If I may, I think Michelle overlooks one of the key arguments against arming sailors on merchant ships. These weapons could be used in class warfare. From the words and wisdom of one R. Limbaugh:

Now, a lot of people ask, "Rush, how come these ships aren't armed?"  Everybody says just give some machine guns to the crew when you see the pirates showing up, wipe 'em out.  You maritime captains out there can back me up on this, but the historical reason why you don't arm the crew on a cargo vessel is to guard against mutiny against the captain and the ship, 'cause you know how CEOs are hated today, and the captain of the ship is a CEO, and employees resent and they're being told to resent the boss.  

So the boss makes you do some things on board, if you've got machine guns ostensibly to gun down the Somali pirates, you could conduct a mutiny.  So that's one of the reasons that they aren't armed.  

It must have been a tough call for Rush, deciding what he loves more: guns or CEOs. But I guess we now have our answer.

--Jason Zengerle