If you see a guy in a certain kind of blue uniform — with a tie and a badge — he’s obviously a police officer. Right? That’s what we all assume in this country, but if you see a TSA screener wearing a badge, it’s a sham. He’s not a real police power. A new bill in Congress aims to end the sham.
Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) has proposed that the agency be forced to take away the uniforms that make people assume TSA personnel are police. They’re not. They have no powers to arrest anybody. Blackburn isn’t happy with the TSA’s performance, and she wants to help the public understand that they’re not dealing with actual police when they’re mistreated by TSA staff:
“Congress has sat idly by as the TSA strip searches 85-year-old grandmothers in New York, pats down 3-year-olds in Chattanooga, and checks colostomy bags for explosives in Orlando. Enough is enough! The least we can do is end this impersonation, which is an insult to real cops.”
The badges weren’t added until 2008, and they were a sore point with real cops at the time. I’m not terribly concerned with the feelings of police officers, but I do like making it clear to everyone that the people they’re dealing with aren’t police.
Make ’em wear McDonald’s uniforms or something. Make them feel just as ridiculous and humiliated as they frequently make the public feel. Blackburn’s bill won’t end the security theatre farce that the TSA has become, but it’s a step in the right direction.