Yet another problem with liberalism

The other day on the radio, the talk-show guy was talking about the airport security guys who’ve been copping feels under the guise of “security screenings.” He was arguing against that in favor of profiling passengers. He said one thing, though, that just crystallized the whole matter for me.

“They’re looking for bombs. I want them looking for bombers.”

He was dead right, and he summed up one of the biggest problems liberals have today. They believe that if you simply remove the means that people use to be bad, they’ll stop being bad.

Got a problem with people bringing weapons and/or bombs on airplanes? Presume EVERYONE will have them and want to use them, and frisk them all equally thoroughly. Got a problem with people shooting each other? Presume that everyone who has a gun is just one bad day from going postal, and toss up all the roadblocks you can to keep the guns out of everyone’s hands.

Some conservatives are just as bad. Some sex offenders and child molesters like porn? Ban it ALL. Some people using illegal drugs do dangerous and/or criminal things? Ban them ALL, lock ’em up, and throw away the key.

It all boils down to a fundamental unwillingness to trust people to act responsibly, combined with an unwillingness to actually hold them accountable when they don’t.

I can kind of understand it. If given a choice between confronting a person over their misconduct directly and asking a whole group to make a common sacrifice “for the greater good” or “for the children,” I know which I’d find easier. But as so often is the case, “easier” is usually not “better” or “fairer.”

I guess I just disagree with the notion that if you limit the ways in which people can misbehave, you limit actual misbehavior. It’s been my observation that those who want to do wrong will do so, and no silly laws or barriers aimed at gently dissuading them will do a damned bit of good. I’m much more comfortable with the “innocent until proven guilty” model, which presumes people will NOT go whacko just because they can.

The finest example of just how foolish it is to hope that such tactics will achieve anything was a five-year-old boy I once knew. His parents were bound and determined to raise him free of violence, and had therefore banned him from owning any type of toy guns, knives, or any other type of weapon. His favorite toy was a squeaky, rubber railroad locomotive.

Which he carried around and pointed like a gun, shouting “Bang! Bang!”


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