Attacks aren’t commonplace. They are still statistically rare, and it is almost impossible to anticipate these outliers. Of the instances of violence in America, terrorism comprises an infinitesimally-small section of total violence in America. By all indications, the “lone gunman” is the increasing threat because “domestic terrorists” are becoming increasingly active. Anyone had their ears and eyes open for ELF/ALF lately? Or any of the larger white supremacist groups?
Those airport tests consistently tell me that airports are still not very fortified against potential terrorist attacks. That many of the airports receive advance notice of the tests tells an observer that their successes would be much lower than if they hadn’t been told. Since airports are the main topic of this discussion, it’s easy to see how a “ban on guns” has done little, if anything, to make airports safer. Given the test results and that they came from TSA (I suspect only because another news group had already snagged some of the test data) several years after these “increased security measures”, I maintain that even the newer measures are still not making airports notably safer.
On security measures, we see two different approaches, very analogous to a “concealed v. open carry” argument (of which there is virtually no data supporting which is more preventative of crime). I can’t say what would be more or less effective, only that I am more supportive of hard knowledge that an armed and trained presence is there. To elaborate on my position, it would be like a criminal going into a store and knowing that there is, without a doubt, armed and trained professionals in the store, and that the clerks are similarly armed, but the criminal doesn’t know who is armed. I find that more comforting than the criminal potentially gambling that “this one might not have” those armed and trained professionals.
Regarding your argument to deterrence (“It is the responsibility of the Federal government to secure the nation and our people...”), I’m not suggesting that it’s an infringement of rights. I believe it is, but let me repeat myself and say that I don’t think that’s the problem. The problem is that the government has not adequately taken accountability for restricting the ability of citizens to protect themselves. To be blunt, they took weapons away but put nothing in their place. No armed professionals, no armed pilots, not nearly adequate (efficient?) airport security. That is my problem.
Your numbers for how many flights have armed presences on them are curious, and if possible I’d like to see a source for them. Even in conjecture, those numbers are highly at odds with what (admittedly little) I know about the sad state of affairs the air marshals are in, that being that their numbers are very, very low.
I’m curious as to why you feel this is a federal issue, though. Why would this not be a contractual issue between states, where states are liable for losses? Just sparking discussion, because while I don’t agree with you that it is wholly a federal issue and do feel the federal government should be involved in the process, I’m more inclined to think it should be a process a federal government watchdog agency (perhaps with investigative powers, perhaps not) oversees as opposed to performs itself. My understanding of Eisenhower’s decision regarding roadways was to make travel more efficient after he saw how efficient it made transportation in Germany. I see how that relates to national security, but I don’t see how that is a security issue entirely, any more than I do how aerial transportation is a security issue entirely. Should airliners not be permitted to provide their own safety features (security elements) to their aircraft in the same way automobile manufacturers provide safety features? Federally mandated, privately carried out?
The vaccinations and internet are separate issues, and I shouldn’t have brought them up. The only way to clarify and expand would take this further off topic (though if the opportunity presents itself I would like to have that debate with you one day).