Monday, December 28, 2009

A Regulatory War

I've long been a critic of the way America has fought the war on terrorism since Bill Clinton was President because I don't think we've learned anything from the many terrorist attacks against America from the first strike against the World Trade Center to the recent attempted hijacking of a Northwest Airlines flight. It's almost like we don't take international terrorism seriously, as can be seen with Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano's absurd statement about the prevented hijacking, "The system worked." Ms. Napolitano, if the system worked, why did it take two passengers to stop the terrorist?

It occurred to me today that we've been trying to fight the war on terrorism with legal remedies instead of actually fighting back. Let's say there's a terrorist attack where Silly String use was implied. Instead of trying to go after anyone who might use Silly String or something more dangerous, our response in recent years has been to attempt to regulate Silly String use by those who haven't ever used it for terrorist purposes. This hurts on two fronts. First, it unnecessarily burdens the law-abiding. Second, it doesn't even address the real problem, that being the people who would use various objects to commit acts of terrorism.

If this approach sounds familiar to you, it should, especially if you're a gun owner. The Left has used this same approach to try to curtail gun crimes, and as we've seen, it hasn't worked out very well. Regardless of the volume of gun laws on the books already, gun control advocates think there aren't enough and propose more. More laws that will be ignored by the criminals and adhered by the law-abiding.

Maybe it's me, but I have yet to find evidence of a terrorist attack thwarted by the threat of prosecution under the law. Yet, that hasn't stopped the government from thinking it was only a matter of time before it happens. Personally, I'm not holding my breath waiting for it to happen, nor am I holding my breath waiting for our government to realize the insanity of treating terrorism like a legal matter.

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