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Father of two pays the price for TSA arrogance

TSA - Dont Touch my Junk

Despite my repugnance for the TSA, my heart goes out to the family of Gerardo Hernandez, because it does not matter that I have no love for his employers, no-one deserves to die because of the job they do.

His killer, Paul Ciancia may well have had a grudge against the federal government, but that is not AND CAN NEVER BE an excuse for mindless violence.

The TSA itself cannot remain blameless in this matter, as their aggressive posture and refusal to acknowledge or moderate their policies has led to them being cited as one of the most repulsive aspects of modern life in the US, to such an extent that they have become a target for anti-government extremists.

The events at LAX may result in a hardening of hearts at the TSA (which would be understandable), but the reality is that the public travelling through the US would be much more secure with a policy which was more about genuine security and less about security theatre.

The creation of a “Them and Us” culture between the general public and the TSA does not aid the experience of travelling or the security of the general public and it does not aid the stated goals of the TSA itself, specifically the Security of Transportation!

I do not wish to make political capital from the death of anyone, but if the death of Mr. Hernandez is to teach any lessons, it should be that an overly aggressive posture towards the mundanity of travelling is unnecessary and counter-productive.

It is long past time to shrink the TSA to a regulatory body more concerned with the general threat of terrorism and let airports handle security in a way that is both human and appropriate to the reality of terrorism in the US, which means that it is a concern that should be carefully monitored and supported by intelligence, but which acknowledges that not every 6-year old should be treated as if their smelly nappy is an unexploded bomb.

If the TSA need any guidance in this then the security around Israeli airports is a paranoid, but excellent example, yielding exceptional results over 40-years despite ongoing and genuine terrorist threats.

R.I.P. Gerardo I. Hernandez

17 Comments

  1. NickM says:

    I get your point but the TSA should be abolished entirely. Though, obviously, not by shooting them – though some I have encountered…

    But why the Daily Mail headline? Why does it matter morally that this scrote shot a “father of two”? As a father of none does that mean moidering me is morally less bad? How?

  2. “..to such an extent that they have become a target for anti-government extremists.”

    Was Ciancia such, just because he muttered about the TSA and fiat currency in his rambling ‘manifesto’..? It seems a bit like referring to Mark Chapman as a music critic.

    He was just another lone young nutter with surging testosterone, an aimless life and a hand-written philosophy copied from the web. I can see how it suits the Obama administration to have him portrayed as a member of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy, of course, but I’m not of the opinion we’d be wise to let them set the terms. Are you?

  3. XX But why the Daily Mail headline? XX

    HEJ! Thats the Mail.

    Journalists are the scum of the earth anyway. But the Mail pick the scummiest of the scummy to get theirs.

    In fact, it would appear, that gaining a “fail” in journalist school is a pre-requesit for being employed by those arseholes.

  4. Lynne says:

    I would love to visit friends in America but the TSA is the reason I won’t. Being touched up by a complete stranger on the off-chance I might be some religious, homicidal nutter is beyond the pale. I’ll spend my money elsewhere until they are disbanded.

    FT: Fail seems to be a prerequisite for a career in journalism in most newspapers these days. It encompasses desirable qualities such as stupidity, feebleness, plagiarism and hubris. Only bias separates them. Only a handful can be identified as being true investigative journalists, maybe not even that many.

  5. Flaxen Saxon says:

    Until today, I was totally ignorant of the TSA. From what I’ve read they seem complete twats. Please forgive my ignorance, I live in New Zealand. A great place to live by the way; please don’t tell anyone. There will always be nutters. The trick is to identify the little buggers before they buy M16’s. We get nutters in New Zealand too but they can’t buy M16’s. Easy to buy shotguns though.

  6. TSA?

    Those that were to good to be security guards, but not good enough to make the grade as a REAL policeman.

    THEN they end up being the worst of both.

  7. John Galt says:

    @NickM:

    “Why does it matter morally that this scrote shot a “father of two”? As a father of none does that mean moidering me is morally less bad? How?”

    Maybe it is something that you have to be a parent to understand. Since Mr. Hernandez is dead it is his family and especially his children that will be affected, having to grow-up without a father and the psychological damage of him being torn from their lives.

    @JuliaM:

    “Was Ciancia such, just because he muttered about the TSA and fiat currency in his rambling ‘manifesto’..? It seems a bit like referring to Mark Chapman as a music critic.”

    But it wasn’t just his manifesto that was targeting the TSA, it has been alleged that he was wandering around the airport pointing guns at people and saying “Are you TSA?”.

    One thing that I was horrified about was that given the importance of LAX the police response was, to my mind at least, pretty weak and slow. I’d have thought that they would have an armed response unit on site.

    It goes back to the fundamental libertarian argument about gun controls, “When every second counts, the police are only minutes away”.

  8. NickM says:

    No, JG,
    I said “morally”. Consequentially it is obviously worse but is it morally worse? Anyway how did the shootist know how many (if any) kids the TSA bloke had.

    ‘It goes back to the fundamental libertarian argument about gun controls, “When every second counts, the police are only minutes away”.’ No it is funadmental. It is again consequentialist. Imagine walking the street and you have a gun as a perfectly law-abiding, decent citizen then does your carry right evaporate around a cop patrol you may come across? And then reappear when said cops are now “minutes away”. Maybe but that goes against the concept of a fundamental. A fundamental is just that. Either you have the right or you don’t regardless of the practicalities. What you quoted was a true statement but it is not a point of principle. It is a slogan. Much the same way the old NRA “When guns are outlawed only outlaws will have guns”.

  9. John Galt says:

    We’re speaking here from the UK where the population has been largely disarmed and desensitized to the possession of guns, in the US the fight still continues and if it weren’t for the second amendment the US would probably in the same position as the UK.

    The point about the police is that they are no longer a proactive force for preventing and tackling crime, but rather a reactive force whose only purpose is documenting and investigating crime after the fact.

    We should not have to be reliant upon the police for any protection, but the state are afraid of an armed populace and this is why there has been the gradual erosion of legal weapons possession and more important weapons carrying even in the US.

    Given that firearms are not allowed by the general public on airlines, it is one of the few places that you can be sure the general public will be disarmed, even in states with open and concealed carry laws.

  10. CountingCats says:

    Um,

    Sorry to be a pain, but,

    Nice commentary and all that,

    but what is the story behind it?

    Link maybe?

  11. John Galt says:

    I don’t know what the coverage is like in Australia Cats, but it is all over the international news in Europe.

    LAX suspect shot TSA officer, walked away, then returned to shoot him again

  12. Paul Marks says:

    A very good post J.G.

  13. “Clearly also a right wing conspiracy thwarted”

    Heh! Where’s David Icke when you need him? ;)

  14. CountingCats says:

    So stick a link in the posting, then I wouldn’t have had to ask…

  15. Roue le Jour says:

    “no-one deserves to die because of the job they do.”

    I think you need to be more precise than that, JG, because pretty obviously there are people who do deserve to die because of the job they do. Let’s start with the guy who throws the switch in the gas chamber, shall we?

    It’s a pretty fundamental principle that if something is wrong, then being paid to do it, even by the government, (or especially by the government) doesn’t make it right.

    Just to be clear here, I am not condoning the murder of TSA agents, but rather pointing out that if you are employed to fuck with people then you don’t really have much of a defense if those people object to being fucked with.

  16. SundogUK says:

    I think you have to be careful comparing Israels situation with the US. Israels busiest airport (Ben Gurion, I think) had 13.1 million passengers in 2012. The US had eighteen airports with over 30 million. There is obviously stuff to be learned but I am not sure these things scale that well.

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