Imagine a call dispatched to the police officers in town:
“Attention all cars. Be on the lookout for a suspect in the Green Hills robbery. Surveillance tapes shows the suspect to be a bald white male between the ages of 18 and 35, about 5’6″ in height, and around 140 pounds. Last seen headed south on Main Street in a white Ford Bronco. Suspect is armed and considered dangerous. Proceed with caution.”
Now imagine the same dispatched call in a world more concerned with feelings than with catching the bad guys:
“Attention all cars. Be on the lookout for a suspect in the Green Hills robbery. Surveillance tapes shows the suspect, but because of a recent ACLU case, we are unable to release a description of the suspected perpetrator. Suspect was last seen on Main Street. Stop and question every car going north or south on Main Street, being sure to submit randomly selected cars to additional searches and dog sniffing. We are unable to state whether the suspect is armed and considered dangerous. Proceed as if everything were normal.”
Sounds pretty silly, no? Well, it’s closer to being reality than you may think. We live in a world where Islamic nutjobs have declared war against the West and happily chant “Death to America!” But we can’t acknowledge who our enemies are. It is silly to carefully search little old grannies, former Vice Presidents, and current Senators and think we are doing a good job at stopping the madmen. We know who they are. Robert Poole has written what we need to do. Here’s just one paragraph from a long and very worthwhile article:
We don’t need to ban water from planes; we need to keep terrorists off them. To most effectively do so, we need to get over our obsession with “bad” things (laptops, lighters, bottled water) and start looking for bad people.
We know who the dangerous people are, so it makes more sense to focus our attention on the people who wish us harm over innocent people like little old grannies, former Vice Presidents, and current Senators. The ACLU whines about violating people’s civil rights if they are profiled. I don’t call it profiling; I call it a “description of the perpetrator.”
Cox and Forkum have boiled this down in a recent cartoon.