Incompetence, negligence, theft, sexual assault, harassment. To what entity am I referring? The Transportation “Security” Agency, one of the most egregious government agencies in existence.
“I love how the TSA keeps me safe when traveling!” Said no rational person, ever.
This agency, which was originally designed to prevent 9/11 style attacks, leaves us no safer than we were pre 9/11; all that we have received in the liberty-for-security trade is violation of our rights.
The TSA was created on November 19, 2001, as a direct response to the 9/11 terror attacks. The Aviation and Transportation Security Act, signed by President Bush, created the agency.
By the end of 2002, TSA had hired, trained, and deployed nearly 60,000 employees. They included doctors, lawyers, business owners, veterans, recent graduates, retirees, and countless other groups of Americans who together assumed responsibility for security at over 400 of the nation’s airports. This effort constituted the largest mobilization of the federal government since WWII.
Here we stand nearly 15 years later, and we are no safer than we were before. All we have is extremely long wait times at security checkpoints, and once we get to those checkpoints, we get to have government agents search us for no other reason than wanting to board an airplane.
Recently, The Federalist Papers Project reported on the absolute nightmarish wait times at Chicago’s O’Hare airport at the beginning of the summer travel season. The “boondoggle,” as author Donn Marten describes it, has caused thousands to miss their flights.
Whether it be stealing from travelers, sexual assaults, feeling up children, humiliating elderly women in medical diapers, or just the sort of run of the mill bullying that is typical for authoritarian personality types, the TSA has served as the worst example of the excesses of the “new normal” after the towers fell.
Nobody is safe from the intrusions of the TSA and such innocuous actions as simply yawning could be the trigger for special scrutiny – at least according to a secret behavior checklist that was leaked last year.
So what exactly has the TSA done for us aside from violating civil liberties on an ecological scale for the past 15 years? Not much, to be honest.
In 2015, the agency ran test runs at security checkpoints at major airports all across the country. After the tests were complete, an astounding 95% of the screening agents FAILED the tests, according to The Washington Post.
TSA checkpoint officers — those folks in blue shirts who start off many a vacation on such a great note — were outsmarted 67 out of 70 times this year by investigators from the Department of Homeland Security, who passed through our billion-dollar defenses with hidden weapons and fake explosives.
So, you have a 5% chance of being safer thanks to the TSA. There’s , statistically speaking, a 95% likelihood that someone could walk onto a plane with prohibited items and commit a terrorist attack. Gee, thanks government!
Just imagine if this was a private security firm, anywhere else in reality. This firm would be out of business within a matter of days, probably. But the federal government never goes out of business, even when it “shuts down” (unfortunately).
There’s a better way to handle airline safety, and it certainly doesn’t involve the government. In fact, the very idea of it is to get the government OUT of the airline security business. No more government agents groping you and stealing your belongings.
Sound radical? Well, it’s not all that radical actually. In fact, it’s already being done at one major airport in California. John Stossel recently reported about this better way to do airport security.
At San Francisco, it works! The lines are shorter, the agents are nicer, and they are better at doing their jobs. Why?
Because they have an incentive to do their job well. In the private sector, it is easier to lose one’s job due to negligence or incompetence. If you continuously screw up, you get fired (as it should be).
With government, it’s the exact opposite. Their mantra is screw up, move up.
How about we try something that actually works, and doesn’t involve the government violating us every time we fly?
So here’s what could be done. Abolish the TSA, first of all. The gross negligence and maliciousness of the agency needs to be stopped. Sure, TSA agents will lose their jobs, but new opportunities will be created with the next step.
Second, let each airline determine their own security policies. Let them decide what items can be allowed on the planes, what has to be in checked luggage, and what is prohibited. The airlines are the entities that have the most vested interest in maintaining the security of their planes and patrons.
If United Airlines wants to allow concealed carry permit holders to carry their firearms on the plane, so be it! Of course, the permit would have to be displayed to the security agent, but there would not be issue with this. Concealed carry permit holders are the most law abiding demographic in the nation, and they would be the ones able to stop hijacking attempts before they happen.
Another airline may not want concealed carry permit holders to carry their guns on the plane. Aright, that’s the choice of the airline. But you can bet that gun owners would overwhelmingly travel on an airline that provides its patrons with proper means of self-defense.
This right here is the beauty of the free market; and yes, it applies to security as well. The free market provides what governments are always lacking: incentive. Where there is no incentive to do well, a job will not be well done. Where incentives are in place, the best will rise to the top by means of consumer demand.
Airlines would be able to set their own security guidelines, and we would be able to travel free from government groping. Sounds like a good idea to me, at least. What do you think?