The chairman of the Senate Committee on Science, Commerce, and Transportation said today’s shooting at Los Angeles International Airport just proves the need for a federal Transportation Security Administration.
“My thoughts go out to the victims of today’s shooting at LAX. It’s heartbreaking every time a shooting occurs and today’s horrible event reminds us that aviation security extends all the way from the gates to the skies,” Chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) said in a statement.
One TSA agent was killed and two more shot in LAX’s Terminal 3 by a gunman who pulled a weapon out of his bag at the first checkpoint where ID and boarding pass are checked. After the shootings at the TSA screening checkpoint the suspect made it deep into the terminal before being shot by an LAPD officer.
“TSA agents are at the front lines of protecting our nation and they deserve our support in carrying out risky and sensitive jobs,” Rockefeller said. “While some in Congress believe that privatizing our aviation security workforce would be preferable, these brave men and women are proving that the federal TSA agents are highly capable and ready to protect passengers every step of the way.”
The party platform at the last Republican National Convention called for privatizing security, calling the TSA “a massive bureaucracy of 65,000 employees who seem to be accountable to no one for the way they treat travelers.” Congressional efforts to privatize airport security have included bills from Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.).
Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Tom Carper (D-Del.) said it was a day to be grateful for the job performed by the TSA, noting the slain employee’s “life was dedicated to the safety of Americans and visitors traveling through our airports.”
“Through this tragedy, we are reminded of the critical mission of TSA in protecting our freedom to securely travel, and all those who put their lives on the line every day to keep us safe,” Carper said.