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The Tucson memes

I had the opportunity to listen to a fair amount of talk radio Friday while traveling.  Not surprisingly, much of the talk focused on the shooting in Tucson.

AP reports this morning that there may be other Jared Lee Loughners walking around loose:

The gunman accused of trying to assassinate Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and killing six others, Jared Lee Loughner, was not on any government watch list that might have warned someone not to sell him a gun or caused police to investigate his unstable behavior.It turns out there is not a list in the United States for people like Loughner.

This tracks with what I heard more than once on Friday.  Watch for these memes in the coming weeks:

  • The government needs the power to lock up potentially dangerous people against their will and/or the will of their families.
  • The government needs the power to force potentially dangerous people to take meds (i.e., drugs before bullets).
  • The government needs the power to make it near impossible to buy a gun.
  • The government needs whatever power it says is necessary to insure Absolutely Total Security.

In other words, there is already growing a call to build a department of pre-crime — thought police — to prevent another tragic event like this.

The problem is that total security is a myth, especially in a free society.

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