Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Knee-Jerk Feel-Good Legislation

According to the Huffington Post, Representative Peter King (R - NY), will sponsor new legislation involving guns. The proposed law would

make it illegal to bring a gun within 1,000 feet of a government official ... It is already illegal in the U.S. to carry a gun within 1,000 feet of a school. King's legislation to make it illegal to knowingly carry a gun within 1,000 feet of the president, vice president, members of Congress or judges of the Federal Judiciary, would offer government officials the same protection.
It's disappointing that such a typical knee-jerk reaction comes from a member of the GOP. No doubt Peter King and others who support such a law are well-aware that it does nothing to prevent the type of incident that occurred in Arizona. Lunatics who stalk and gun down their targets, along with various bystanders, are not exactly noted for obeying laws of any kind. I'm sure if this law had been in place the Arizona killer would have stopped and thought, hey, wait a minute. I can't go shoot Congresswoman Giffords. I'm not allowed to bring a gun within a thousand feet of her. Oh well, I guess I'll have to leave her alone.

This is yet another standard example of a politician responding to the idea that we have to do something, anything, no matter how pointless it might be. If he gets a new law passed he can pretend to have addressed the problem, claim credit for being tough on crime against government officials, and add another talking point to his campaign advertising.


  1. What about if a politician attends an NRA rally, or simply happens to have gun-owning neighbours?

  2. Those are the kind of questions politicians never bother to consider before rushing to pass laws in response to some incident.