TSA screener who smuggled a gun into the airport is still on the job

A Denver TSA employee who brought a handgun to the airport and passed it around the metal detector is still on the job. The TSA won't say if he's been disciplined -- or how -- for doing this stupid thing that would land any of the rest of us in Gitmo for a decade's worth of stress-positioning. Of course, we can't expect TSA screeners to be held to the same legal standard as the rest of us -- since they work for the security administration, then everything they do, by definition, must be good for security.
Airport documents show that the security office suspended Crabtree’s badge for 30 days as a result of the incident, but a TSA spokeswoman cited privacy rules when asked if Crabtree received any formal punishment.


  1. Why is this really a problem, let him have his gun in the airport. Even better idea is to give a discount to air travelers who wish to carry a firearm on their person to reward their protection of the aircraft. Do we forget that on 9-11 people with only pocket knives fought back and saved the Whitehouse or other target from massive destruction. This security theater only makes us all less safe, how many of us have to die before we demand our freedoms back?

    How do you like that spin?

  2. Forgive the half-on-topic nature of the criticism, but it seems that reports on things like this are growing ever more filled with vitriolic commentary.

    While this is perfectly fair, and well deserved, it does feel like it might make it easy for someone new to the blog, or any number of other people, to misidentify the editors’ positions as skewed by bias and therefore not give enough weight to what you’re really trying to bring attention to or what you have to say.

    It’s great to see you help call public attention to this sort of thing, but I always kind of wince when I see the bile-esque ire bubble forth in the post. Yes, it’s understandable to feel outrage, and to show it, but it seems like the hardest hitting news is always that which is put forth as credibly unbiased, left to the reader to stand on its own, as-is. That makes it a lot harder for someone to kind of skim what they’re reading, see the strong language and scathing rhetoric, and assume it’s a biased opinion or otherwise dismiss it offhand. The emotion draws attention unduly away from the facts.

    To use an analogy: hyperbole and emphatic opinions are great for stirring up the troops, but a simple, humble offering of facts seems best for finding new recruits. That’s what we need, for more people to see the facts, think “hey, that isn’t right”, and join in the attempts to make things sane again.

  3. To amplify what I had said, why do we need a special police class who is allowed to bear arms over us. At least Americans can claim to have an equal protection clause in their constitution which I admire, but even they do not seem to care about that part of their primary document of rule in many cases. How does choosing a particular line of employment make one person more worthy of self and collective protection than another?

  4. Obvious. He only let himself get caught in order to divert attention from his accomplice with the real bomb.

  5. @AIRPILLO: You might want to find yourself another blog if you don’t like this sort of thing …

    But back to my point:

    “I used to be on the job. You can’t ask about him being disciplined, you a-hole, because of the terrorism.”

  6. Airpillo, that was nicely written. But like Horncologne said, you just come here to read. The editing is done by the editors, so what you see might be intentionally provocative to stimulate conversation.

    I think this was an obvious failure of security. The Emperor wears no clothes! So this guy gets hung out to dry because he pointed out a failure.

  7. Airpillow, I take your point. I think there’s a time for funny, ranty stuff and a time for serious, “neutral” tone. Blogs are great for the former, position papers, journalistic editorials, etc are generally where I do the latter.

  8. How long before someone figures out that to get past airport security all they need to do is get a job with TSA. These people, in my experience, aren’t exactly the cream of the intellectual crop, so it would appear to be only moderately more challenging to get one of these jobs than say, a position manning the fryer at mcdonalds.

  9. How does his transgression ,(and obvious law breaking), fall under “privacy”? If you break the law which he did, it enters the realm of public knowledge and is NO longer private. Equal protection under the law only goes so far these days I guess.

  10. @REBDAV

    Do you really think a gunfight in an airplane, or a crowded airport terminal is a good idea?

    The more deadly weapons around, held by twitchy amateurs, the more likely it is that bad things will happen, and the more – er – deadly the situation will be.

    OK – you think that if all the good people have guns, then they will be able to outgun the bad guy?

    Wrong – all it means is that there is a vastly increased change of serious bad shit happening.

    And please don’t quote the US constitution. When that bit was drafted they were thinking about a very different situation, in another age.

  11. Jazzminecat, there are loads of jobs that get to go around security. TSA is nothing; how about a job where you get to crawl around the airplanes? The baggage handlers don’t get screened. The effing CLEANERS don’t get screened.

    Air security is a total farce designed not for security but to enforce obedience — which has uses in many places besides airports. In the future, ALL aspects of society will involve being herded around by people who couldn’t graduate from high school.

  12. People bring guns to airports all the time. They’re usually sent home by the cops or arrested if it’s their lucky day. Plus, this guy’s a government employee. You can’t get fired from the government (unless you’re a district attorney).

  13. Wait, the TSA has privacy rules?

    Wait, the TSA has any rules? Isn’t it completely mood driven?

  14. In the future, ALL aspects of society will involve being herded around by people who couldn’t graduate from high school.

    I might have laughed at this if it wasn’t so obviously true.

  15. Does anyone find it mind-bogglingly ironic that the government agency responsible for the complete obliteration of privacy in travel is citing “privacy concerns” about this employee?

  16. “TSA screener who smuggled a gun into the airport is still on the job”

    Well no shit…they’re union. You ever see someone in a union unilaterally fired before? Doesn’t happen. That’s a good thing and a bad thing. It protects workers from vindictive bosses. Unfortunately it also protects them from actual discipline. That guy’s set for life.

    @padster123: “The more deadly weapons around, held by twitchy amateurs, the more likely it is that bad things will happen, and the more – er – deadly the situation will be.”

    Which is why in areas with concealed carry laws incidents of random gun violence are through the roof, right?

  17. @24 Antinous,
    Yes sir sorry sir shall I clean the head sir?

    @25 Sirspocksalot,
    It seems to me unions are outdated. Back in the heyday where 7 year olds were working 12 hour shifts, and losing fingers, yeah, I could see them. Now? They seem to cause more harm than gain.

    @12 padster123,
    What Spock said. This, and – people with concealed carry licenses are hardly amateurs. They are the sort that go out to the range and shoot regularly. Granted, some of these may be those drilling, freaky sorts, but I’d put the danger of the freaky, drilling sorts as less than ‘the guy who sees that a crowded airport terminal is the greatest place for mass murder – ever.’

    Not that I am worried about that. Statistically, it’s more scary to get in a car. I plan to get a CCarry when I’m older, mostly because it’s something that won’t harm (because I, from childhood, have been taught how to handle and -respect- a weapon.)

  18. @Tenn – oh, I’m with you on the unions. Unions are the reason prices keep going up and up and up. They demand cost of living increases for their employees and more and more benefits. Well, that money’s got to come from somewhere, and it’s not coming out of the employer’s bottom line, so the answer is to raise prices on goods and services.

    It’s not to say they do NO good, I think you’re right that they do more harm than good. They’ve become entrenched and stagnant and now they exist mostly to perpetuate themselves.

  19. Smuggle a gun into an airport and keep your job. Priceless! If he was Muslim then it would be a different story.

  20. Regarding biased opinions and remarks about things like “getting sent to Gitmo” in BB posts… People are starting to see BB as a serious news source…. and yes, the “personal” writings of people with enough recognition are fair game for criticism.

    On that note, when is someone a “journalist” (and subject to some standards) and when are they not? I thought youtube, blogs, the Internet in general was supposed to blur that line…

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