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