Boze and Shapiro say no to new helicopter regulations after tragedy

By Neal McNamara | March 20, 2014
News Chopper Crash

It seems like every time a tragedy strikes, government tries to step in with some new law or regulation to prevent said tragedy from happening again.

After Sept. 11, there was a huge push to strengthen security at airports; belts and shoes had to come off, lines got longer, and pat downs became enhanced. After mass public shootings, security at schools and movie theaters became intrusive, and there were of course attempts to curb gun rights.

Now, after the tragic KOMO TV helicopter crash at the Seattle Center on Tuesday, government has may step in with new regulations targeting helipads and helicopter use in the city.

In a press conference on Tuesday, Mayor Ed Murray said that the city would review helipad standards.

“We want to understand what actually happened, to understand what we need to do in the future to prevent this from happening,” Murray told reporters. “We want to understand if there’s something we should do [differently].”

But KTTH hosts David Boze and Ben Shapiro say government intervention is often flawed, and rarely prevents tragedies from reoccurring. Though it might feel good to look at new helicopter regulations, the government should consider whether new rules could even prevent such a spectacular tragedy.

“I understand the knee jerk reaction here, which is that something bad happened, so we have to get government involved,” said Shapiro. “The truth is we’ve been experiencing helicopter flight here in Seattle for several decades. This is the first major crash taking lives. The idea that we need massive new regulation, it demonstrates a certain addiction to what government can and can’t do. We tend to believe that government has the capacity to keep us safe.”

Helicopter crashes are “highly unusual” events, Boze says, and said that a cause for the accident must be found before beginning to explore creating new government regulations.

“It’s not that it’s by nature a bad idea to take a look at your policies,” Boze said. “I just found it fascinating that the instant reaction was, ‘something’s happening, therefore we must have a new government policy.’”

Shapiro pointed out that after new regulations went into place after Sept. 11, and even after last year’s Boston Marathon bombing, we opened our personal lives up to new intrusions. And, we’re not necessarily safer for doing so.

“The government sees itself as a cure all; the truth is, government fails over and over,” Shapiro says. “If you give government the ability to check emails, to check phone calls, you’ll still get a Boston bombing. If you give government the ability to screen us at the airports, you’ll still get a shoe bomber.

“Government can’t always protect us. If we believe government has the capacity to do things it can’t do, we’re more likely to sign up for violations of our rights.”

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