What these frantic folks have forgotten is that most of the post-9/11 domestic security upgrades did nothing to upgrade security. They just made it more unpleasant to fly or enter a public building or exercise our right to free speech. Real terrorists probably had a chuckle about that, before getting back to developing more ingenious ways to kill us.
As the fallout from the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy settles, we seem intent on overreacting in much the same way. Politicians will have the final say as to who can purchase a gun. Schools will be surrounded by concertina wire with drones keeping watch overhead. And anybody who displays any sign of unconventionality will be pumped full of Thorazine.
We could require background checks on buyers at gun shows and in private sales — even though the Connecticut shooter didn't buy the guns he used. He stole them. Which is already against the law.
We could ban assault weapons and large clips — even though there are plenty of both in circulation, so such a law would create a lucrative black market.
We can place restrictions on video games, forcing teenagers to take out their frustrations not by playing Assassins Creed 3, but with Hello Kitty Claws the Sofa. (If it's true these games alter kids' behavior, that'll be a big boost for the reupholstering industry.)
And we can start re-education camps for libertarians like me, who since 9/11 have developed a resistance to being told what size shampoo bottle they can put in their carry-on bags, and who, even in the mourning period for Newtown, still can't bring themselves to accept pointless attempts at g-g-gun con-con-con . . . damn.
If you believe in shoot first, ask questions later, it's time for the questions, emailed to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.