Just days into 2021, and the number of really bad, anti‐liberty policy and legislative proposals are multiplying like mold spores.
To that end, I would direct you to the request by the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) create a “No Ride” list for passenger rail akin to TSA’s infamous “No Fly” list for the airline industry. From the unions’ press release:
Suspected insurrectionists continue to threaten further violence as the transition to President‐elect Joe Biden’s administration approaches next week. Some of these have been relegated to the No Fly List overseen by FAA, preventing them from traveling by air, but no such restriction exists for the national passenger rail network. SMART-TD and BLET urge that a “no‐ride” list that mirrors FAA’s list be enacted immediately.
By all means, lets make passenger rail travel just as hell‐like as airline travel: insane requirements for removing shoes, non‐science based limits on liquid carry‐on items, more expensive, ineffectual screening technology, and of course, even longer delays in being able to board your train and get to your destination. Apparently, union reps have forgotten just how ineffectual and liberty‐damaging TSA’s VIPR teams were before Trump—in one of his few useful acts as President—tried to kill the VIPR program.
This union proposal naturally begs additional questions: where will it end? Will the union representing Washington Metropolitan Transportation Authority (WMATA) ask for a “No Ride” list for DC’s Metrorail and Metrobus services? After all, since you don’t know who might morph from a protestor to an insurrectionists, better to to simply take any names of the January 6, 2021 insurrectionists (alleged or actual) on the TSA “No Fly” list and get them banned from riding Amtrak, DC Metro, or any other transit system, right?
That our nation’s Capitol building was overrun by at least hundreds seeking to overturn a fair, free, and valid election is clear. The Department of Justice has already created a running, online list of those thus far charged with federal crimes in connection with the insurrectionist event. What we don’t need is yet another due process‐free, innuendo driven, government run transportation security “list” that gives us another debacle like TSA’s Quiet Skies program, and that further undermines the ability of citizens not wanted for a crime to go about their travel unmolested.
Commentary by Patrick G. Eddington. Originally published at Cato At Liberty. https://www.cato.org/blog/transit-unions-dhs-give-america-no-ride-list