Airshows, Ignorant Naturefreaks, and Liberals

I don’t think I’ve ever used a title as grizzly sounding as this one before, but it seems that there are some connections to be drawn between these three objects – and that’s honestly a bit disgusting.  I really shouldn’t have to be singling out certain people in a discussion like this, but unfortunately I do.

With the airshow happening this past weekend I’m reminded of a few things:

  1. Our armed forces are bad asses.
  2. Our veterans are bad asses.
  3. California cities have moved in the past to ban air shows–

–wait, what?

Not so long ago in the mid 2000s, San Francisco was one such city that had introduced a policy that would ban the U.S. Navy Blue Angels from flying over the city.  The arguments essentially went that it was wasteful spending of fuel, noisy, obnoxious, and “wrong.”  I can think of a few things about San Francisco that are morally reprehensible, but the fact that they’re upset about a day or two of planes flying over is obviously more significant than their ongoing moral issues.

At any rate – this obviously did not happen.  As of 2014, the Blue Angels were still performing for Fleet Week in the Golden City.

But this did spur my curiosity enough for me to go searching the web for articles pertaining to the banishment of air shows and see if anyone had anything to say on the matter.  Pleasantly surprised, I found very few mentions of actually banning the airshows around the country, but one argument stood out to me.

The author seemed to be from a town probably about my size or larger, living in the suburbs and nearby the airport where their local air show took place.  The author indicated that he was frustrated by the disruption of natural sounds by the roaring screams of jet engines and war birds.  His arguments as to why the airshow should be banned (which he just repeated at times as “ban the air show”), were shades of difference from the liberal nutjob arguments as to why any airshow should be reduced.  Allow me to put those notions to rest now…

The air show is only a tool used to recruit young people to fight for the military.

Let’s be realistic for a moment, and the liberal crew is really going to have to think hard since you all have issues with guns, armed forces, and the notion of war.  Lets say for a moment that air shows were the big recruiting tool for the military and they ceased and thus so did recruiting altogether.  Now we’re in a spot where we have only armed ground soldiers, and a dwindling amount at that: what stops the enemy who has access to Russian MiG’s, Sukhoi’s, and Chinese aircraft from bombing the ever living crap out of the troops on the ground and totally ransacking the country?  Anyone?  The answer is not a damn thing.  Sorry, but as long as there are different ideals in the world, and I do mean things from religion to ideologies – that’s never going to work.  Terrorists don’t use the honor system, they don’t acknowledge the weaker and dumb down to the level of the weak, they take what they want for the sole purpose of killing.  If they showed any mercy, that’d defeat their ideals as terrorists.  Don’t be stupid.

Next, the air show is not meant to be a total recruiting tool for children and young people for armed forces.  Many civilian acts occur at the air show in both the happen stance of jets and general aviation.  The goal of the air show as a unit is to encourage people to feel safe in the skies, show the abilities of aviation technology (not dissimilar to a car show or a video game show such as E3), and to give people a chance to view aviation as a fun hobby or potentially a career.  It’s designed to build interest in the avionics industry…again not dissimilar to any other convention or show in any other industry.  Don’t believe me?  Tell me how biplanes flying upside down and cutting ribbons is a sign of military might.  Tell me how racing against a jet powered semi-truck is a vital skill that sells the idea of joining the military.  Again, don’t be stupid, stupid.

The air show is only loud and obnoxious.

And if you’re ever at risk of having your house blown up by a land or air invasion by a foreign country, I guarantee you that roaring thunder in the distance is going to be one of the most pleasant sounds you’ve ever heard in your pathetic life.  An air show doesn’t just happen, there’s plenty of notification in advance that it is going to happen – if you don’t like it, leave or plan another activity someplace else.  If you live near an airport, I have no sympathy for you – you’re stupid enough to live near an airport.  Move.  Don’t be stupid.  If you live near an airport, that means you run the risk that – oh gosh – there MIGHT JUST BE airplanes landing and taking off nearby.  Imagine that!

The air show traumatizes veterans.

Let me stop you right there.  In all of my years going to the air show, and that’s about twelve, the majority of people I sit and chat with fall into one of the following categories: 1) Vietnam War Veteran, 2) World War II Veteran, 3) Iraqi War Veteran, 4) Desert Storm Veteran, 5) Korean War Veteran.  These are former pilots, soldiers, medics, TARCAP bosses, radio communications officers, and even bombardiers.  Every time I see them, they have the same look on their faces when the roar of the turboprop propellers fire up and the scream of a jet engine bolts overhead: pure joy, wonder, admiration, respect, and pride.

To the point of the Vietnam War Veterans who were most ravished by Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) – “those roaring jet engines were signs of hope for us, it meant our boys in the air were watching over us…we weren’t alone.”

People only go to see the explosions and pilots acting foolish in the skies.

People actually go to spend time with their families, watch planes in the sky that they never get to see, and to learn and educate themselves on the history of a nation and hear about what we are capable of now.  You’re more prone to get accurate information on military technology from an air show than you are from a news station.  People can inspect that information for themselves.

It’s a chance for the children to gaze up in awe and wonder.  “I wanna fly some day.”  It doesn’t mean they want to be a fighter pilot, it means that they want to take to the skies too – there’s no harm in this.  It’s a wonderful hobby, it’s an amazing feeling, and it’s a beautiful sight.

Air shows are dangerous due to the risk of crashes.  It’s only a matter of time until one goes into the crowd.

All air show pilots and ground crew establish safe drop zones in the event of malfunctions of aircraft and problems which may cause the aircraft to crash.  All crash zones are accessible and a safe distance from the crowd, and open enough that emergency responders can get to the aircraft with little hassle.  The risk of an aircraft falling into the crowd of an air show is equal to the risk of any aircraft falling out of the sky and crashing.  The risk of an aircraft crashing for that matter at an airshow is not hardly any higher than any other day as well.

Majority if not all maneuvers performed at an airshow by fighter pilots and stunt performers are for the most part rather standard.  Virtually all maneuvers that are performed by all jet demos are standard maneuvers that must be mastered before a license is granted.  In the case of fighter jets, all maneuvers performed are standard combat maneuvers that must be learned in order to be combat ready.  They are not special to the air show.

Learn your facts, don’t assume that your needs outweigh the needs of the many, and don’t be stupid.  Please…don’t be stupid.  (That’s our theme here, you see?)

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