Thursday, April 09, 2009

Pirates and Guns at Sea

I've been hearing about pirates in tiny boats with a few rusty AKs taking over oil freighters and cargo ships thousands of times larger, and much more well staffed, and couldn't help but yell at the radio "GIVE THEM GUNS!"

Well, finally people are asking the question that should have been asked first.

Apparently, there is a taboo about guns on "working" [non-pleasure] boats. Once at sea, the Captain is the final word on the boat. Thusly, they don't want the crew to be armed.

Fair enough.

But what's wrong with this?

You set up some empty .50cal mounts at different points on the boat, and store two or three of those .50 cal monsters in the arms locker.

Pirates off the port bow? No problem.

Open the arms locker, two guys can hump the thing up to the bow, attach it to the mount with the best line of fire, and give their boat some aqua therapy.

Little chance of the crew going all Mutiny on the Bounty on you, since it would take three or four men to operate it off of a mount, and it's not particularly maneuverable in the close quarters of a ship.

Hell, you probably wouldn't even need any more than 50 rounds of tracer ammo for the thing.

A nearby swarm of glowing death should be enough to halt the advance of most pirates. If not, keep a few backup cans ready in a safe.

What am I missing here? Why isn't this a good idea?


Tony said...

"Once at sea, the Captain is the final word on the boat. Thusly, they don't want the crew to be armed."

...Is it just me, or does this sound like a serious trust issue? If the Captain can't trust their crew to have access to firearms, how can the Captain trust their crew, at all? Are there no kitchen knives on working ships so mutinying crew members can't carve up their skipper? No lead pipes? Large hand tools? Pet rocks?

Actually, I take it back. It sounds like the kind of silly "logic" anti-gun people are known of. But it is rather disturbing how entrenched it is in this industry. Maybe someone should point out to insurance companies and companies that own ships that we no longer live in the 1800's?

theirritablearchitect said...

I think that's a 20mm, and not a .50, though I can't say I'd consider it to be overkill, given the situation.

Hell, throw the bid guns at 'em!

James R. Rummel said...

"What am I missing here? Why isn't this a good idea?"

All is explained if you read the next two posts, including the comments.

The bottom line is that this is a political and PR problem. Sure, we can kill pirates easily enough. Just blow up a few ports where they hang out, land some Marines and hang the warlords that give them protection, sink the boats used to get on board cargo ships. But it would be a nightmare on CNN.