Re "Airline Defends Banning Bush Guard From Flight," Jan. 4: An Arab American Secret Service agent alleges bias when he attempted to board a flight. Should individuals, even those in law enforcement, be allowed to board an airplane with a firearm? My response is unequivocally, no.
The first and obvious problem, as noted by the pilot of the American Airlines flight, is determining the validity of identification. With the large number of police agencies and varying identification documents, can we ask pressured airline security to separate the real from the bogus? One must also consider the possibility that a law enforcement officer may be suffering from drug or alcohol abuse or mental illness. Do we want such a person to be armed on an aircraft? I would worry that an officer might respond inappropriately to a perceived threat. There is always the possibility that potential terrorists or hijackers might become aware that an officer is armed and might succeed in overpowering him.