JEFF JACOBY’S recent opinion piece was instructive in a way he may not have intended (“Inner angels vs. innate evil,” Op-ed, Jan. 2). He mentioned regulations that made it illegal to carry box cutters on airplanes after they were used in the 9/11 terrorist hijackings.
I wonder if, at the time, there was an outcry from law-abiding box-cutter enthusiasts who feared that their rights were being trampled on. Or, if the rich and powerful box-cutter lobby trotted out their tired “box cutters don’t cut people; people cut people” slogan while their accountants tried to calculate the impact in lost profits.
No matter, the government and airlines knew that they had the responsibility and, importantly, the liability, to protect paying passengers from the known potential danger of box cutters on an airplane.
Maybe we should all pretend that America is one big 747 and that as taxpayers we’ve paid our fare and are entitled to expect safe passage to our exciting destination (let’s call it “the land of the pursuit of happiness”). From that perspective, doesn’t our government have a responsibility to take every necessary measure to protect citizens from the known potential danger of gun misuse? And, isn’t the national scourge of gun violence really our greatest threat to homeland security?