Quotation Of The Day

Dave Killion — July 25, 2012

“It is always hard to design licensing systems to stop dangerous behaviors like driving automobiles, controlling the sale of hard drugs, or using guns. The root of the problem is this: The ‘ex post’┬áremedy that goes after wrongdoers runs only a small risk of over-breadth, which can usually be limited by having suitable punishment procedures. Licensing regimes, in contrast, are always overbroad. They will result in social losses by stopping the use of guns, cars, or drugs (think medical marijuana) by people who will make perfectly legitimate use of the dangerous instrument in question.”

Richard Epstein, Will Banning Guns Prevent Another Aurora?

This reminds me of our provincial Drinking Driving Counterattack┬áprogram, which impedes so many innocent people, rather than using the same resources to pursue only those who have committed a crime. The courts justify this over-broad tactic as satisfying a “compelling interest” of the state’s. I would think that the state would have an even more compelling interest in maintaining respect for the law, but it appears that practices which aim for deterrence garner more votes, regardless of outcomes.

 

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