Gun Contol Lessons from The New Orleans Airport Attack

New Orlean International Airport (courtesy usatoday.com)

“Richard White sprayed Transportation Security Administration agents and several passengers in line at the [New Orleans’ International Airport] checkpoint with wasp killer,” the AP reports. “He then drew a large machete from the waistband of his pants. A male TSA agent blocked the machete with a piece of luggage as White ran through a metal detector. Lt. Heather Slyve of the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office drew her weapon. White continued to swing the machete as she approached, and she fired three rounds, striking him in the face, chest and leg . . .

White was chasing TSA agent Carroll Richel when Slyve felled him with her shots. Richel, who was hit in the arm by one of the rounds, credited Slyve with saving her life.

“Officer Slyve is my hero,” Richel said.

Hang on. What do you think the antis would say if an armed non-law enforcement officer had shot a TSA agent while trying to take out a wasp spray- and machete-wielding whacko? Not to mention grazing another passenger with a bullet in the process. OK, so, what did we learn here? First, here’s White arsenal . . .

White was also carrying a bag loaded with six Molotov cocktails – six Mason jars with cloth wicks soaked in gasoline.

There was also a barbeque lighter and a letter opener in the bag, Sheriff Newell Normand said at a press conference at the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport. Residue from smoke bombs was also found near White’s body . . .

Authorities also found smoke bombs and tanks of acetelyne, Freon and oxygen in the trunk of his car, Normand said, but investigators didn’t what (sic), if anything, White intended to do with the materials.

Here’s TTAG tipster John in Ohio’s takeaway:

The alleged attacker had a machete and easily obtainable, everyday materials. An unarmed TSA worker credits an armed officer with saving his life. This might be another example of how wrong some of the antis’ arguments are.

– The attacker had no firearm.
– The attacker was reportedly suffering from mental illness.
– Items that the attacker used would be nearly impossible to ban or require universal background checks on.
– A good person with a gun stopped an attacker.

Of course, the antis will assert that the incident went as well as it did because White didn’t have a gun. But you and I know that the same gun that takes down a wasp-spraying machete attacker can take down a shooter. Which is why people are wondering if it’s time to arm the blue-shirted goons brave men and women of the TSA. Whatdayathink?

comments

  1. avatar DJ9 says:

    Having seen the quality of some of the folks that they are hiring as TSA workers (apologies to anyone here who does not fit into this pigeonhole); no, I don’t think TSA agents should be armed.

    I have no problem with hiring and training L.E.-quality persons to fill this role, but very few of the existing TSA folks I have seen/met would be suitable candidates to be armed in a high-people-density environment.

    1. avatar Another Robert says:

      Well, at least not provided with taxpayer-funded arms and clothed with government-issued immunity.

      1. avatar DJ9 says:

        Agreed.

        Might be another area where retired cops/military vets could successfully be utilized. Not as screeners, just as “defensive shooters” if things ever went to hell.

        1. avatar Geoff PR says:

          This.

          The times I’ve been exposed to TSA personnel haven’t filled me with confidence. To me they always seem to have an odd lack of situational awareness. Their world seems to exist only in their immediate (as in maybe one meter) vicinity.

          We have lots of recently retired combat troops who could fill that position competently.

    2. avatar Hannibal says:

      I’m afraid I agree with this, though naturally there are exceptions. As a whole I would trust many other professions more than the uniform and play-badge wearing TSA to carry firearms (bus drivers, janitors…)

    3. avatar Ben says:

      I agree. I wouldn’t waste taxpayer money buying guns for tsa agents. I believe that there is an armed police presence at most major airports in the us. Increasing the visibility of armed police may ser

    4. avatar Parnell says:

      I have to agree. The ones I see at Newark & Philly seem to be “Welfare to Work” recipients. They don’t seem to have a clue about situational awareness, just rote recitation of the “Empty your pockets and take off your shoes” routine.

  2. avatar Ralph says:

    Arm the TSA? I thought that it’s illegal under Federal law for felons to have firearms.

    1. avatar psmcd says:

      Even if it’s just theatrics? Actors need their prop guns.

      1. avatar John in Ohio says:

        They can use their fingers and say “pew-pew”.

        TSA is the dark comedy of security theater.

  3. avatar Wood says:

    No. No. No. Hell no.

    1. avatar dlj95118 says:

      …this, like, +one hundred bazillion.

  4. avatar Retired LEO says:

    After they complete a round of training at FLETC & swear an oath to defend the constitution and agree not to do half the illegal/unconstitutional crap they now do. MAYBE, after doing field training with some local newly hired officers that just got dischargef fram the military, I say no for them. I have never seen more violations of civil & constitutional rights than from recent military trained police. I was and am a law enforcement officer for citizens, not civilians.
    Invariably they all thought they were better than citizens or still think they are in the Marines, Army etc… and above the law. These and the ones that watched too much T.V. give the rest of us a bad reputation & we don’t want them anymore than most citizens. A lot were in the military for a power trip or could not get a job economy wise, now protected by politicians & unions all are stuck.

    1. avatar Bill Cook says:

      If the TSA were sent to FLETC, I guarantee the instructors there would be under orders to make sure they pass.
      I see these people every day (am a Delta Captain). The ones that had a life before TSaA aren’t too bad, but there are a large number of them who have been hired well beyond their Peter Principle limit. Let’s no even go into a rant about the overweight/obese ones!

    2. avatar ad-lib says:

      pretty sure the TSA currently takes an oath to the Constitution now… and that oath doesn’t stop plenty of other people from doing illegal/unconstitutional things.

  5. avatar David says:

    Arm them? How about disband them? TSA is just security theater. The Israelis don’t have a TSA and they seem to deal with it just fine without wasting money.

  6. avatar JWM says:

    How about constitutional carry for all? No restrictions except for a very few secure .gov buildings like court houses. If the airlines are afraid of passengers with guns they can fold up and go out of business.

    Should TSA agents be armed? Sure they should. Along with all other American citizens.

    1. avatar John in Ohio says:

      Nah, sounds too much like shall not be infringed. That’s crazy talk. 😉

      1. avatar Jeff in CO says:

        John, thanks for bringing some “common sense” to the table! 🙄 😛

  7. avatar Michael C says:

    The biggest problem is the antis’ have bought into the ridiculous notion that making a law will stop bad people from doing bad things. Laws only stop good people from doing certain things. Also universal background checks are impossible to enforce without universal licensing, registration, and intensive regulation. The only reason background checks on dealer transfers are able to be enforced is that the ATF has the ability to periodically inspect FFL inventories.

  8. avatar Grindstone says:

    The TSA absolutely should NOT be armed.

  9. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    It is NOT time to arm the TSA. It is time to arm the good people who are in airports.

  10. avatar Amok! says:

    Fvuck Yea: and she fired three rounds, striking him in the face, chest and leg . . .

    Well Well done officer. Three rounds three hits including face and chest.

    1. avatar Baldwin says:

      Uhhh…3 rounds and 4 hits.

  11. avatar Gatha58 says:

    No reason to arm the TSA as firearms are illegal at airports. Therefore we /they should be perfectly safe. All we have to do now is create a new law than bans machetes and wasp spray. That should solve all of these problems. 😉

  12. avatar Fishydude says:

    The TSA is a political organization, not a law enforcement agency. They hire based on political expediency. So no the TSA generally should not be armed. Only TSA that have been through a law enforcement academy and/or former law enforcement should be allowed to carry on the job.
    Far too many of the TSA lack the temperament as it is for the power they have to ruin someone’s day or their life.
    At BA

  13. avatar Smoke Jensen says:

    If they arm those bastards I’ll quit flying. I travel about ten times a year down from 20. I’ve never been through the cattle cookers…um body scanners as I opt out every single time. I make them earn their fascist power. These are the people that run the trains, operate the camps and turn the knobs that killed millions. The only difference is the color of their costumes.
    Anybody who downplays what I said is just a frog in boiling water.

  14. avatar JOE MATAFOME says:

    I saw the interview with the TSA agent, and she explained how she used her great “training ” to save lives. She yelled for everyone to RUN, and then she RAN for her life because she was defenseless. She’d be dead for sure if the police officer with a GUN hadn’t shot the bad guy in the nick of time. I’m surprised the allowed the cop to have a dangerous gun around so many innocent bystanders in a busy airport.

  15. avatar Dustin says:

    Arm the TSA; are you out of your damn mind?

  16. avatar bontai Joe says:

    Oh my God, NO! Please do not even contemplate arming TSA personnel. I have spent time in many airports all over the USA and in Asia. Arm the TSA and you will have more dead people than if the terrorists were allowed to roam freely. You want safe airports? Use the Israeli security model, it works. It is also used in the Philippines, where it works. And one of the main reasons it works is that unless you have tickets to board an airplane, you don’t even get inside the airport building. Armed security thoroughly screens you at the door. As mentioned above very well, the TSA is a jobs program to get people off welfare/unemployment. It is not in any way a real security force to protect anything. The tubby chubbies I last saw in Newark, NJ couldn’t chase an old man on crutches more than 25 feet before they’d fall down gasping for air. My last visit to JFK was a few years ago, but they still had military security walking patrols in pairs with rifles and dogs. Any other American airport I have seen in the last decade has tubby chubbies sitting on chairs screening suitcases while chugging down soft drinks.

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