In light of the Tucson Tragedy, I would like to alter the saying of Ben Franklin to say we can measure our Freedom by the amount of protection we are afforded against the random acts of the insane. You can't have both, so you must choose. Sadly, so much of the horrific and intrusive laws that we have on the books have come as a result of the knee jerking of the public and politicians. And now, in the wake of 6 dead and many more wounded from the totally random act of violence committed by an insane person, we have every manner of person searching to do what is worse than placing blame, to legislate that such an act never occurs again. The action that results from blame is where the damage is done.
Think of how random and unpredictable this act was and how it affected a dozen out of 310 million people. Now think about how the knee jerk will end up negatively affecting the 310 million people that were not affected. Also think about the hundreds of millions to follow that this will affect. Do you feel that the measures that are being called for are in proper proportion to the tragedy. From gun control to limiting speech, the very foundation of our individual liberties is under assault.
This morning, I heard a knee jerk interview a doctor on the premise of how it is that this young man was not already locked up. The doctor went on to state the criteria it would have taken, and how unfortunate it is that our nations laws prevent the government from, in my words, locking people up for no crime on the sole basis of the testimony of people that they may be a danger to society. The news anchor immediately followed up to say that we need to change our laws so that, in my words, we can lock these people up.
Since I am not a knee jerk, I can examine the logical conclusion of such laws. When you pass a law, however benign it may seem, you must look at how that law will be interpreted by the courts and enforced by the executive branch. You must look at it from all sides and say, “If people that I don’t agree with were in power, how would they enforce that law.”
Let’s take the proposed law of the news anchor and doctor for instance. If the government is given the power to incarcerate people based solely on a subjective evaluation of a person’s ability to conduct themselves in society, then that same government can lock up political opponents because that opponent is not able to function within the society that is being created by that government. You need only look to the Soviet and Nazi model as an example.
Knee jerk laws are exclusively built on slippery slopes, the opposite of the bedrock of the laws of enumerated powers and individual freedoms. The end result of a knee jerk often ends with a knee to the groin of the nation. We must pray that the Republican majority in the House will stand up against the salivations of the Left.