Thursday, August 25, 2016
Right on the heels of the heroics of Louisiana's "Cajun
Navy," a Republican has come forward and inadvertently
helped us understand why his party hasn't nominated an acceptable
alternative to the Democrats in eons:
Jonathan Perry, a Republican state senator, is working on legislation that could require training, certificates and a permit fee for citizen-rescuers to bypass law enforcement into devastated areas, according to a report from WWL-TV."The intent of what I want to do is to completely unregulate it," Perry claims, believe it or not.
Perry represents Senate District 26, comprised of Vermilion Parish and portions of Acadia, Lafayette and St. Landry parishes. He took to Facebook Tuesday evening to explain the logistics of his proposed legislation, which he said is not to limit volunteer rescuers, but rather to empower them. [bold added, links in original]
The best-case scenario here is that Perry really means it, and that he sees this measure as a way to protect would-be rescuers from our wildly irrational tort system. Unfortunately, this measure is -- at best -- a band-aid on a wound a layman would say requires stitches, but a physician would know also needs surgery. To begin with, if it is so easy to sue a benefactor, or even someone who made a genuine (but unsuccessful) effort to render aid, what difference is a piece of paper with an official stamp on it really going to make? (Ask any licensed surgeon.) We needn't go further into the huge can of worms that this regulation could quickly become, but it's a further issue.
The real solution to the problem Perry claims to be attempting to solve is tort reform, and that's something he should have, perhaps quietly for now, started learning about and getting behind: It's too big for him to solve alone, even with the right tools.
That said, it bodes ill for the Republicans (and for Americans who value liberty) if Perry's demonstrated level of understanding or concern -- to solve the problem of government intrusion with more of the same -- is typical of his party. (I am afraid it is.) This is exactly what many conservatives have meant when they have repeated the maxim that "Controls breed controls." Republicans should be very concerned that their fellows are helping this problem along.
Today: Corrected several typos.