The mainstream media is becoming more aware of the long-existing issue of piracy on the high seas. The Associated Press reports that the various maritime academies are beginning to offer training to their students on how to deal with pirates. Such training includes increased vigilance, the use of fire hoses, and, of course, floodlights. Oh, and evasive action, too.
Wait…what? Floodlights? Against automatic weapons and RPGs? This is a joke, right? Evasive action? Yes, that supertanker that tops out at about 12 knots, and takes something like 5 miles to turn can evade (get away from, dodge, or avoid) the smaller, faster, and more maneuverable boats.
No, sadly, it’s not a joke. California Maritime Academy professor Donna Nincic points out that many countries do not allow merchant seamen to bear arms in their territorial waters, and that many captains fear arming the crews, as it might lead to armed mutinies. She added that “some worry that arming crew members would only cause the violence to escalate.”
Jeff Cooper, a Shooter and wordsmith of some skill, once remarked
“One bleeding-heart type asked me in a recent interview if I did not agree that ‘violence begets violence.’ I told him that it is my earnest endeavor to see that it does. I would like very much to ensure–and in some cases I have–that any man who offers violence to his fellow citizen begets a whole lot more in return than he can enjoy.”
Isn’t the escalation of violence the best way to end the violence? We saw what happens when you just sit there and go along with the bad men who want to hijack your plane, didn’t we? Or have we forgotten that one of the planes hijacked in 2001 didn’t get where it was supposed to go–because someone escalated the violence?
Professor Nincic says that “If you demonstrate a culture of awareness, that you look like you know you’re in pirate waters and are clearly standing watch, patrolling, etc., the pirates know you’re going to be more difficult to board and are possibly going to wait for the next ship and board the one that’s easier.” That’s all well and good for your shipmates, but what of the folks on “the one that’s easier?”
The Maine Maritime Academy is putting together an anti-piracy course, and department chair Ralph Pundt says the best way to combat pirates it to keep them from boarding in the first place.
He’s right, as far as he goes. I’d suggest the truly best course is to do whatever one can to keep them from boarding anyone ever again. Even if you have to “escalate the violence.”