In speaking about gun control today, Vice President Joe Biden set the bar pretty low for the impact of new policy:
“As the president said, if your actions result in only saving one life, they’re worth taking. But I’m convinced we can affect the well-being of millions of americans and take thousands of people out of harm’s way if we act responsibly.”
The absurdity of that statement shouldn’t be lost on the public, not the least of which because it justifies a lot of bad policy.
For instance, we could probably save one life by banning automobiles tomorrow. After all, in 2011 more than 32,000 Americans died in car accidents. No more cars almost certainly means lives saved.
We could also save a lot of lives by instituting government-mandated diets. Heart disease kills nearly 600,000 Americans annually, and diabetes claims more than 230,000. If the government mandated our diets, we’d save one life. Heck, why not institute a mandatory exercise program too? I mean, it would probably save one life, so it’s worth doing right?
Let’s ban bicycling, mountain climbing and sky diving too. They’re dangerous past times. People die doing them, and if we can save just one life…
I think you get my drift.
We could save a lot of lives by making ourselves less free. That doesn’t mean we should.
When politicians say silly things like this, it almost makes one think that they’re trying push through legislation by appealing to emotion instead of logic.