Re "LAX chaos brings calls for review," Nov. 6
We would like to add our story to the many now being heard about the shooting at Los Angeles International Airport on Nov. 1. We are partners, ages 74 and 76, and were traveling to Vancouver with two of our young grandchildren. We were loaded down with bags as we approached the X-ray conveyor belts in Terminal 2 when an agent began to shout, "Evacuate the building!"
We were able to get the kids and all our stuff down to the first floor safely, but there was no direction from officials. Rumors circulated about multiple shooters, multiple casualties, gang violence and so forth, while the sirens of emergency vehicles exacerbated the panic. People were rushing toward the roadways, and a running mob came up behind us as we reached the sidewalk.
We gathered ourselves on the ground with our luggage and sat. The only official in sight was a man in what appeared to be a flak suit carrying a rifle who kept shouting, "The airport is closed; get up on the sidewalk." Emergency vehicles continued to race by, and people and their luggage continued to arrive. After what seemed like a very long time, we were shuttled to a parking lot where we were able to arrange for transportation home.
The lack of training and the evident panic of airline and government workers are reprehensible. That an airport the size of LAX appears to have no effective evacuation plan is infuriating.
Mary Worthington and Pamela Gruber
The chaos at LAX is nothing compared to the regionwide catastrophe that would unfold in a major disaster. Our hospital-centric response would quickly shut down our emergency rooms. People with major injuries would not get treated, while those with cuts who got to the ER first would clog the system.
The current civilian assistance system for responding to disaster is a totally inadequate addendum to any workable emergency plan.
Re "Arms and the TSA," Opinion, Nov. 7
Arming some Transportation Security Administration agents — what a great idea. Hundreds of security agents with Glocks on their hips, surrounded by thousands of passengers.
Would a harried traveler ever think of grabbing one of those guns? Certainly not with so many "good guys with guns" around. Could an overworked "good guy" lose it just enough to un-holster his equalizer to establish his authority?
An idea this insane can only delight the National Rifle Assn.: an itchy-trigger-fingered posse dreaming of a chance to prove how they can save the world from "the bad guys" and how necessary guns are to do it.
This is not a good enough reason to cram LAX with firearms.
Brian Michael Jenkins is right on the money. The issues with arming this group or another group — made up of people less qualified than police — far outweigh any benefits. Bigger crowds at the airport only create easier targets.
Beef up the police force and let the pros respond.
Why is it that whenever we have yet another tragic gun incident, some call for even more guns? When someone overdoses on a drug, is the answer to give him more of it?