Rand Paul Follows Dad in Solo Dissent

From the Wall Street Journal:

Like father, like son. Libertarian-leaning Rep. Ron Paul (R., Texas) is known in the House as a frequenter lone dissenter on bills. Today, his son, freshman Sen. Rand Paul (R., Ky.), voiced the only “nay” vote on a measure that outlaws aiming a laser pointer at an aircraft.

The amendment to a Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization bill passed 96-1.

Let me guess. There’s nothing in the Constitution that says we can’t point lasers at aircraft?

The younger Mr. Paul said he thought it was a bad idea to point lasers at pilots, but “there are a lot of states that already have laws, and I think the states ought to take care of it.”

Damn. States’ rights. That was my third guess after something about gold.

13 Comments

    1. The cat lobby has not issued an official statement on this matter. A press conference is scheduled for late this afternoon in the sunny spot on the living room floor.

  1. yeah that’s pretty much all of the Paul’s arguments. The federal gov’t is too big. This extends into the Fed ruining our monetary system by printing tons of money. But thanks to general dismissal of all things you disagree with i doubt you’ll look into it. long time reader would love some semblance of research to back up all the disparaging remarks. thanks

  2. He does have something of a point, though. Just because something ought to be illegal does not mean it ought to be the federal government handling it. And this isn’t even one of those things that by any stretch falls under “interstate commerce”.

    1. So do you think that airports should have two air traffic control systems then – the existing FAA system for interstate flights and a state system for purely intrastate flights?

    2. By any stretch? How about this: most planes fly interstate (or even international) routes. Pretty much all planes carry commercial cargo, or people who paid to be on the flight. Thus, any reasonable person can assume that a plane flying overhead is engaging in interstate commerce in some way, and to aim a laser pointer at the plane runs a risk of dangerously affecting interstate and international travel and commerce. The federal government and the FAA have a legitimate interest in protecting that interstate and international commerce.

      1. Pretty much all trucks are in fact carrying goods across state lines. Thus, any reasonable person can assume that a truck driving by is engaging in interstate commerce in some way, and to hijack the truck runs a risk of dangerously affecting interstate and international travel and commerce. So it’s a federal issue, right? It’s a federal crime?

        Except that it’s only a federal crime if you’re transporting goods across state lines. Because only then are you engaging in interstate commerce, so only then is it a federal issue. This is no different.

      2. So, Ddes, it should be up to the states to determine the laws about the people’s right to interfere with air travel, and if, say, Kansas fails to pass a law, airliners should take care flying over Kansas?

      3. Or we could not act as though states were irresponsible children. We don’t make that sort of argument about any other similar issue. “Petty theft should be a federal crime, because otherwise what if California fails to pass a law – then people would have to take care owning things in California.” Wait, no, something is wrong about that…

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