Mark Steyn writes:
But I wonder these days if it’s not the other way around, and that a cynical acceptance of the need to avoid “liability” provides cover for a massive statist expansion under the convenient catch-all of “safety”. What’s interesting is that both the town constable and the sheriff assume that “safety” is something that is in the gift of the state, and that only the government can confer. Aside from being, as a practical matter, complete codswallop, that ought to be philosophically anathema to Americans. As Laura Rosen Cohen likes to say, apropos the last minute cancellations of speeches by Ann Coulter or Geert Wilders or whoever because of “security concerns”, “security is the new shut up”. Yet, if you accept Constable Godfrey’s and Sherrif Bohnyak’s obscenely expansive definition of “safety”, you don’t have to be in the least bit controversial or remotely risky: they’ll shut you up for doing things every American took for granted until the day before yesterday. You might as well just shelter in place permanently, curled up in a fetal position with your celebratory Stars and Stripes fluttering from your butt.