Reach For It, Pardner

The White House has said it wants to take nuclear weapons off a “hair trigger” status, but that’s not a meaningful analogy, US Strategic Command chief Air Force Gen. Kevin Chilton told reporters Thursday in Orlando at AFA’s Air Warfare Symposium. Such a metaphor, he said, implies a loaded, drawn gun aimed at an enemy. He would rather characterize it as a gun “in its holster, with two trigger locks” that take two people to unlock. A “hair trigger” implies the finger could slip, with catastrophic effect, but that’s not the case, Chilton said. The nuclear deterrent is safe, he asserted, and, carrying the analogy, he wondered if it’s necessary to disassemble the gun “and mail the parts to different areas of the country.”