California shooting shows security vulnerabilities on buses
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Would-be plotters bent on staging an attack aboard a passenger plane know they've first got to pass through a gauntlet of security measures at an airport, from body scans and spot interrogations to pat-downs and even close scrutiny of their shoes.
But a shooting that killed a person and wounded five this week on a Greyhound bus in California illustrates a stark reality about security on buses and trains: Anyone determined to carry out an attack on ground transportation faces few, if any, security checks.
The comparative scant security prompted at least one survivor of Monday's shooting on the bus heading from Los Angeles to San Francisco to rethink his future mode of travel.
“I think I will just fly from now on," Mark Grabban said.
He was on the bus with his girlfriend when a passenger who'd been muttering and cursing opened fire with a semi-automatic handgun.
Grabban's perception was that Greyhound worried more about stopping passengers from smoking and talking too loudly than ensuring no one got aboard with a gun.
"It’s astounding and shameful,” the 30-year-old said.
Greyhound has declined to comment.
In the four years after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, some U.S. lawmakers complained that way too little federal money was spent on ground transit security compared with what was spent on airports. Then-U.S. Rep. David Obey, a Wisconsin Democrat, estimated that $22 billion had gone into airline security in those years, while less than $550 million went to security for buses, trains, subways and ferries combined.
There's no indication spending gaps have closed. That's true even though vastly more people get on a bus, train or subway than on planes each day. More than 30 million Americans use ground transit daily, compared with around 2...