Today a gunman attacked Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers at the initial screening post at Terminal 3 of Los Angeles International Airport, killing one officer and wounding others. What happened pales in comparison to what could’ve happened if this were a terrorist attack.
Today a lone gunman pulled out an assault rifle from his bag and started shooting at TSA officers at the initial screening post at LAX Terminal 3. He then shot his way through about a 100 meters to the Food Court at the flight gate where he was engaged by a police officer, brought down, and taken into custody. Although there are said to be about 2500 TSA officers at the airport, they are not armed, armed security being left to police officers.
There was no armed police officer protecting the entrance to the terminal or the long distance between the entrance and the boarding area where airlines were boarding passengers through 31 gates. Luckily, a police officer happened to be in the food court where he engaged the shooter in a gunfight and managed to bring him down. It’s not yet known exactly what motivated the 23-year old gunman except that he had a grudge against TSA and the police. If this had been a terrorist attack, the attacker or attackers could’ve massacred passengers waiting in the boarding area or sitting in aircraft, or taken over aircraft whose doors were open. Terrorist attacks on airports are not without precedent even when armed guards are present, such as the suicide attack on Moscow’s Domododevo Airport in January 2011 when 37 people were killed and hundreds wounded.
It’s disconcerting to see that the corporate-profits-driven politicians whose idea of air travel security is searching children and grandmothers, x-raying people like peeping Toms, and making air travel an unnecessarily painful and unhealthy experience, couldn’t even think of the simplest possibilities. As usual, they went on national television to make preposterous claims, that the system has worked well or that there was nothing else that could've been done to prevent this. What about posting armed guards to protect the airport entrance and the searchers?