Saturday, April 20, 2013

Washington columnist notes background checks for "speaking out"

First, I have to note how foolish the Senate looks, having turned down improved background checks for gun purchasers this week, two days before Boston was locked down to apprehend one lone gunman. But it’s also apparent that the gun control legislation before Congress is at best a partial measure for protecting the public, and cannot be easily enacted without raising the “slippery slope” arguments on other liberties.  There are other weapons that private individuals might acquire that present a far more existential threat to the public that even assault rifles or the components of IED’s (basically 1940s technology) used this week in Boston to horrific effect. 
Petula Dvorak wrote an interesting column for the Washington Post on Thursday, “After Senate collapse, a background check for speaking out, but not for buying a gun”, link here
She writes about Lori Haas, whose daughter was wounded in the Virginia Tech massacre in 2007, and about her “protesting” before the Senate and then being escorted out of the Senate chamber by Capitol Police – and subjected to a “background check”. 
That’s at least tangential, maybe a but coincidental, to concerns that unsupervised speech on the Internet makes it easier for terrorists to make weapons to carry out attacks (posting on Tuesday).  

Carmen Ortiz, US Attorney in Boston, will probably handle the prosecution after the terror attack, but she was also criticized for her "overzealousness" with Aaron Swartz. Her response to this appeared on Cnet here . The Boston Clobe had written a perspective on her in February here

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