Warren Meyer warns us that they are up to their usual tricks. This time, fortunately, it appears that they will not be able to exploit tragedy successfully.
We libertarians cringe when presented with a â€œnational tragedyâ€ like the shooting of Gabriella Giffords. Not because we are somehow more or less sensitive to violence and loss of life, but because we begin bracing for the immediate, badly thought-out expansion of state power that nearly always follows any such tragedy, whether it be 9/11 or Columbine or Oklahoma City or even Pearl Harbor. Those looking to expand the power of the state, and of state officials, make their greatest progress in the emotional aftermath of a such a tragedy. These tragedies are the political equivalent of the power play in ice hockey, when defenders of liberty find themselves temporarily shorthanded, and those wishing to expand state power rush to take advantage.
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