In response to the shooting at Los Angeles International Airport, initially rumored to be the work of an ex-employee of the Transportation Security Administration, and with a TSA worker as its sole fatality, it took Alex Jones's Infowars about an hour to see fascism in the offing:
Will LAX Shooting Be Exploited to Arm TSA Agents?That Infowars "report" was based on a government solicitation that sought a shooting range in close proximity to La Guardia Airport, for use by Homeland Security personnel. There's no indication that the DHS personnel in question are TSA workers. And I assume the training is near La Guardia because New York is one of the two most likely terrorist targets in America, along with D.C.
... The incident is almost certain to be exploited by the federal government and the media to justify draconian TSA security policies, but it could also be used to rubber stamp a policy of arming TSA agents.
As we reported earlier this year, the Department of Homeland Security has been hiring shooting ranges near airports in order to train TSA agents, suggesting that a plan to equip the screeners with firearms has been on the agenda for a while.
More on this story as it develops...
But to get back to the fretting in Alex Jones Land at the thought that TSA workers might be armed: Doesn't Alex Jones think guns are wonderful? Didn't he yell and scream at Piers Morgan for ten or fifteen minutes nonstop because Piers Morgan thinks the U.S. is too awash in privately owned firearms?
The answer is that Jones apparently thinks guns are wonderful except in the hands of security personnel.
Now, I'm not advocating that we slap a gun on every TSA employee's hip and call them armed security forces. But the idea that somebody with proper training and job credentials might be armed and working to protect us in airports doesn't upset me. It seems to upset the Jonesians.
I'm reminded of the way, last December, Jones's Infowars criticized Wayne LaPierre's school security plan -- or at least part of it:
While the idea of armed citizen volunteers protecting schools is reasonable, the call for adding more police is not. The presence of police in public schools has created a number of problems -- from tasering and handcuffing students to shooting them to death -- in addition to fostering a prison-like environment.Apparently, amateurs with weapons would never use them improperly. Only professionals would ever do that.
(And no, I'm not pretending that cops never abuse their authority. But cops are accountable, at least in theory, to the people who pay their salaries. Armed citizens are answerable only to themselves.)
This is all about the valorization of the ordinary schlub with a gun, which appeals to the right because it generates all sorts of Walter Mitty hero fantasies. I'm reminded of a 2007 shooting at a Colorado church in which the gunman was stopped by a parishioner named Jeanne Assam -- who happened to be an ex-cop and a security guard licensed to be armed. Right-wingers insisted on describing the ex-cop as a simple armed citizen; wingers protested that her training and professional experience were irrelevant. That wasn't about Assam, it was about the gunners imagining that they could be amateur heroes.
And meanwhile, there's this:
Yup, the libertarians in this Reason comment thread are cheering the death of a TSA worker:
Why am I not weeping?Jesse Taylor asks:
Did they finally fondle the wrong person?
Another prostate check gone wrong.
Judging by the way people are routinely mistreated by TSA, it's surprising that the whole bloodly lot of those untrainable minimum-wage bullies and their fascist masters have not been lynched.
I'm sure they do -- amateurs, and amateurs only. Because professionals misuse guns, right?