LP Monday Message: TSA, security, and overreaction

January 10, 2011

Dear Friend of Liberty,

The Libertarian Party has posted a statement from our chair, Mark Hinkle, condemning the recent shooting in Arizona.

While some Congressmen are making noises about new laws and restrictions, I think it’s important for Libertarians to remain calm and stick to our libertarian principles.

Many of the bad laws and policies we have on the books are due to overreacting to some occurrence. That was one of the major themes at the recent TSA conference where the Libertarian Party participated.

I’m not certain who said it at the conference, but I believe it was Congressman Rush Holt who made a statement along the lines of, "Something bad happens. People demand Congress do ‘something’ about it. Congress comes up with ‘something.’ And so ‘something’ gets implemented, even if it doesn’t do any good, because in the minds of Congress and the voters, ‘something’ is better than nothing."

That’s how government gets bigger, more expensive, and intrudes on our freedom.

As covered at the National Journal site, I made the comment, "Ralph Nader has always been a strong consumer safety advocate. He often sees a role for government in providing safety. Libertarians would like to see the government do less. When Libertarians and Ralph Nader agree a program is bad…it’s time for our government to listen."

The full text of my comments to the conference are available here.

We’ve gotten a significant amount of coverage on this issue and I’m hopeful we’ll actually make a difference in the outcome.

I was interviewed by WMAL radio in Washington, DC, Bob Conners at WTVN in Columbus, Ohio, and KRLD/CBS radio in Dallas.

Additionally, C-SPAN called as a result of our press release, attended, and recorded the entire conference. We’ll let you know when it’s scheduled to run on TV and when it is posted online.

The Libertarian Party makes a difference when we partner with other groups on issues where we agree. Much of our participation fighting the TSA full-body scanners can be credited to individual libertarian activist James Babb who started We Won’t Fly, to Ralph Nader for encouraging our participation, and to Mark Hinkle for participating in numerous conference calls with other organizations to plan the efforts.


Wes Benedict
Executive Director
Libertarian National Committee

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