View Poll Results: Should Commericial Shipping Be Allowed to Self-Arm?

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  • Yes

    33 97.06%
  • No.

    1 2.94%
  • No, escort ships through hazardous areas in convoys.

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Thread: Should US Merchant Ships Be Armed?

  1. #11
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    Re: Should US Merchant Ships Be Armed?

    Quote Originally Posted by rathi View Post
    The main problem is that it opens to door for abuse. I wouldn't mind if ships traveling near Somali wanted to arm themselves. The problem is when Iranian "merchantmen" armed to the teeth start circling around the Hormuz straight, or play cat and mouse with U.S. warships. I'd rather use soldiers and Q-ships rather than open that can of worms.
    What abuse?

    You think merchant ships are going to play games with US destroyers, when those destroyers have orders to defend themselves? How much damage do you think some terrorists are going to do to a destroyer using machine guns and grenades, compared to the devastating response of naval gunnery and cruise missiles?

    You people are aware that the problem is that the navies of the world aren't big enough to scrub the sea free of these cockroaches, right? And that the essential element of self-defense is being prepared and able to shoot back when attacked, right?

    Scenario:

    A thirty foot boat with a speed of 60 knots is detected approaching a container ship with a max speed of 15 knots. Time of closest approach is 15 minutes, time of rendezvous with any naval vessel is estimated to be no less than six hours.

    Women should be allowed to carry guns to prevent rape.
    Men should be allowed to carry guns to prevent mugging.
    Ships should be allowed to carry guns to prevent piracy.

    That's what's historically proven to work, and there's no moral burden on allowing a man to carry the tools to defending himself, since they do him no good if they're on another ship that isn't there.

    As a general rule, the people who get shot at by the defending ship are pirates intent on killing the crew or kidnapping them.

    So the crew shoots and kills the pirates.

    What's the big deal, besides the fact that the ship saved some taxpayers the cost of a trial?

    Why are you people interested in protecting pirates?
    Last edited by Scarecrow Akhbar; 11-20-09 at 09:04 PM.

  2. #12
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    Re: Should US Merchant Ships Be Armed?

    Quote Originally Posted by Scarecrow Akhbar View Post
    Well, should international law allow merchant ships to carry small arms, up to and including RPG's or similar weapons sufficient to repel pirates attacking from small craft?
    If there is a law banning merchant ships from being armed then it should be repealed. I seriously doubt that merchant ships are just going to hand someone who never used a weapon a RPG or heavy machine gun. More than likely they will either pay for someone to be trained or they will hire trained guards.
    Last edited by jamesrage; 11-20-09 at 09:19 PM.
    "A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murder is less to fear"

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    Re: Should US Merchant Ships Be Armed?

    For the most part, it isn't the law that keeps merchants from going armed-- it's the insurance companies.

    You want to pass a law that forces them to allow it?

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    Re: Should US Merchant Ships Be Armed?

    Quote Originally Posted by jamesrage View Post
    If there is a law banning merchant ships from being armed then it should be repealed. I seriously doubt that merchant ships are just going to hand someone who never used a weapon a RPG or heavy machine gun. More than likely they will either pay for someone to be trained or they will hire trained guards.
    Well, yeah, I kinda figured that. Otherwise the weapons are a hazard to the ship and crew, not the pirates.

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    Re: Should US Merchant Ships Be Armed?

    Quote Originally Posted by Korimyr the Rat View Post
    For the most part, it isn't the law that keeps merchants from going armed-- it's the insurance companies.

    You want to pass a law that forces them to allow it?
    That may be an issue.

    If shippers were legally allowed to either arm their crews or hire professional security staff, I'm pretty sure they'd be able to find an insurer willing to cover them.

    Insurers, after all, do have an interest in the safe arrival of the ship and cargo.

    Perhaps the laws need to be written to limit the ability of the injured crew (pirates should have no access to civil courts) with either signed waivers by the crew or some other mechanism that limits the exposure of the insurers and insured to lawsuits related to the presence of arms on board.

    The ship I was on had some of the most fearsome weapons aboard, and no one was ever hurt by any of them.

    But there are ways to accomodate the needs of the insurers and the insured and still permit weapons of self-defense aboard the ships.

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    Re: Should US Merchant Ships Be Armed?

    A ship the size of the Alabama has a crew of around twenty. To cover 24 hours. All of them already have a job to do, there are no passengers. Who is going to play with the guns?

  7. #17
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    Re: Should US Merchant Ships Be Armed?

    Quote Originally Posted by Manc Skipper View Post
    A ship the size of the Alabama has a crew of around twenty. To cover 24 hours. All of them already have a job to do, there are no passengers. Who is going to play with the guns?
    Either train and multitask the crew or hire those who are proficient with certain weapons and multitask them or just hire guards proficiently trained with certain weapons.
    "A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murder is less to fear"

    Cicero Marcus Tullius

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    Re: Should US Merchant Ships Be Armed?

    Quote Originally Posted by Manc Skipper View Post
    A ship the size of the Alabama has a crew of around twenty. To cover 24 hours. All of them already have a job to do, there are no passengers. Who is going to play with the guns?
    Funny, when I was on a ship, we didn't have one single specialized designated fireman to put out the fires. Instead all crew members were trained in aspects of damage control, including fire prevention and control, and were expected in the event of an emergency to get our lazy asses out of our bunks and take care of the problem.

    Not one person has suggested anything resembling a 24 hour permanent pirate lookout.

    But when potential pirates are identified, it's the responsibility of the crew to man assigned defensive stations and prepare for the worst, just like they have to be ready to do in the event of a fire or flood or collision or other casualty.

    Some of us that post here have naval experience.

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    Re: Should US Merchant Ships Be Armed?

    Modern day merchant ships are geared up for maximum profit at minimum cost. That includes crew number, course, and speed. If the crew had wanted to sign on for a fight, they would have joined a navy.

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    Re: Should US Merchant Ships Be Armed?

    Absolutely. These are dangerous times for shipping and I see no problem with it being armed.
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