Do Not Arm TSA Agents

By: Daniel Nardini

                 Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Commentary Recently the union for employees of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) wants to arm some of its workers so that they will not be threatened or attacked. They cite the recent example of when a TSA workers named Gerardo Ismael Hernandez was gunned down at LAX (Los Angeles) Airport by a suspect named Paul Ciancia. It was a great tragedy, and this bespeaks of airports not being as secure as they should be. However, the TSA union believes that the problem goes deeper—they “cite” cases where people either insulted or actually tried to assault TSA agents every day, and how passengers’ anger made TSA agents fear for their lives.
                I am sure this is in one sense or another a realtiy, and becoming too much of a reality for a growing number of TSA agents. The union alleges that this is due to “right wing” propaganda against the TSA. I think it is something more fundamental. All too often, TSA agents have not treated many people well. TSA agents have been known to abuse and yes even assault passengers. So it is not a one-way affair. On top of that TSA agents have been known to steal from passengers’ luggage. Under these circumstances, is it any wonder why people lose their patience and respect for the TSA?
             But arming TSA agents will only make a bad situation worse. What if a TSA agent loses his/her cool? Can they not also shoot innocent passengers if one of them gets into an argument? Can TSA agents justify shooting a whole family because they did not perform the correct procedures? What I could recommend is that when passengers come to the airport, there can be airport screening at the very front doors just like what is done in Japan and South Korea. This way a gunman cannot get into an airport so easily, and airport security may be able to nab such a gunman before they can take any lives. But arming TSA agents is not a good idea. We could see a shooting at an airport in reverse.

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