Wednesday, April 18, 2007

My Policy Prescriptions

So, JohnMcG, what policies would you favor in light of the VT massacre?


  • Do not pass any laws named after any of the victims of the massacre, or that contain the words "Blacksburg" or "Hokie."
  • Do not increase campus security.
  • Do not pass gun control.
  • Do not relax gun controls.
  • Do not turn next year's VT football season an inspirational story about the campus coming together in shadow of a tragedy. Let them just play the games.

The thing about tragedies like this is that the damage is not limited to the immediate victims. In many ways, we're still paying for Columbine and 9/11. Thanks to them, airline travellers have to arrive hours earlier and take off their shoes, kids get thrown out of school for having nail clippers, and we're engaged in an unwinnable war in Iraq, and have lost moral and military authority.

I am not willing to give Cho Sueng-Hiu that power. And I'm not willing to send the message that the shortest path to achieving this type of power is to commit a massacre.

This massacre didn't manifest any new technological or societal developments that must be addressed. If something was a good idea on Sunday, it's still a good idea today. And if something was a bad idea on Sunday, it's a bad idea today.

It's right and proper for us to honor the victims. But radically altering our policies in response isn't giving honor to the victims -- it's giving honor to the massacre.

And it doesn't deserve it.


twiffer said...

i agree john. people forget that being a free people involves the risk that someone might exploit that freedom for evil purposes. that's the price and the risk. frankly, it's a bit frightening at times. but the alternative is a cage. that's far, far worse.

twiffer said...


Keifus said...

Nice set of bullet points, John. I agree.

maximo said...

hmm. nobody likes the idea of diffuse causation.