Friday, November 01, 2013


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?

... 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...
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.

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?


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.
Jesse Taylor asks:

I'm sure they do -- amateurs, and amateurs only. Because professionals misuse guns, right?


Never Ben Better said...

CNN is reporting now that the shooter is a 23-year-old LA man who "also had an address in New Jersey."

The story right now says:

Eyewitnesses said the suspect asked people, "Hey, are you TSA?" -- the acronym for the Transportation Security Administration -- according to a federal law enforcement official. If they said "no," he would move on.

In the aftermath of the shooting, investigators found information on the suspect expressing not just anti-federal government sentiment but also anger at the TSA specifically, according to the federal law enforcement official.


It will be interesting to see if we learn any more about these anti-government materials and what affiliations the guy might have.

Victor said...

Apparently, stupid me didn't catch on that "Idiocracy" was a documentary.

It now needs a sequel:
"Bass Ackwards."

It'll be about a bunch of plucky armed Kindergarteners, their teachers, the teachers-assistants, school administrators, and janitors, who save America from the black "Manchurian Candidate" President and his Gestapo security forces, who are trying to force Sharia Law and Sharia Education down the throats of patriotic Americans, everywhere.


Knight of Nothing said...

I made the mistake of clicking through and reading some additional comments posted at "Reason." Good god.

Grung_e_Gene said...

Also, in a shooting situation, Glibertarians and other Gun Nuts have 100% accuracy, and have special sights adapted from their hours of xbox shooting which create a red floating enemy label directly over the bad guy along with a green no shoot symbol over everyone else.

PurpleGirl said...

I can't think of a shooting range that is near LaGuardia airport. I know there is one private range on 20th St. in Manhattan, and a couple on Long Island. There's a range at the Blue Mountain Preserve in Westchester but that's for county residents. (IIRC, a non-county person has to be with a county resident to use it.)