Doing Something Stupid In The Name Of Doing Something

Uncle AndrewUncle Andrew
Filed under: @ 7:37 am

The Senate is currently reviewing the REAL ID Act, already passed by the House. It would require state licensing authorities to obtain 4 to 6 pieces of identification from every person who requests a driver’s license, and to research every one of these pieces to insure that they are genuine.

Of course, no one is saying where the states are supposed to come up with the Congressional Budget Office’s projected cost of over $450 million for this program.

The money, however, is the least of it to me. How is it that some Republicans can say with a straight face, “If guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns”, and then turn around and assert that making driver’s licenses hard for people to legally obtain will keep Al Qaeda from getting them? Perhaps it’s been a while since many members of our House of Representatives were in college, but having myself been in a position to observe the behavior of college students in their natural habitat, I can tell you that securing a fake driver’s license isn’t that big a deal. If thousands of frat boys can do it every year, what’s to stop a well-funded extremist group?

And while we’re on the subject, how will enforcement and deterrence be handled? Will possession of a fake ID suddenly become a matter of national security? Will the Department of Homeland Security begin sweeping the watering holes that surround our college campuses, gathering up the overprivileged-but-underaged and carting them off to the Gitmo for questioning and possible indefinite internment?

Hmm. How odd. I’ve gone and ranted about something until it starts sounding like a good idea.

2 Responses to “Doing Something Stupid In The Name Of Doing Something”

  1. gavin Says:

    The other, perhaps more obvious, issue here is how in the the world will you get 3+ forms of ID and how do you ensure those are real. Can you even produce two forms of ID, (credit cards are not ID folks) if you are not a college student or in the military? Normally that would be a drivers license and what, a passport? We used to joke about the russians in the former USSR having to show their Id papers in order to buy groceries. I wonder if this has been proposed to our government yet as a way to keep supplies out of the hands of possible terrorists…

  2. Uncle Andrew Says:

    Oh, thank God! I was beginning to wonder if my comment form was broken 😉

    The implication seemed to be that things such as credit cards and utility bills could be used in conjunction with passports, birth certificates, etc., to help establish identification. That sort of makes sense, but the particulars have not been worked out. What countries’ birth certificates will be accepted? How will your local gas company verify that the person calling to confirm your account number is in fact from the Dpartment of Licensing and not an identity thief?

    This seems to be another one of those “unfunded mandates” that we’ve seen more and more of lately. Not only is there no money attached to this legislation, there’s no real plan. Congress really seems to think that the local DOL will just call Visa, Costco, the INS and Edison Electric every time someone walks through the door to get a driver’s license. And to think; these are the people who tend to rail against government bureaucracy….

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