Pilot, Co-pilot, and Gunner: or, Ending the TSA Tyranny

Every other day, it seems, there’s a new story about some fresh outrage perpetrated by the TSA, the “Transportation Security Administration,” i.e., the government busybodies who get their kicks patting down grandma while pretending to keep the skies safe from terrorists. Just today, Instapundit reports that a teenager was stopped at the security gate in Norfolk because her purse sported the design of a gun on its side.  “By the time security wrapped up the inspection,” we read, “the pregnant teen missed her flight, and Southwest Airlines sent her to Orlando instead, worrying her mother, who was already waiting for her to arrive at JIA.”  The I. Pundit maestro Glenn Reynolds spoke for many, I suspect, when he concluded: “Really, that’s just pathetic.”

It is pathetic. And it is worth noting that we do not have to behave like Eeyore (“What color was it when it was an AK47?”). [UPDATE: and this just in: 85-year-old woman may sue TSA after being strip searched at JFK Airport]  Andy McCarthy and I were lunching yesterday with some friends from Effingham, Illinois, a little oasis of political maturity in the vast sewer that is Illinois.  At some point the folly of the TSA came up and several constructive ideas were put forth.  I thought I would share a few of the most pertinent with readers.

Shortly after the terrorist assaults of 9/11, Mark Steyn had the proposal, which I strongly support, of allowing passengers to bring loaded guns with them on airplanes. Just imagine: Mohammed jumps up yelling “Allahu Akbar” and brandishing a box cutter. Four or five public-spirited passengers instantly stand up and plug the fellow with the appropriate airborne ordnance  and everybody settles back to enjoy a double scotch and take in a Wyatt Earp flick while the stewardess tidies up the mess oozing about the box cutter. The general point, which I made when the loony tune Cho Seung-Hui went on his murderous rampage at Virginia Tech a few years ago, is that if “more people had guns and knew how to use them, fewer people would get shot.” That contravenes liberal dogma, I know, but I really do believe it to be true.

I suspect it’s going to take a while before we get there, however, so in the meantime here’s a proposal from my Effingham friend Dr. Rick Workman.  Right now, we spend billions of dollars on a new government institution (the TSA) which invades people's privacy, clogs our airports, and doesn’t really do anything to make flying safer. Why not dismantle the whole thing and hire a couple thousand sharp shooters?  We place one or two on every flight up by the cockpit behind some bullet-proof plexiglass. Ahmed gets restless, bang! He gets his 72 virgins. When I asked about reading him his Miranda rights, Andy suggested the perfect abridgment: “You have the right to remain silent,” which, in the circs., he was certain to do  anyway.