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TSA Union Calls For Armed Guards At Every Checkpoint

timothy posted about a year ago | from the more-effective-than-at-the-post-office dept.

Crime 603

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "Brian Tumulty writes at USA Today that the union representing airport screeners for the Transportation Security Administration says Friday's fatal shooting of an agent at Los Angeles International Airport highlights the need for armed security officers at every airport checkpoint. The screeners, who earn up to $30,000 annually, have not requested to carry guns themselves, but they do want an armed security officer present at every checkpoint says J. David Cox Sr., president of the American Federation of Government Employees, which represents the screeners. "Every local airport has its own security arrangement with local police to some type of contract security force," says Cox. "There is no standardization throughout the country. Every airport operates differently. Obviously at L.A. there were a fair number of local police officers there." Congress may investigate the issue but Sen. Tom Carper, the chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, says that "there will be an appropriate time — after all the facts have been gathered and thoughtfully analyzed —to review existing policy and procedure to see what, if anything, can be learned from this unfortunate incident to help prevent future tragedies." TSA officials say that they don't anticipate a change in the agency security posture at the moment, but "passengers may see an increased presence of local law enforcement officers throughout the country.""

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NOT posted as AC. (-1, Flamebait)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about a year ago | (#45324195)

fuck you, TSA. This is not the answer.

Re: NOT posted as AC. (3, Insightful)

jstrauser (711857) | about a year ago | (#45324229)

It's not the TSA, it's the union representing the TSA screeners.

Re: NOT posted as AC. (5, Informative)

TheCarp (96830) | about a year ago | (#45324293)

Kind of like how like how the Prison gaurds union oppose reform of drug laws. Because they are representing the gaurds and their jobs, and they would be hurt by any sane policy.

Re: NOT posted as AC. (-1, Offtopic)

Joce640k (829181) | about a year ago | (#45324501)

Oh, for mod points.

Re: NOT posted as AC. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45324313)

Isn't that like saying it's not the driver who knocked me over, rather the car...?

Re: NOT posted as AC. (1)

dreamchaser (49529) | about a year ago | (#45324459)

Not even close. Think about it. The Union is NOT the TSA.

Re: NOT posted as AC. (5, Interesting)

MikeLip (797771) | about a year ago | (#45324335)

Isn't the union representing the screeners? MY question is - who gets the kickback for the contract on the new armed guards? It's unthinkable that no one will. How about hiring Blackwater? They seemed pretty good at shooting civilians.

Re: NOT posted as AC. (5, Insightful)

ganjadude (952775) | about a year ago | (#45324483)

I personally love how if we americans demand to arm our selves from protection we are somehow the bad guys in the eyes of the government, yet when one of their own gets shot its time to arm up! hypocrisy at its best people

Re: NOT posted as AC. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45324441)

It's not the TSA, it's the union representing the TSA screeners.

Who do you think make up the union if not the TSA screeners? I am sick and tired of the overreaction to these random events whether it be aircraft crashing into a building, a workplace shooting, a bomb detonation at a public event, etc. I do not feel safe with roaming machine-gun-toting police officers or military in any venue.

Re: NOT posted as AC. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45324455)

A trade union consting of TSA employees: evil in its purest form.

Re: NOT posted as AC. (-1, Flamebait)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | about a year ago | (#45324629)

Yeah, never mind the people who flew the planes into the buildings.

Never mind the capitalists who saw to profit from inappropriate military responses and lobbied to high heaven. (Some of them even claimed to have a direct hotline to God.)

Never mind the government who overreacted and tore the plush rug of freedom from under American feet.

Let's blame the grunts at the bottom who need a job and who, quite sensibly, realise that the best place to kill a large group of civilians now is AT the checkpoint.

Re: NOT posted as AC. (5, Funny)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about a year ago | (#45324845)

I say - arm everyone. Every passenger can carry a weapon. Shut down the checkpoints. Anyone who comes through, just comes through. If EVERYONE has a weapon, then everyone is safe.

Re: NOT posted as AC. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45324849)

Gunman specifically targeted tsa not civilians.

Re: NOT posted as AC. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45324721)

I think you mean "A labor union: evil in its purest form"

Re: NOT posted as AC. (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45324569)

Wait, hold on a second... Why the fuck is a government agency unionized in the first place?

Re:NOT posted as AC. (5, Insightful)

Joce640k (829181) | about a year ago | (#45324427)

If we follow the logic through to the end, everybody, everywhere needs an armed guard; just in case the lunatic-du-jour decides that's where he wants to kill people.

Marathon runs obviously need an armed guard every 10 yards along the course. We have proof that terrorists see marathon runs as a target!

Re:NOT posted as AC. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45324505)

+1
Country of lunatics.

Re:NOT posted as AC. (5, Insightful)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about a year ago | (#45324857)

Exactly - give anyone who wants to carry the right to carry. Oh - wait. That's already in the CONSTITUTION!!

Re:NOT posted as AC. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45324561)

No FUCK YOU. We have a second amendment right to be fully armed at all times.

Re:NOT posted as AC. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45324843)

Allegedly you also have amendments about search and seizure and free speech but those are championed by the EFF and ACLU hippies and don't count anymore.

Re:NOT posted as AC. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45324879)

That's "We the government", right?

Bullshit (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45324199)

There are already armed cops (real cops, not TSA thugs) at every security checkpoint I've been to except one particular small airport, where he was in the lobby since there was no room, or nead, between the xray and the airplane.

Line up to be frisked before going to the Security (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45324203)

The only way to professionalize (the Presecurity Checkpoint Security Agents) is to federalize.

In five years, expect to have the Pre-presecurity checkpoint and those new federal employees.

Good idea (5, Interesting)

cdrudge (68377) | about a year ago | (#45324209)

I think this is a good idea. If/when future similar incidents occur, all those that are NOT carrying a firearm will be secondary targets. The poor guy who's carrying is just going to be the first guy shot, giving everyone else a slight chance to duck and hide.

Re:Good idea (2)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about a year ago | (#45324379)

Why is this rated funny? Insightful would be more like it.

Re:Good idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45324889)

Because it is funny

Oh sure! (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45324223)

Let's give guns to a bunch of untrained overpaid mouthbreathers with power trip issues!

What could go wrong with that!

If they do this... I give it 6 months till the TSA 'guard' shoots some kid for pretty much no reason.

Re:Oh sure! (3, Insightful)

GrumpySteen (1250194) | about a year ago | (#45324359)

Wow. You didn't even manage to read through to the second sentence of the summary:
"The screeners, who earn up to $30,000 annually, have not requested to carry guns themselves, but they do want an armed security officer present at every checkpoint."

Re:Oh sure! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45324465)

The screeners, who earn up to $30,000 annually

There are some places where that seems fine, but I'm thinking LA? That's a lousy salary....

Re:Oh sure! (2)

king neckbeard (1801738) | about a year ago | (#45324587)

Yes, but you get government benefits and a license to grope. The latter part being the real incentive for them.

Re:Oh sure! (5, Informative)

Joce640k (829181) | about a year ago | (#45324469)

Hint: "Armed security officers" can also be untrained overpaid mouthbreathers with power trip issues.

All it takes for them to get involved in a situation is a nod from one of the currently employed untrained overpaid mouthbreathers with power trip issues and one of the the newly employed untrained overpaid mouthbreathers with power trip issues will be right there to help.

Re:Oh sure! (1)

realityimpaired (1668397) | about a year ago | (#45324547)

Hint: "Armed security officers" can also be untrained overpaid mouthbreathers with power trip issues.

Not sure how things go in the states, but in this country, security guards have strict licensing requirements to be allowed to carry a firearm. That still doesn't stop all of the mouthbreathers from getting in, but the overwhelming majority of them are not idiots around here. Of course, we have sane gun control laws, too...

Re:Oh sure! (4, Insightful)

king neckbeard (1801738) | about a year ago | (#45324603)

You are delusional. The majority of any group of people is going to be idiots.

Re:Oh sure! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45324695)

A group of physicists?

Re:Oh sure! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45324529)

Let's give guns to a bunch of untrained overpaid mouthbreathers with power trip issues!

We do every day when police officers are on the streets. A lot of these law enforcement types have latent power trip issues and arming them with a badge and a gun only worsens the situation. Locally there are a bunch of plain-clothes police officers driving around and/or parked in unmarked police vehicles. They look scarier (steroid enhanced muscles, shaved bald heads, banging on car windows in parking lots if you're waiting there too long in their opinion at the wrong time of day) than many a criminal punk.

Metrocops (1)

darkob (634931) | about a year ago | (#45324249)

"Excellent" idea. In next installment they'll rename into "Civil Protection" or "Metrocops". HL2 becomes reality at least in this dystopian way.

Hey you! (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about a year ago | (#45324867)

Pick up that can.

Now put it in the bin, no liquids on the plane!

Shoot that armed guard first. (1)

felrom (2923513) | about a year ago | (#45324257)

This doesn't solve any problem, and instead only gives the TSA more power. Do you really want ARMED TSA agents there to intimidate people more than the run-of-the-mill TSA goons do now?

Re:Shoot that armed guard first. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45324305)

No one's asking for that, even them.

And actually, I don't really care.

Re:Shoot that armed guard first. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45324333)

If this wasn't so tragic this would be hilarious. No wait, I don't live in the US and I'm sure as hell not planning to visit, this IS hilarious. I'm sorry some of you have to actually go to these airports. Still, I wouldn't give these people guns. If you really think the only way to be safe is to carry guns let everyone carry them. Level the field completely. Or start paying for mental health services for the poor and regulate your guns properly. What you have now is some funny half way solution that doesn't work.

Re:Shoot that armed guard first. (1)

GrumpySteen (1250194) | about a year ago | (#45324377)

"The screeners ... have not requested to carry guns themselves"

Re:Shoot that armed guard first. (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about a year ago | (#45324489)

"The screeners ... have not requested to carry guns themselves"

Uhuh, that would make them primary targets.

Maybe they're not so dumb as they look.

(Or maybe they're the sort of people who watch far too much guns-n-ammo TV where phrases like "primary target" are part of normal conversation...)

Re:Shoot that armed guard first. (1)

wagnerrp (1305589) | about a year ago | (#45324685)

As has been mentioned, this isn't the TSA, but rather the union representing the TSA screeners. The union is only interested in what is good for the screeners, not the system, and obviously should anything happen, having an armed guard to protect them is in their interest. On the other hand, any kind of restructuring of the system that might result in fewer screeners is against their interests.

Sooo.... (5, Interesting)

prisoner-of-enigma (535770) | about a year ago | (#45324261)

...armed gunman opens fire on unarmed targets, and the logical response is to request that his targets be allowed to arm themselves to fend off future attacks of a similar nature. Remind me again why it's practically impossible for me to purchase a handgun to defend myself in California?

Re:Sooo.... (5, Insightful)

jcr (53032) | about a year ago | (#45324299)

The California political class went ape-shit when the Black Panthers made a habit of wearing rifles slung over their shoulders back in the 1970s. They're scared to death of proles being able to resist the police.

-jcr

Re:Sooo.... (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about a year ago | (#45324515)

...armed gunman opens fire on unarmed targets, and the logical response is to request that his targets be allowed to arm themselves to fend off future attacks of a similar nature.

For $30k/year glorified rental cops? You want armed TSA personnel? Then get real federal agents, complete with all the screening and training that involves. That's especially important when you have armed people in very crowded places - like airport security lines. One cut rate trigger happy yahoo could kill 10x as many people "defending" himself as the attacker did. BTW, if you're going to institute those standards, you'll have to pay them more than $30k/year.

Remind me again why it's practically impossible for me to purchase a handgun to defend myself in California?

Since I don't live anywhere near there, I neither know nor care about California gun laws. This is a federal issue though (what do you think TSA is a part of?), as are airline regulations. Are you suggesting that passengers be allowed to carry guns on a plane? OK Corral at 30,000 feet. I think I'll take the train.

Re:Sooo.... (2)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about a year ago | (#45324601)

For $30k/year glorified rental cops?

The scary thing is that it says *UP TO* $30K a year.

Yes... (5, Funny)

trollebolle (1210072) | about a year ago | (#45324265)

The solution is obviously... more guns.

Re:Yes... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45324877)

This solution IS more guns. Everyone should be allowed to carry.

God forbid someone proposes something useful (5, Insightful)

voislav98 (1004117) | about a year ago | (#45324279)

Maybe reexamine the way mental illness is treated and use the money improve.

Re:God forbid someone proposes something useful (5, Insightful)

arthurpaliden (939626) | about a year ago | (#45324421)

Not manly enough.

Re:God forbid someone proposes something useful (0)

GrumpySteen (1250194) | about a year ago | (#45324445)

Maybe use money improve English education too.

Re:God forbid someone proposes something useful (1)

oodaloop (1229816) | about a year ago | (#45324511)

That's unpossible!

Though in all seriousness and fairness, English may not be voislav98's first language. How many languages do you speak well?

Re:God forbid someone proposes something useful (5, Funny)

OzPeter (195038) | about a year ago | (#45324785)

That's unpossible!

Though in all seriousness and fairness, English may not be voislav98's first language. How many languages do you speak well?

Hmm I can speak the following:

1. Australian English
2. American English
3. English English
4. Canadian English
5. Indian (dot) English (Well I can understand it .. just can't speak it)

So that counts as 4 or 5.

Re:God forbid someone proposes something useful (1)

OzPeter (195038) | about a year ago | (#45324667)

Maybe reexamine the way mental illness is treated and use the money improve.

While I agree with you on the funding aspect, in this case the shooter apparently was not displaying any signs of instability prior to the event. That makes it kind of hard to detect ahead of time unless you start having mandatory mental health checkups.

Re:God forbid someone proposes something useful (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about a year ago | (#45324863)

unless you start having mandatory mental health checkups.

Seems to me I read a short-story on this theme back in the '70s.

Upshot was that pretty much everyone was locked up in a psych ward....

I agree! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45324703)

Maybe reexamine the way mental illness is treated and use the money improve.

I agree, but this guy wasn't mentally ill - he just had enough and struck back the only way he knew how and that would accomplish something.

Let's face it, get mistreated by the TSA and you get some BS boilerplate response from the bureaucrats in DC. Complain to your Congressman and, if anything, the same old boilerplate response about "keeping everyone safe".

I'm sure we'll find out that there's a lot of other shit happening to this guy - maybe: job sent overseas, more work piled on with no help even though the company is making record profits, .... I don't know.

And when you see the fat cats and the assholes in DC (that was redundant) flying on their private jets or at the very least, coasting through TSA checkpoints and not having to deal with the BS that they enact, it gets tiring.

Complaints fall on deaf ears. Our leaders have no idea what the rest of us people are going through.

Was he right? Hell no! But the fact of the matter is that folks are getting real tired of the ineptitude of our leadership in DC and the abuse by our Government.

In the name of safety (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45324289)

Maybe the TSA should just kill every passenger right away as a preventive measure. That would be a logical extension of current policy and it might even be more humane.

Or alternatively... (5, Insightful)

GrahamCox (741991) | about a year ago | (#45324301)

Just get rid of the TSA.

Re:Or alternatively... (0)

Buchenskjoll (762354) | about a year ago | (#45324737)

Just get rid of guns...

Government (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45324303)

is the enemy.

Elephant in the room (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45324321)

There would be fewer TSA targets if the TSA was disbanded.

So, this would have prevented the shooting, right? (1)

MikeLip (797771) | about a year ago | (#45324323)

Umm, doubt it. Until every person entering an airport has their own personal guard assigned to them, and frisks their victim - I mean, passenger - down before entry, no one will be 100% safe. Maybe not even then - who knows how stable that armed guard is? TSA has gotten just a little too self-important, particularly when you stop to consider just how ineffective they are.

No (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45324325)

Not only do we not need TSA to be armed, we also need to disarm police everywhere. I'm tired of innocent people being murdered by yet another trigger happy cop.

Armed guards at the post office (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45324339)

Yeah, all those armed guards at the post office really stopped all the shootings there. Oh wait, that didn't happen. Derp.

Thanks but... (1)

funky49 (182835) | about a year ago | (#45324343)

No thanks.

Nonsense (5, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | about a year ago | (#45324361)

So if there's a mall shooting the solution is armed guards in every mall? If there's a school shooting the solution is armed guards in every school? Every bus station, train station, subway station, park and so on until there's a whole army of armed guards running around? The point of the secuity control is that nobody gets to bring anything on board to crash or hijack the plane and in that respect, mission accomplished. It's not a general defense against a random person pulling out a gun and opening fire, not any more than any other place.

Re:Nonsense (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45324531)

As far as totalitarian govt's are concerned, the answer is always a policeman on every corner. Of course, at that time the benefits start growing thin and sooner or later you have to deal with a goon/mafioso/revolutionary on every corner.

ACTUAL mall shooting (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45324595)

back around 1990 there WAS a mass shooting in the food court of the mall across the street from my office (Perimeter Mall in suburban Atlanta). forget the exact casualty count but there were multiple victims, it was sad but people realized it was an unfortunate isolated incident/not the first wave of an invasion & life went back to normal pretty quickly. I'd bet you a fairly expensive dinner you could take a poll of patrons there now & less than 5% would even know this incident ever happened...

soooo... shooting happened, people grieved for a few days & nearly 1/4 century later few people even remember it (I probably wouldn't if I didn't work with people who were there) and there have been exactly ZERO recurrences despite the conspicuous absence of a bear patrol - go figure...

I whole heartedly condemn the shooter, both in principle as well as pragmatically b/c people are already seizing the opportunity to tar anyone w/legitimate criticisms of tsa w/same brush as the shooter ("you're just an anti-govt nut!!!"). I wouldn't have thought it possible but this incident is a significant setback for any hope of meaningful reform...

Re:Nonsense (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45324659)

So if there's a mall shooting the solution is armed guards in every mall? If there's a school shooting the solution is armed guards in every school? Every bus station, train station, subway station, park and so on until there's a whole army of armed guards running around?

No - not running around. Stood in that one place. You know to make sure lightning doesn't strike twice.

Re:Nonsense (2, Interesting)

argStyopa (232550) | about a year ago | (#45324713)

Eventually they'll get to the logical conclusion that armed guards everywhere are the answer and circle back to conceding that the 2nd amendment might actually be the solution.

Re:Nonsense (1)

jonbryce (703250) | about a year ago | (#45324855)

The NRA have already done the armed guard in every school one.

Idea (5, Insightful)

funky49 (182835) | about a year ago | (#45324363)

In order to protect the TSA agents, the TSA should be disbanded. You can't shoot what's not there!

Re:Idea (2)

Agent0013 (828350) | about a year ago | (#45324575)

Yep, that's was I came to say. If you remove the target, then you will not have the shooting. Perhaps it wouldn't be everybody's target, but in this case the TSA people were the target. If you go and make the TSA even more powerful and oppressive you will just end up with more people targeting that very group. So yeah, get rid of the TSA and you get rid of the target for the shooting.

What a surprise (not) (5, Insightful)

bradley13 (1118935) | about a year ago | (#45324371)

TSA has been looking for an excuse to arm it's people. Watch them try to turn this incident into that excuse. Mind you, arming ex-hamburger flippers will endanger the public more than protect it, but arming TSA goons would be a huge step in proper bureaucratic empire building.

Want protection from nutcases? Sorry, that's not gonna happen - in a nation of more than 300 million people, there will always be nutcases.

Want to reduce the target-rich environment that is the TSA checkpoint? That's easy, get rid of TSA and let the airports and airlines deal with security.

They need to do more than that (5, Insightful)

onyxruby (118189) | about a year ago | (#45324373)

What they need to do is fix the real issues with check points. Get rid of the security theater, the 3.4 oz fluid limits, the shoes removals, the body scanners, the biggest of all being the understaffing of the checkpoints that allow the mass lines that would attract a terrorist to begin with and so on. Start training the TSA on real security measures and start teach training them on profiling. When's the last time you heard about an Isreali plane being hijacked - and they let you bring a pocket-knife on board?

The problem with the TSA isn't the members of the TSA, they are doing what they are trained to do. The problem is that Congress is overseeing the TSA and allowing politics to trump security. It's like getting mad at the IRS when the IRS is only doing what congress told them to do. Get mad at congress for giving them the byzantine rules to begin with.

The TSA should be staffed by real armed Federal Officers, with real training, and real skills. Start by phasing in the replacement of the current supervisors with real officers and work your way from there. The next thing they should do is follow the Federal Reserve model and make the TSA semi-independent from regular politics so that they can focus more on security and less on politics.

The day the color codes, shoes removals, 3.4 oz removals and similar useless rules go and get replaced by having the (usually unmanned) additional screening checkpoints getting opened up is the day you know the TSA has finally started to get security.

Re:They need to do more than that (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45324521)

What they need to do is fix the real issues with check points. Get rid of the security theater, the 3.4 oz fluid limits, the shoes removals, the body scanners, the biggest of all being the understaffing of the checkpoints that allow the mass lines that would attract a terrorist to begin with and so on. Start training the TSA on real security measures and start teach training them on profiling.

I'm curious what you mean by profiling? Is there anything to be done aside from hasty generalisations which would just mean body search every dark-skinned guy with a beard? I don't mean to troll, it's just that I genuinely doubt the efficacy of profiling.

Re:They need to do more than that (2)

bickerdyke (670000) | about a year ago | (#45324747)

Or at least design the checkpoints to match the procedures!

What they need to do is fix the real issues with check points. Get rid of the security theater, the 3.4 oz fluid limits, the shoes removals, the body scanners, the biggest of all being the understaffing of the checkpoints that allow the mass lines that would attract a terrorist to begin with and so on.

Like: If you insist on undressing and re-dressing jackets, shoes, belts and laptops, give the people some proper "dressing room" designed space. Ever tried to undress your shoues while standing up and with no free hands as you are already holding your carry-on?

And doing that in a queue with some TSA goon trying to make you do it even faster. I wouldn't know of a better nmethod on how to inflict stress and pressure on people. And everyone will snap under enough pressure. So that's probably what happend here.

People should watch more eighties movies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45324383)

You know, where the iconic mark of the Eastern Bloc was armed security guards everywhere.

Barney Fife 2.0 (2)

jasper160 (2642717) | about a year ago | (#45324397)

I can't wait to see all the negligent discharges that will occur. Unfortunately the fat, child molesting, unqualified meter maids will take out a small child. None of them are LEO qualified much less allowed to look weapons and touch people.

And you thought the TSA was surly before? (5, Informative)

JeffOwl (2858633) | about a year ago | (#45324417)

Wait until you arm them. Now 6 year old kids can watch their mothers get guns pointed in their faces while being groped.

The problem is the TSA, not the lack of guns (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45324419)

The TSA has not demonstrated why it should remain in existence. In fact it has demonstrated it has no place in a free society.

Its record on stopping real dangers is non-existent
Its attitude towards people's basic rights indicate that it believes it does not have to comply with the 1st and 4th amendments.
It is a sink hole for taxpayer dollars with nothing to show for it.

The bottom line is that as far as its record goes it has little if any redeeming value.

Protect your own (5, Interesting)

OzPeter (195038) | about a year ago | (#45324439)

If the LAX shooter had been interested in mowing down passengers instead of TSA agents, then armed guards at the TSA checkpoints would have done nothing to protect those passengers. At LAX in places like Terminal 3, the lines to the security checkpoints can flow out of the building and onto the sidewalk creating a massive concentration of terrorist targets. Protecting them 100% with armed guards would require 10 times the number of agents that are currently employed. Providing armed guards at the checkpoints themselves only protects those around the checkpoints i.e. the TSA agents themselves.

If anything the best way to protect the passengers is to process them from the street and into the secured terminal at a faster pace, which would require a huge increase in TSA checkpoints. This is an inherently parallelizable task, but would require money to be spent. But terminals in places such as LAX aren't designed for such parallel operations. Using Terminal 3 as an example, you enter from street level then go up a flight of stairs/escalator, following an S-shaped path that snakes around back on itself before arriving at the security checkpoint. Once there, there is only enough room for 2 or 3 parallel operations at once.

BTW last time I was flying out of Orlando I encountered a private company that would sell you the ability to jump to the front of the TSA queue. So instead of building out the infrastructure to better accommodate the passengers in light of having to go through the TSA, the airport grants a license to this company to exploit the frustrations and $$ of the people in the queue. (Which is turn pisses off the other passengers who experience smug people pushing in front of them in the queue and highlighting of how class based US society is).

Re:Protect your own (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45324549)

hey, dinkleberry: here's a little tip that you obviously missed in social geography class... *every* society is class-based...

Re:Protect your own (0)

stewsters (1406737) | about a year ago | (#45324555)

Mod parent up. Particularly that last bit.

Round and round we go (2)

smooth wombat (796938) | about a year ago | (#45324457)

When you treat everyone as a criminal, you shouldn't be surprised when something like this happens.

And now that it has happened, you can justify using even more force/hiring more people.

It's a wonderfully self-fulfilling prophecy

I know where this is going to end... (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45324461)

...we even have a video game for it called Papers please! [papersplea.se] . Get it from steam [steampowered.com] to preview how your TSA screenings will be in the near future.

Bear Patrol seems to be doing it's job (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45324463)

Not a bear in sight.

Well, there's your problem right there (1)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about a year ago | (#45324557)

The screeners, who earn up to $30,000 annually

And note that it says *UP TO* $30,000 annually. Looks like this particular security theater pays their actors about the same as the night shift at my local McDonalds. Probably explains why they look like the same crowd.

I want a bazooka at every traffic light! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45324581)

People are getting killed, killed by drivers driving over red lights into crossing traffic. If we had a guy with a bazooko at every traffic light, he could take out those cars which are obviously not going to stop in time otherwise.

This is going to make the roads so much safer.

Can I get a patent on it?

Who didn't see THAT coming (1)

p51d007 (656414) | about a year ago | (#45324583)

Now we'll have not only people with low IQ skills checking people in, who, in a lot of places are "wannabe" police, have been picked on because of who knows what, that will be given FIREARMS (hopefully with a LOT of training, and psych exams first!). First time someone gets out of hand, instead of one looney firing off a weapon, we'll have lead flying all over the place. The TSA groping people is bad enough, but this just gives me one more reason not to fly.

Why was TSA specifically targeted? (5, Interesting)

qwijibo (101731) | about a year ago | (#45324647)

After hearing of the guy who was left alone because he wasn't working for the TSA, it seemed like this guy wasn't just out for a killing spree or some anti-government nut job, but had a very specific reason to hate the TSA.

I can't help but wonder if he was molested as a child and the TSA's enhanced screening procedures set him off. The TSA's official training materials specifically give tips on how to handle young children. It's interesting to contrast it with the training given to parents who participate in cub/boy scout events, so they know how to recognize inappropriate behavior and potential risks from pervs. Having done the scout training first and seen some of the TSA materials after, it really stands out as a how-to program for pedophiles.

Re:Why was TSA specifically targeted? (2)

scotts13 (1371443) | about a year ago | (#45324875)

After hearing of the guy who was left alone because he wasn't working for the TSA, it seemed like this guy wasn't just out for a killing spree or some anti-government nut job, but had a very specific reason to hate the TSA.

I've been wondering that myself. The TSA, at least in their normal operation, is annoying but hardly monsters that deserve a vendetta. I'm guessing there's a specific event - something that happened to a loved one or family member, perhaps - that triggered this shooter. I'm also guessing we'll never hear about it; that would be just awful for security, to hear there might be some justification.

duh (2)

martin-boundary (547041) | about a year ago | (#45324663)

From TFA

TSA screeners often face physical and verbal attacks, but "there has never been anything life-threatening before," Cox said.

Duh! The whole point of the TSA screeners is that they should face life-threatening danger. A bomb is life threatening and dangerous. A bomb that explodes is worse. If TSA screeners aren't going to be putting themselves in life-threatening situations they have no business being there at all. Come to think of it, just the last part.

Because more guns is the answer to all our (1)

mark_reh (2015546) | about a year ago | (#45324669)

problems, personal, social, and scientific.

Nancy Pelosi is doing one better (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45324725)

She is introducing legislation today to confer Law Enforcement Powers upon TSA agents, including the right to carry firearms in the course of duty.

Nancy Pelosi just loves more guns, provided they're in the hands of government agents and not citizens.

Intelligent Americans call for... (4, Interesting)

MitchDev (2526834) | about a year ago | (#45324787)

total elimination of the TSA

Would not have stopped the guy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45324801)

Sorry, further arming everything and making everything into a military state isn't the right approach. Despite more guards the TSA agent would have been shot anyway. This "solution" solves nothing (except give the illusion that they are some how safer).

school children get shot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45324881)

and there is a call for disarming the law abiding population

A TSA agent gets shot and the same people want them to be armed...

hypocrites

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