This story in the Post provides a good wrap-up of the policy implications of the air marshal shooting in Miami yesterday. My take on this: the incident, while tragic in many respects, is exactly what had to happen. It serves as a validation that high training and performance standards for the air marshals were worthwhile. And I don’t think that anyone should be trying to get mileage in terms of future funding guidance out of this incident. Calls to expand the Federal Air Marshal Service (FAMS) because of this are misguided – we don’t need air marshals on every flight in the United States, given the many other layers of security in the system today – most importantly, cabin locks and passenger vigilance.
Update (12/8): The facts of the case seem to be evolving today, so I’ll retract any premature judgments in the first three sentences of the paragraph above. If they did shoot the guy on faulty evidence, then the current operating policies and procedures for FAMS need to be re-examined. And if, as this story in Time attests, they were treating the other passengers like terrorists, then that’s disgusting.