JLF head John Hood has a new column out on the politicization of tragedy. A highlight:
As for gun violence, the trend lines appear to reflect other dynamics – such as the market for illicit drugs, the treatment of mental illness, and the overall culture of aggression in a particular place – more than the availability of legal guns. Policies such as “assault weapons” bans appear to have little relationship with rates of gun violence.
Every life is precious, of course. Every life cut short by accident or violence is a tragedy. But horrific events such as the Sandy Hook shooting or teenagers killed by texting while driving are shocking because of the familiar settings involved and newsworthy precisely because they are rare. Fashioning public policies with real costs in dollars, economic growth, and personal liberty in response to rare, low-probability events is foolish and counterproductive.
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