This whole thing didn’t come as much of a surprise to me. It was inevitable that this would happen. As a TSA screener, I–we–had Active Shooter training at least once a year. We all knew that it would eventually happen. TSA screeners are well aware that they’re looked at with disdain or apathy by most of the traveling public.
I’ve been writing this blog from day 1 with the knowledge that there is always the possibility that, at any time, something horrible may happen involving a person or people with malicious intent going to the airport and either making it through security and harming a plane, or launching an attack on the airport itself. I have been well aware that when that day comes– when those days come– I will have to answer the question, posed either implicitly or explicitly by readers, “So, is all of this still funny?”
This blog’s About page set up my position in regard to the TSA before the first post was even published. There are several blogs out there that regularly cover the TSA; this blog (which hasn’t been updated much lately, and I apologize, but I’ve been working on a book based on my time at the TSA, as well as working a day job, on top of working by night as an editor for a couple different websites) this blog deals with the TSA in a satirical manner, first and foremost, and second, as a defender of the good, everyman/everywoman TSA employees out there. This blog’s second post was a conscious decision on my part to make that clear. I know there are good TSA employees out there, because I’ve met a lot of them; I still talk to some of them.
What I advocate is for someone to step in and clean house at TSA by firing a lot of the higher-ups in the top-heavy organization that is the TSA, not for someone to go to an airport and begin firing at workers. I believe the screener re-certification system at TSA is absurd and should be revamped. I believe that the full body scanners should be largely removed from checkpoints, since they are invasive, their efficacy is limited, and they can easily be bypassed, anyway. I believe that the promotion system at TSA should be reformed, since it is too often the case that TSA screeners with questionable qualifications, to say the least, end up in supervisory and managerial positions. I believe the BDO program should be largely done away with. Yes, I’m aware that the officer who was killed at LAX was a BDO; I am saying that I wish he hadn’t been standing there, on several levels.
As a former TSA employee, the news saddened me that a TSA screener was killed at LAX. I believe that in a perfect world, there wouldn’t be so many crazy people out there with guns intent on making their points with violence, but here we are. There are a lot of sad and infuriating things in the world; my goal is to try to find humor in them, whenever possible. I see no humor in what went down at LAX on Friday, and so I leave it at that.