Parts of the government are shut down. While there’s much to enjoy about that, there are people who are having to work while not getting paid, which tends to lead to some not wanting to come into work at all. I’ve got a friend in this boat, and her job isn’t something open in the private sector, so she’s stuck.
The Transporation Security Administration (TSA) has a lot of people in that boat, as well. Some aren’t coming in since they’re not getting paid, and I don’t know that I can blame them. I wouldn’t be inclined to go to work either.
On Monday, though, news broke of a man who got a firearm past security during this shutdown, leading to all kinds of questions about airport security.
As concerns about the possible impacts of the government shutdown on airport screening grow, a passenger got a gun through the country’s busiest airport and onto an international flight in his carry-on bag, according to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).
The passenger was traveling through the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport earlier this month and boarded a Delta flight to Japan, which has strict gun control laws.
“TSA has determined standard procedures were not followed and a passenger did in fact pass through a standard screening TSA checkpoint with a firearm at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport on January 2. TSA will hold those responsible appropriately accountable,” the agency said in a statement.
The incident occurred 12 days into the shutdown.
Here’s the thing. My understanding is that at that point, no one had missed a paycheck. People weren’t calling in or quitting because they weren’t getting paid.
In other words, while it was during the shutdown, it’s unlikely it played any role in this fiasco.
Instead, what happened was that someone got something past TSA because the agency tends to be somewhat incompetent. While we often hear about things they catch–and some of that is completely idiotic, to be honest–they miss an awful lot, too. Stories about the ineffectiveness of the TSA are a staple of news agencies.
The individual in question went through one of the busiest airports in the nation during one of the busiest travel seasons of the year and made it through security that is routinely derided for being ineffective.
Let’s do the math on this one.
The truth is that this had nothing to do with the shutdown. Had the gun owner not been traveling to somewhere like Japan, it’s entirely likely no one would have ever known. Had he been staying inside the U.S., he’d have probably just shipped the gun back home or something rather than call attention to the fact that he’d gotten a gun through security.
What happened is that this report is being used to try and hammer the Trump administration over the shutdown. Their hope is that the president will blink and allow Democrats to claim victory over the border wall dispute.
Whether or not the wall is a good idea is beyond what we cover here at Bearing Arms. What I will say, however, is that for all the pain the shutdown might be causing, this isn’t an example of it.