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Arming sailors: Gun-free zones are dangerous at sea
Washington Times ^ | May 11, 2009 | Editorial

Posted on 05/10/2009 10:04:53 PM PDT by JohnRLott

Somali pirates attacked a U.S. vessel and captured a Dutch ship on Thursday. These raids could be prevented if merchant mariners had guns and could defend their ships.

Richard Phillips, the heroic captain of the crew that fought off pirates on the Maersk Alabama a month ago, told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee April 30 that armed crews "should be part of the overall debate about how to defend ourselves against criminals on the seas."

Capt. Phillips noted that protecting U.S.-flagged ships is the "responsibility of the U.S. government," but that he understands the limits of what even the U.S. Navy can do to protect all the commercial traffic spread across vast oceans. Just as police arrive on the scene after crimes on land have occurred, the Navy cannot be everywhere all the time. More than 25,000 ships travel off the Horn of Africa every year. That's a target-rich environment.

Whether it is on land or sea, gun-free zones are magnets for criminals and terrorists. . . . .

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Crime/Corruption
KEYWORDS: banglist; gunfreezones; washingtontimes

1 posted on 05/10/2009 10:04:53 PM PDT by JohnRLott
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To: JohnRLott

We were always armed on the ship that I served on, laws be damned.

2 posted on 05/10/2009 10:14:50 PM PDT by gigster
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To: JohnRLott

Just like in other Great Ages of Piracy, eventually it gets bad enough that someone goes and does something about it.

I’m just wondering what it’s going to take and who is going to put their foot down.

My money is on China. They suffer as much as anyone else. They have a lot tied up in Africa and they are not particularly concerned with “International Law” niceties.

Several afternoons spent delivering 100mm naval gunfire on several of these “pirate strongholds” would burnish their prestige as lord protectors of Africa and make them the new power in the Indian Ocean. It’s win-win for them.

Besides, the same people who would denounce us if we did it will hail the Chinese.

We’ve all seen the google satellite pictures by now. these places are small and well-defined on a barren coast. Easy targets.

3 posted on 05/10/2009 10:20:35 PM PDT by sinanju
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To: JohnRLott
About 15 years ago, when piracy was a problem for ships in Indonesian and SEA waters, companies put a grew of 4 security men aboard ships. All retired military, cops, firefighters, etc. Men use to working as a unit.

3 “EM” one “NCO.”

All were armed with nothing heaver than 7.62x51. When a pirate assault boat got within 100 meters, they would open up. No warning. Remains would be left floating in area.

Crews would work a ship about 4-5 days outbound, then transfer to an inbound, then near port, to an outbound again. 8 hours on, 7 off for overlap and clock rotation. Work 21 days, off 14. Good pay.

Pretty soon, no more piracy.

4 posted on 05/10/2009 11:32:54 PM PDT by MindBender26 (The Hellfire Missile is one of the wonderful ways God shows us he loves American Soldiers & Marines)
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To: JohnRLott
How much could it cost above the normal cost of maintaining a squad of Marines on a Navy ship to put one on each American flag merchant ship before it enters those pirate infested waters and take them off after it clears the danger zone? I'm not a naval tactician, but it seems to me that a few helicopters or fixed wing aircraft could shuttle the Marines squads back and forth from one side of the danger zone to the other as needed to keep a few squads either serving on a merchant ship or in readiness to serve at all times.

If a ship going east to west carried a squad to the west side of the zone and then that squad hitched a ride on another ship going west to east and vice versa over and over it would solve many of the problems of having Marines at the right place at the right time. If there were times when more ships are going one way than are going the other way, as I would expect, the unbalance could be evened out by transporting Marines to where they're needed by Navy aircraft. There shouldn't be a problem of the Marines being outnumbered and/or outgunned, Marines usually fight numerically superior enemy forces, and a boatload of poorly trained teenage and 20-something ragtag pirates would be duck soup for a squad of well armed Marines.

That kind of operation would be expensive, but Marines are always training whenever they aren't fighting anyway, so it's not like they would be wasting time and money by providing a much needed service to US commercial shipping interests. And it wouldn't have to go on for a decade or two, after a relatively few pirate boats were destroyed along with their crews, word would get around that messing with a US flagged ship on the high seas is extremely hazardous to a pirates health. A young pirate watching a ship he had attempted to hijack sail safely away in the far distance while he dog-paddles to stay afloat 300 miles from shore after his boat was sunk by Marine gunfire would not make a very enticing lure for recruiting new pirates if he somehow made it back to shore.

5 posted on 05/11/2009 12:18:00 AM PDT by epow
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To: JohnRLott

Whether it is on land or sea, gun-free zones are magnets for criminals and terrorists...

there are no gun free zones at sea. In international waters you are free to do what ever you want. the problem is that you are not allowed to enter ports if armed, but at sea this would be no problem because you are not bound to gun laws or something like that.

6 posted on 05/11/2009 12:32:42 AM PDT by Jonny foreigner
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To: epow
The security part is relatively easy and cheap.

The problem is that "International Laws" and some host nation laws have made the world's navigation routes and ports what amounts to as basically a Gun Free Zone.

Think of it is UN gun control run amok.

7 posted on 05/11/2009 3:09:06 AM PDT by SkyPilot
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To: Jonny foreigner
In international waters you are free to do what ever you want.

Technically correct, but not really in terms of what is happening.

For instance, the Military Sealift Command (MSC) ship that was forced to "outrun" pirates last week was not carrying weapons or security.

US and International policy has digressed to the point where nations are afraid of an "outcry" should they start blowing pirate vessels out of the water.

8 posted on 05/11/2009 3:12:03 AM PDT by SkyPilot
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To: JohnRLott
I think this would be a fun way to cut down on piracy:

Somali Coast Cruise Package

9 posted on 05/11/2009 3:22:30 AM PDT by Jed Eckert
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To: SkyPilot

yes this is a big problem. while technically perfekt legal it´s still impossible to do because once you enter a forreign port you would be charged because of arms smuggeling, violation of the countries gun laws....
and last but not least if your “home country” doesn´t agree blowing pirates out of the waters you have a problem because once you leave international waters your country will convince you because of that.

10 posted on 05/11/2009 3:26:58 AM PDT by Jonny foreigner
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To: JohnRLott
Exactly what I've said all along. The Russians make a 14.5mm heavy machine gun specifically for shipboard use. The effective range for these is about three times the effective range of an RPG. A couple per side to cover all approaches would cause piracy to become a lot riskier and a lot less profitable. These also have the benefit of big and heavy and not being concealable, so that countries concerned about sailors selling their guns to citizens wouldn't have to worry.
11 posted on 05/11/2009 3:45:35 AM PDT by from occupied ga (Your most dangerous enemy is your own government,)
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To: JohnRLott
I think we give the leftists a lot more credit for rational thinking that they really deserve

It is a simply and logical progression based on the concept of Operant conditioning in psychology

An organism will continue doing when it is rewarded, and stop when punished

Pirates will continue preying on ships as long as they are rewarded for doing so, and stop when they perceive that it is too dangerous – like if at least some ships can defend themselves with guns

[The very same logic follows on a city street, BTW]

WHY can't leftist's figure this out?

12 posted on 05/11/2009 8:30:34 AM PDT by GYL2 (Always mystify, mislead and surprise the enemy Thomas J. (Stonewall) Jackson)
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To: Jed Eckert

That cruise brochure looks great. Put me down for one cabin for a late July cruise, and reserve a .50 BMG Barrett rifle for me along with 100 rounds of incendiary ammo and a very thick shoulder pad. I’ll bring my own 1911 Colt .45 and a few loaded Wilson magazines, so I won’t need to reserve a sidearm.

13 posted on 05/11/2009 8:57:47 AM PDT by epow
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