Thursday, August 7, 2014

Private Fighter Pilots and Other Modern Day Privateers

Most of us have grown up in an era where the government monopoly on war machines was just a given. It was not even an issue for public discussion. We didn't question it, because it did not occur to us to question. That's how much the fabric of American society has changed since the War of 1812.

However, it used to be understood that private owners of war ships and cannons and other primarily military equipment were just as important if not more so than government funded combatants.

The second amendment is not specifically limited to any particular type of weapon. Arms include anything that can be used in battle, and it is not merely for self defense or for the defense of the country at large. In fact, there's nothing in the second amendment to indicate that such weapons are to be used in defensive maneuvers only.  A citizen could be envisioned to go on the offense, too, for the benefit of the national security.

Recently, I saw someone complaining that if Americans wanted to fight for their country, then they should join one of the Armed Forces of the United States. But there could be any number of reasons why they might not want to or might not be able, even if they did want to.

  • People in the armed forces have to give up many of their civil rights while serving. They are not allowed to publish their political opinions or to be actively engaged in the shaping of public policy. But a very patriotic person might want to serve his country while retaining his first amendment rights
  • The need to obey orders might conflict with the desire to allow one's own conscience to dictate what behavior is appropriate in any given situation. Refusing a direct order to fire at civilians can be problematic in a war zone. 
  • Sometimes very able bodied people are rejected by the military for failing to meet certain very strict physical criteria.

What if you wanted to be a fighter pilot and the United States Air Force rejected you? Maybe your vision wasn't perfect or some other aspect of your person or background was not completely up to spec. Should this be allowed to deter you from pursuing that dream?

While being a fighter pilot is not my personal dream, I have known a number of people who faced this dilemma. Should they be allowed to fly fighter jets outside the military? Can they in fact?

I did a search and found this:

If you are interested in this possibility, their site is here:

Somehow I feel that this is not a real opportunity for combat training, but if you know of other, better possibilities, please speak up in the comments.

The provision for letters of marque and reprisal is still there in the United States constitution. Could it apply to fighter jet pilots as well as ships' captains?

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