“We must reject the idea that every time a law’s broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions.”
~ Ronald Regan
The concept that arming Transportation Security Administration (TSA) employees will do anything to reduce violence in our society is an expensive and absurd proposition. The TSA is neither structured nor equipped to manage a guard force. Furthermore, minimally trained, underpaid, mismanaged armed security is not the answer to violence in our communities. Personal responsibility for our own lives, decisions and actions is what makes us a free people. The freedom to dream, pursue and to dare is what creates the economic and social opportunities we enjoy in America. People with out opportunity or the freedom to pursue it have nothing to lose – and those people are dangerous.
There is a significant contingent of our society that believes that our government exists to provide for the citizenry. They believe that the volume rather than the quality of the police will reduce crime. They insist that social welfare programs will create wealth and opportunity. They are convinced that departments, bureaus, and programs are the solution to our problems and that their countrymen are incapable of surviving with out government assistance. They are wrong.
Citizens taking personal responsibility for their own security is the only sustainable path to reducing the number of victims on the street. Properly equipped, trained and tasked law enforcement are a critical component – but everyday citizens are the lynch pin. It should not be a police officer’s job to go out and look for your child’s stolen bicycle; it is your job to teach your child to lock up their belongings. It is not the job of government to provide you with health, wealth and a job; it is your responsibility to take advantage of the many opportunities this nation provides.
The death of Agent Gerardo Hernandez at the hands of yet another madman is tragic. There are many things that may have prevented this, but marginally trained agents with little to no experience in stressful situations are unlikely to have made a difference. Training TSA agents to level of proficiency that would enable them to make a difference is both cost and time prohibitive.
There are elements of law enforcement, the military, and government agencies that have already invested heavily in training their people to the level that they can be effective under stress. Many of those retiree’s would happily draw additional income as a part time airport security agent. Plain-clothes professional augmentation of exiting uniformed security at airports is probably the most effective thing we can do to beef up airport security – if we determine that is necessary. Authorizing the Transportation Security Administration to arm its employees will be an expensive and ineffective response that will most likely have tragic results.