe it or not, the enemy is still out there. But this magazine is not the forum to discuss that research. It is the forum to discuss what has happened since the first training class of airline pilots walked into the cockpit with a gun. As you may have guessed, I am not a fan of guns. Up until a burglary at our home when I was young, my Dad-a World War II vet-had a very small collection of military handguns. My Dad bought me my first 22 rifle. We shot at targets together. As I grew older, the newspapers began to fill with tragic stories about lives destroyed by guns. Families that kept guns as a self-protection device were becoming victims of their own weapons. I lost interest in guns. Many of the pilots who advocated a lethal weapon in the cockpit had military backgrounds. I held an underlying fear that they were overzealous. In my eyes, the risk didn't seem to outweigh the potential threat. The possibility of death or injury from one's personal handgun seemed far greater than another terrorist attack.