We Need A LawWritten by Tim Higgins | | firstname.lastname@example.org
There’s still very little known about the Terrorist attack that occurred at the end of the Boston marathon; and like most in this country, my heart goes out to the victims and their families. As serious as I consider this contemptible act of terrorism however, I can’t help but find myself wondering how our nation’s lawmakers will react; even before the dust settles.
“You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before,” is what former Obama Chief of Staff and now Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is famous for saying. And after watching the legislative malfeasance of the gun control debate since the Newtown shooting, none of which would do anything to prevent future such calamities, I can’t help but wonder what many of them have on their tiny little minds in the wake of this terrible event. Certainly there will be calls for new regulations on the purchase of gun powder, in spite of the fact that the ingredients for black powder are common enough and the manufacturing process certainly requires no great skill. (Hell, Captain Kirk made the stuff during a ‘Star Trek’ episode while running from a lizard-man alien.)
Now while I don’t want to make light of terrible situation, I can’t help but take the typically ridiculous thinking of legislators these days to their illogical conclusion. Doing so, one can’t help but consider that someone right now is probably using the instructions for terrorist use of pressure cookers (which might also be considered ‘semi-automatic’ cookery) to wonder if there’s political hay to be made in calling for the need for new safety regulations, size limits, or background checks to be required for some kitchen appliances. After all, if a pressure cooker can easily be modified to act as the vessel for an explosive device, how then should we treat a crock pot or a blender with a locking lid. Heaven only know what use might be made of a microwave if power was available.
(In spite of decrying the constant overreach of government, I can recognize the desire to impose restrictions where certain cooking implements are concerned. This has nothing to do with terrorist activity, but more with the concept of restricting food preparation to those whose previous efforts haven’t already caused significant harm.)
Maybe instead they could simply ban the practice of running marathons. Didn’t Pheidippides, the Greek who first ran the distance from Marathon to Athens from which such events get their name, collapse and die after completing his task. Wouldn’t a caring legislature seek to protect us from competing with other madmen (and stopwatches) in these potentially suicidal 26 mile, 385 yard events designed to put undue stress on both heart and limbs? Shouldn’t government save us from them, if they could now potentially expose us to public attack? Why can’t we just gather in a well-secured building, hand out a few participation trophies, and call it a day?
In spite of how ludicrous all of these things might sound, you can bet that there’s someone out there that will be grabbing a headline by calling for legislation to protect us from anything and everything resembling the threat of this latest tragedy. Perhaps it will simply be a call for the installation of more police cameras that the major cities have already become increasingly fond of on race routes. Maybe there will be calls to form and deploy teams of Department of Homeland Security officers at public events with large crowds. (They could use those new armored troop carriers that they’ve recently purchased to get them there.) Maybe we simply need to install airport scanners to screen anyone entering anything resembling a crowded public event.
Anyone who has looked at history since 9/11 can see the signs. From the creation of “The Patriot Act” with its warrant-less wiretaps to warrant-less IRS access to emails, from mandated school diets to mandatory school ID’s with locator chips; we’ve become a nation increasingly willing to forgo a bit of personal freedom and abandon a little personal responsibility to an intrusive (but caring) government’s attempt to provide us a modicum of safety that doesn’t exist. It’s enough to exhaust a guy’s tin-foil supply making hats.
In the end, I’m not sure which I find more despicable: the terrorist who takes advantage of my innocence to attempt to steal my freedom (if not my life) through the commission of his murderous acts, the politician who takes advantage of my subsequent fear to further the process, or the increasing numbers of a sheep-like population that not only accepts this as the norm, but longs for the docility of the herd offered to them as they return to the charms of Honey Boo Boo.