Why Would Anyone Want to Attack a TSA Agent?

This past Friday, 23-year-old Paul Ciancia walked into Los Angeles International Airport's Terminal 3 and used his legally-purchased assault rifle to kill one TSA agent and wound two others. Before the shooting, Ciancia made “the conscious decision to try to kill” TSA employees in order to "instill fear in their traitorous minds," according to a letter found in his possession. But where would anyone get the idea that TSA employees are worthless, rights-violating, traitorous federal agents that should be stopped?

From Ron Paul, maybe? The former Texas representative and sometime presidential candidate thinks TSA agents are "jack-booted thugs" whose "authority is thoroughly dangerous, un-American, and insulting to earlier freedom-loving generations who built this country."

Or maybe from Paul's fans and friends in conservative media? They certainly liked his language—columnist and radio host Todd Starnes referred to TSA agents as "government-sanctioned thugs" and Fox News contributor Judge Napolitino called TSA agents both thugs and perverts.

Or maybe from National Review columnist Jonah Goldberg, who suggested in 2011 that it might be time for a “Jihad” against the TSA and compared its agents to programmed machines incapable of using common sense.

Or former Fox News host Glenn Beck, who once theorized that the TSA's attempt to unionize was somehow part of a plan by President Obama to create his own private army.

Or Beck's former colleague Geraldo Rivera, who claimed he "was manually raped" during a pat-down by a TSA agent who, according to Rivera, seemed to be "getting off on it."

Or maybe he picked it up from Drudge-report favorite Alex Jones (Boston bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev was a fan) who's said "airport thugs are out of control."

("Our show was the detonator on the cap of the TSA story, and Drudge was the barrel of the gun," Jones told Rolling Stone. "The result was a direct head shot on the New World Order.")

Or Wisconsin Rep. Tom Petri, who thinks TSA agents treats Americans “like prisoners,”or Texas State Senator Dan Patrick, who once compared the fight against TSA pat-downs to a 19th century battle between Texas and Mexico in which Texans fought to protect a beloved cannon.

Or maybe from Florida Rep. John Mica, the chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure committee, who is one of Congress' most vocal critics of the agency and regularly implies that its agents' jobs are pointless. “I think we're safer today,” Mica said in 2011, because “the American flying public will not let a terrorist take over an aircraft.” Mica has also called TSA pat-downs an “insult to the freedom of the American people."

Or if not Ron Paul, his son Rand? The plagiarism-prone senator from Kentucky said in May 2012 that “it’s time to END the TSA and get the government’s hands back to only stealing our wallets instead of groping toddlers and grandmothers.”

[Image via AP]