Originally published November 8 2013
Just as we predicted: New call to arm TSA agents with guns
by J. D. Heyes
(NaturalNews) We here at Natural News have well documented the unconstitutional acts, criminal activity and escapades of the hapless Transportation Security Administration - the agency that has elevated feeling people up to an Olympian level.
We have also always thought that someday, some nanny statist in D.C. would propose the unthinkable - giving these people guns. And sure enough, it has happened.
According to Politico, the supposed impetus for this idiocy was the recent shooting death of a TSA agent at the Los Angeles International Airport:
[The recent] slaying of a Transportation Security Administration officer at Los Angeles International Airport is fueling calls from union leaders to give some of the agency's employees guns, handcuffs and the power to make arrests.
But that would be a tough sell for many conservatives in Congress, where some lawmakers until recently were trying to take away TSA agents' badges.
One attack in 12 years means - we have to give TSA agents guns?
Killed in the attack was TSA agent Gerardo Hernandez, and we here at NN are truly remorseful about it. But his death - the first such shooting death of an agent in its decade-long history - is not in and of itself reason enough to hand out guns to some of the most controversial federal employees ever hired.
For one, even though they wear badges, TSA screeners are not considered law enforcement officers. For another, this issue folds perfectly into the long-simmering debate over the agency's authority.
Worse, this incident has prompted the usual overreaction in Washington, because heck, they can't stand for any threats whatsoever to their power. Already, lawmakers and members of the Obama administration are calling for a "review" of airport security - which is always what happens before some pinhead bureaucrat moves to impose even more draconian rules. And as tough as it is to travel through an airport now, can you even imagine having to deal with more security?
The current push to arm agents is coming from the government union which represents them: Create a new category of TSA agent on top of the existing 45,000 screeners and make them actual law enforcement personnel, so they could be allowed to carry guns and handcuffs and make arrests.
Union leaders have made up excuses for why this should happen. They say the guns, cuffs and new powers are needed to better protect what they describe as unfairly demonized federal workers, as well as security checkpoints (again, despite the fact that such shootings just don't happen).
"We feel a larger and more consistent armed presence in screening areas would be a positive step in improving security for both [security officers] and the flying public," said J. David Cox, president of the American Federation of Government Employees. "The development of a new class of TSA officers with law enforcement status would be a logical approach to accomplishing this goal."
Never mind the fact that, at virtually every TSA security checkpoint, airport or local police officers can be seen stationed there.
Initially, union officials suggested just providing agents with arrest powers, but they decided that wouldn't be enough.
"Just saying you can arrest somebody, how far is that going to get you?" said AFGE general counsel David Borer. "The focus needs to be on how do we deliver the right amount of security at the checkpoint."
Yeah, not everyone is buying in
Thankfully, some lawmakers aren't buying this scam.
Rep. Richard Hudson, R-N.C., chairman of the House Homeland Security subcommittee that oversees the TSA, told Politico in a statement that he sees no need to arm TSA agents.
"There are practical, risk-based steps that can be taken to combat potential attacks without arming 45,000 TSA screeners," Hudson said.
"In the wake of this attack it is of critical importance to review coordination and communication between TSA and local police, whose job it is to protect airports, as well as review TSA's own programs for detecting and disrupting terrorist attacks," he added.
Bottom line: The last thing the American people need is 45,000 more armed federal agents.
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