The Dangers Of Emotional Policy Making
Article from Rare by Ed Krayewski.
The debate over guns that proceeds after a mass shooting has become fairly predictable. Often, the pro-gun control talking points come out first, sometimes framed as a pre-emptive response to the anticipated argument that it’s “too soon” after tragedy to talk about the issue. Then come the anti-gun control talking points. The order, on occasion, is reversed.
In a week or so, the debate dies down, until next time.
It’s been six days since the Parkland high school shooting in Florida. This time, some media observers say, is different, because the victims, students, are speaking out. Setting aside that many in the media choose only to highlight one side of an array of student opinions, the observers could be right.
Nevertheless, formulating policies and laws based primarily on emotional reactions remains a horrible idea that usually ends up trampling on people’s rights. (Think, say, the 1995 Crime Bill or the 2001 PATRIOT Act) And so if this cycle of the gun debate is to extend beyond the talking point ping-pong, the implications for civil rights and civil liberties have to remain in the forefront of any serious discussion about new policies.
Read the entire article at Rare.
Image Credit: By KAZ Vorpal (Flickr: Declaration of Independence, with Firearm) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons