June 21, 2016
There is no perfect policy that will prevent bad things from happening. There are only trade offs between costs and benefits.
In the wake of the tragedy in Orlando, it seems everyone is trying to spin what happened in order to promote a political agenda, claiming that if their favorite policy were in place it could have been prevented. Democratic politicians and their media sycophants have been using it to promote gun control, again. Trump and his supporters are ranting about Muslim immigration. (What Republican politicians think isn’t clear; I’m not sure there actually is a Republican party any more.)
If a madman wants to kill a lot of people, he’ll find a way, even if he can’t get any guns. (And just passing legislation wouldn’t mean such a person wouldn’t find a way to get guns.)
Some people are making a lot over the fact that the Orlando killer (I don’t intend to dignify him by using his name) was investigated by the FBI but they didn’t do anything. The reason the FBI didn’t do anything is because he hadn’t (yet) broken any laws, and they acted correctly in this. If we start persecuting people because they say crazy things and we think they might commit a crime, how are we any different from the fascists or communists?
If we give people freedom, some of them will choose evil. If we don’t give people freedom, those who do choose evil seem to always end up enforcing the rules intended to prevent evil. We live in an imperfect world, and attempts to create perfection usually end up promoting more evil. This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do anything, but we should be cautious about unintended consequences, and we shouldn’t jump on every tragic event as an excuse to push an agenda.