Not the Time for Legislation
Now is not the time for legislation. In the aftermath of the tragedy in Tuscon, the public discourse has turned unfortunately political. However, I say, now is not the time for legislation. Any legislation at this point would be purely reactionary and would not serve the nation. People have cited gun control, reinstating the fairness doctrine, limiting congressional appearances, and expanding the U.S. Marshall Service for each representative.
It is only normal after such a terrible event to want to make sure it never happens again. However, now is not the time to make decisions with so many ramifications on our rights as citizens. In regards to gun control, people can obtain guns no matter what, and if people want to harm others they will, with a gun or otherwise. The Fairness Doctrine is a major assault on free speech and shouldn’t even be considered because it won’t help anything. Limiting congressional appearances limits the access of the public to their representatives, which limits our democratic process. BIll O’Reilly recently suggested expanding the U.S. Marshalls to guard representatives in D.C. and on their travels. I don’t think that will deter insane people like Jared Loughner, and one Marshall can only protect so many people, let alone the cost involved. So what do we do? Where do the answers lie?
If representatives want to have bolstered security at events with police, metal detectors, etc, that is their prerogative. However, representatives need to remain as available to their constituents and security cannot stop everything. If people are crazy as Jared Loughner is, they are going to find a way to hurt someone if they are set on doing so. What is clear from this situation is that both the police, and the university had multiple chances to get Loughner the mental help he needed to avoid this terrible situation. Keeping people safe from nuts like Loughner starts with individuals in authority being responsible to recognize the danger signs when they come in contact with them. This may have been avoided if people would have acted when Loughner showed so much aggression.
Let’s hope this never happens again and we become more vigil for situations like this in the future. But jumping to conclusions about highly partisan, reactionary legislation should be avoided. Reactionary legislation is never good legislation.