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[Ben]:For thee, not for me: Pt 1241 Discuss This [0 comments so far] View Comments
Whenever the Feds pass another law, it seems like government agencies are the favorites to get exempted from the impact of the law. The logic of the exceptions has always seemed pretty weak to me.

For instance, it was determined in 1994 that certain types of semi-automatic weapons were evil and must be banned based on their physical appearance. Supporters of this legislation said:
Assault weapons are the weapons of choice for criminals -- from gang members to grievance killers and potential terrorists.

These weapons, such as AK-47s and TEC-9s, have no legitimate civilian use and were designed with just one purpose in mind -- the killing of human beings.

These guns are often used for drive-by shooters and criminals going into a major criminal event – who are seeking to do the maximum damage possible in the shortest amount of time.

In short, "assault weapons" - in the eyes of these individuals - serve only massacre large numbers of innocent humans at a time. When it was brought to the attention of the bill's authors that these weapons were pretty common for police, they (and other government agencies) were immediately exempted.

If these guns have no legitimate purpose, why were police and government agencies excepted from the ban? Does this mean that government agents want to be prepared to slaughter innocent people? Of course not. The same things that make a weapon effective at doing harm can make the weapon effective at protecting life. In essence, this was an admission that the law itself was an emotional appeal to remove effective weapons from the hands of individuals outside the government.

Likewise, legislation passed last year will regulate the amount of money that can be charged by a credit-card processor to a merchant for debit card transactions. Seems like a decent deal, doesn't it? Credit card companies are flush with cash. They don't need to take a bite out of every purchase you make, right? Wrong. You're going to pay for it one way or another. Either the credit card companies take it from the store (who in turn passes it on to you), or they are going to take it directly from you via fees and rate increases.

So of course State governments raised some concerns. They noted that as heavy users of debit cards in place of unemployment and welfare checks, they might be impacted by providers of prepaid debit card services who are certain to make up for the lost fees by increasing the cost of that service. In order to secure the support of state government, official state debit cards were quickly exempted. Of course, your debit card will still enjoy all the fee increases because ... well, I'm not sure why exactly that should be, but you are clearly not as important.

These are just two brief examples of something that happens all the time. A law is proposed and passed that will supposedly be universally beneficial. When it inevitably is found to be more harmful than beneficial, exceptions are granted to states, government agencies, police, unions, corporations, etc, etc.

But you? Enjoy your Carmel Bus Ride.
  2011-02-11
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For thee, not for me: Pt 1241
 
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