Looks like we’ve approached touchdown on another national debate over national security. The Congress seems to be resolving the issue of airport security with a “compromise” that will federalize rather than privatize. A few airports will be allowed to experiment with private security options. And, supposedly, in a few years airports that don’t like the government-provided security will have a chance to opt out.
Thing is, private airport security is what works and private airport security is what we haven’t even tried yet. Oh, you think that’s what we have now? Think again. Bob Poole of the Reason Foundation and Robert Higgs of the Independent Institute have both pointed out how dispersed responsibility for airport security has been. Higgs says the way things stand now, “local law enforcement, the airlines, the airports, and the FAA” all share the responsibility, which means none of them have it. So none of them is actually accountable. Heck, United Airlines can’t even give tasers and stun guns to its pilots without first begging for permission from the government.
Roll Call reports that we have advocates of gun control in the Congress who are getting guns and armed bodyguards now. Yet our government won’t let responsible citizens like former law enforcement officials bear arms while riding on a plane. We need to privatize airports altogether, and let private airports and airlines act to improve the security of their passengers.
I say, let them decide their own security precautions. And let them advertise like hell to the rest of us about what they’re doing better and faster than everybody else.
This is Common Sense.Â I’m Paul Jacob.