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Armed and Safe is a gun rights advocacy blog, with the mission of debunking the "logic" of the enemies of the Constitutionally guaranteed, fundamental human right of the individual to keep and bear arms.

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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Maersk Alabama attacked again--pirates sent running

Even with our society's notoriously short attention span, one would hope that not many have forgotten the hijacking, by Somali pirates, of the Maersk Alabama last April. In that hijacking, you will remember, Captain Richard Phillips was taken hostage, and held for several days--until a SEAL team rescued him, killing all but one of the pirates in the process. A happy ending, certainly, but one reached only after a great deal of danger and discomfort. It certainly would have been nice if there had just been some way to stop the attack right from the beginning.

Sure, that would be great, but what would that idea be?

Well, the Maersk Alabama was recently attacked again, and as it turns out, someone has apparently thought of a good way to stop a pirate attack in its tracks--because that's what happened this time.

The MV Maersk Alabama has thwarted another attack by Somali pirates, according to European Union and U.S. Navy officials.
American-crewed container ship Maersk Alabama is hijacked by Somali pirates

"Pirates fired automatic weapons on MV Maersk Alabama who responded with fire," said an EU Naval Command Statement, "The crew managed to repel the attack and no casualties were reported."
Oh . . . so that's what worked--having armed good guys on board, to shoot back. Now why didn't I think of that?

Granted, the citizen disarmament advocates will doubtless seize on the fact that the armed good guys were dedicated security types, rather than "just" sailors with guns. And we know of course, that effective armed security can only be provided by the "Only Ones" professional enough (like Lee Paige) to carry weapons.

The thing is, sometimes the "Only Ones" aren't all that much more professional than everyone else (and sometimes notably less so), and paying a full time security team (and feeding them, and housing them, etc.), who will spend the vast majority of their time battling their greatest enemy--boredom--is an expense I doubt many shipping companies will take on.

An armed crew would not have to be trained to SEAL standards (or anywhere near them)--they would need only be good enough with a rifle to make attacking ships too dangerous to be an attractive career choice for the young worthies of Somalia.


Heather Giardinelli-Cronan said...

Thank you! My husband was on the Alabama last April. If he had been allowed to have a gun the outcome would have been drastically different. A good portion of the Alabama crew is military trained and certified by the USCG. Ironically, the shipping company requires them to be certified in small arms afloat. These men were trained to defend themselves; they simply were not permitted to do so. I have forwarded this posting to the entire crew; they will appreciate your stand.

Kurt '45superman' Hofmann said...

No, ma'am--thank you. I especially appreciate the information about the prevalence of crew members who are already proficient with small arms.

Unknown said...

I was a deck officer aboard the Alabama when it was boarded and since that attack all I ever hear is that the the ships don't need guns and they only need to follow the anti pirate tactics that the International community has laid down for us to follow. Then if we do get boarded or taken hostage it must be because we didn't zig zag fast enough or we didn't keep a good enough look out. Sometimes the pirates do go away after these tactics are carried out, but most likely it is because the seas were just to high. The only things that stop the pirates from boarding are high seas, high freeboard, and guns. US Merchant Marines crew aboard two kinds of ships. Commercial and Govt. owned. The Govt. owned ships all have a small arms locker with 2 M-14's, 2 12 gauge shotguns and 6 9mm Barreta's. All the American Seamen unions have training in small arms and have to re qualify yearly. So this whole system is already in place but the commercial shipping companies will not use it siting increases in their insurance premiums which doesn't make sense. So the insurance companies have to be dealt with just like the healthcare insurance companies have to be dealt with for driving up the cost of healthcare.

Another thing, airline pilots with a concealed carry can take their handguns with them and fly overseas, but for some reason US Merchant Marines are expected to show up at a gunfight with a knife, which is exactly what we did on the Alabama. The chief engineer and the AB took one of the pirates prisoner using just knives.

Kurt '45superman' Hofmann said...

More great info--thanks, Ken.

I am, by the way, very glad that you made it back.