A lot of us are tired of seeing our legislators make law after law, just to ride the current wave of popular issues, when we already have plenty of legitimate laws on the books, which are not being enforced.
A case in point — drive-by shootings.
There was an effort several years ago to address that “craze” in crime and many of us had to ask: Just when did it become legal to discharge a firearm in the city limits, to cause criminal damage to property, to commit aggravated assault, and to attempt murder? It would seem there were plenty of laws on the books if they were only successfully enforced and appropriate punishment was meted out.
So it would be easy to follow those same lines in regards to the current effort to create new law dealing with lasers being fired at aircraft, but officials say this is a new development that is getting more serious all the time.
According to a recent Associated Press report: “The Federal Aviation Administration says the number of incidents in which people pointed lasers at planes and helicopters nearly doubled last year, from 1,527 in 2009 to 2,836 in 2010. FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt has said that in some instances pilots have had to relinquish control of their aircraft to another pilot because they couldn’t see.”
And if that sounds serious, you’re right. It is.
Another troubling point is the availability of really powerful lasers that were once only dreamed of.
“The rise in incidents has coincided with a growing hobbyist market for handheld lasers that are far more powerful — and potentially dangerous — than the typical laser pointer. At the same time prices have dropped. Lasers that once cost more than $1,000 can now be bought online for a few hundred dollars or less.”
The Senate and House are discussing the issue and as much as we would appreciate seeing fewer new laws, this might actually be a point where the change in technology is leading to a needed change in the law.
— Chuck Smith