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Lawmakers Want to Arm Everyone, Except for TSA Agents

by Shawn M. Griffiths, published

On Tuesday, the general council for the American Federation of Government Employees said some TSA agents should be armed. In response to the shooting at LAX that claimed the life of TSA agent Gerardo Hernandez and wounded others, some have come out in favor of the policy change, while others remain skeptical.

The debate over whether to arm the TSA or not looks very similar to a nationwide debates lawmakers, political commentators, and analysts have had in the past after tragic mass shootings. However, some of the lawmakers who proposed arming teachers and administrative staff in public schools after the Newtown shooting or eliminating "gun free" zones after the Aurora theater shooting or the Navy Yard shooting hesitate to support allowing TSA agents to carry.

According to Politico, it is "a tough sell for many conservatives in Congress, where some lawmakers until recently were trying to take away TSA agents’ badges."

Like many issues surrounding guns and gun policy in the US, policy positions are shaped by political interests. Conservatives, especially tea party candidates, have benefited from an anti-TSA approach. It is one issue they can continue to garner support on, so some lawmakers are not as quick to come out in support of arming federal security personnel as they are teachers.

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