Since you can't tell these days: This is not, in the strict sense, true. It is true, however, that the department has prohibited pilots from carrying guns and has rejected the idea of a "trusted traveler" program. In fact, it's not doing anything to make the airlines any safer. This should come as no surprise, inasmuch as Mineta recently said he was unaware of any "specific" threat against aviation.
They hate us. They're trying to kill us. They use airplanes as weapons. If Mineta doesn't talk to his boss, can't he at least read the papers?
In congressional testimony last week, Mineta mercifully spared the senators a recap of his experience in a Japanese internment camp and allowed his assistant, longtime Bush crony and ATF apologist John Magaw, to explain the department's key security improvements. The reason Magaw decided to prohibit pilots from having guns is -- and I quote -- "they really need to be in control of that aircraft."
This is literally the stupidest thing I've heard in my entire life.
It is like saying women walking home late at night in dangerous neighborhoods shouldn't carry guns (or mace, for the gunphobic) because they "really need to be getting home." If the undersecretary for transportation security thinks we need to debate whether pilots "really need to be in control of the aircraft," someone other than him really needs to be in control of airline security.
The scenario under which a gun might become useful for a pilot is this: The hijackers have penetrated the locked cockpit and thwarted air marshals, passengers and crew. It's going to be difficult for the pilot to fly the plane after the cockpit has been stormed by Arabs. Whatever could go wrong at that point -- a wounded passenger, a hole in the side of the plane, terrorists wresting control of the gun -- is better than the alternative.
Ah, but Magaw is worried that the terrorists will now have a pistol. Think of havoc they could wreak with a gun. Of course, they'll also have a Boeing 767 careening at 480 miles per hour toward the nearest landmark building. Magaw seems to think the real danger is that terrorists will shoot at the White House from a window, not that they'll fly the plane into it.