Here’s classic liberal behavior:
Manufacture a “crisis” to find a problem that doesn’t exist. Come up with a regulation to solve it. And expand federal power over individual liberty while you’re at it.
Texas Democratic Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee did all of the above in the House of Representatives on Wednesday morning when she proposed a bill to cut federal funding any state that doesn’t require neighborhood watch programs to register with local police departments, according to The Hill.
Jackson Lee said her proposal, which she said would be called the Justice Exists for All Act (if she was going for a catchy acronym, it’s not clear what it was), is the correct federal response to the trial of Sanford, Fla., resident George Zimmerman, who was a local neighborhood watch coordinator when he shot unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin to death in February, 2011.
“We will … decrease the incidence of gun violence resulting from vigilantes by reducing by 20 percent the funds that would otherwise be allocated… to any state that does not require local neighborhood watch programs to be registered with a local [law] enforcement agency,” Jackson Lee said, according to The Hill.
Lee makes it sound like there’s an epidemic of gun violence “resulting from vigilantes” sweeping the country. There’s not.
Any regular reader of the New York Times knows that if there were an epidemic of gun violence from vigilantes sweeping the country, The Times would tell us. (In fact, The Times might even tell us there was if there wasn’t).
But going back for a year on the Times website turns up about 250 stories that use the word “vigilante.” In the very few where the word is used literally in a story about the United States, virtually all refer directly or indirectly to the Zimmerman trial (and that wasn’t even “vigilante violence,” according to the jury.)
Next, regulate: Lee wants to tie federal funding for things like highway construction to neighborhood watch programs being registered with their police departments.
Never mind that neighborhood watch programs have been around for decades – almost all of them set up, as Zimmerman’s was, with the knowledge and help of the local police..
Finally, expand federal power over the states, and therefore over individual Americans. Lee said her bill would use federal money to force states like Florida to get rid of “stand your ground” laws – though Florida’s had no legal bearing on the Zimmerman trial.
It’s classic liberal behavior, guided by that other liberal maxim:
“Never let a crisis go to waste.”
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