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•Disband the FBI, NSA, and maybe a whole host of other agencies. •Open replacement agencies as needed, but anyone over GS-11 from old agencies is ineligible for service. •Anyone GS-11 or below may be hired, but on a probationary basis.
American government mostly works by interposition, standing between us, the free people at whose sufferance it exists, and the things we want to do. Want to drive a car? “F*** you, pay me.” Own a home? “F*** you, pay me.” Want to build an extension on that home? “F*** you, pay me.” Got a job? “F*** you, pay me.” Business good? “F*** you, pay me.” Business bad? “F*** you, pay me.”
The guiding principle of American law enforcement is that it is easiest to enforce the law on law-abiding people, while enforcing the law on outlaws is something that looks terrifyingly close to hard work. That’s why gun control so ensorcels the bureaucratic mind. (Which is to say, the progressive mind: The essence of progressivism is replacing organic institutions with permanent bureaucracies.) If you are a federal law-enforcement agent with a comfy desk chair, you probably cannot imagine a more attractive anticrime program than gun control. Gun dealers have federal licenses, and they have to apply for them: You don’t have to go tracking them down — they come to you. They fill out paperwork. They generally operate from fixed addresses with regular business hours. Convenient! What you have is the power of political interposition, which is a mild form of terrorism. Want to operate a sporting-goods store? “F*** you, pay me.” And — mirabile dictu! — they pay. Sometimes, they even evince gratitude that you’ve done them the great favor of taking their money and allowing them, generous fellow that you are, to dispose of their own property as they see fit.
Chasing down fleet-footed 18-year-old criminals through the rough parts of Chicago on a cold February evening? That’s work. And that’s why we don’t do squat to prosecute actual gun crimes — the U.S. attorney’s office in Chicago won’t even look at a straw-buyer case unless it’s a major organized-crime enterprise — but we twist ourselves into knots to figure out how to create new hoops for federally licensed firearms dealers and their customers to jump through every time some pasty-faced virgin shoots up a school.
Chasing around pasty-faced virgins is work, too. Sometimes, you have to go so far as to pick up the phone.
As Dan McLaughlin tweeted on this yesterday, "Harsh, but this is the 4th major shooting where the authorities were warned."
I've come to the conclusion that the authorities don't care. We pay them too much, we demand too little, and as Williamson notes, the Federal government looks and acts increasingly like a protection racket.
I'm afraid we're not far from "Take off and nuke the site from orbit -- it's the only way to be sure."