Wednesday, August 24, 2016

RE: Regulating the Cajun Navy

It's really funny(not funny) how some people will go to extremes to restrict liberty with the intention of making things easier/better.

We had a lot of people helped by "the Cajun Navy" during the flooding of 2016 in Louisiana. In case you are not familiar with the term, it was used to describe the unorganized group of civilians with personal boats who took to the flooded areas to rescue people stranded in their homes. Supposedly, some officials claimed to not want the civilians' help due to perceived liability. That did not stop the Cajun Navy from helping.

Now, Jonathan Perry, a politician from Kaplan is proposing legislation that would require anyone wanting to participate in rescue operations, similar to what the Cajun Navy did during the floods, would have to be trained, licensed, and have continuing education in those areas, at their own expense!

It seems to me that the result would be less people would want to participate just due to the hassle involved.

Mr. Perry posted a video explaining his reasoning. I have not watched it, but I cannot imagine any reasoning that would make me agree with it.

Usually when regulation is enacted, it is veiled as "for some group's safety"...when in reality, it actually is protecting or enabling another group or entity an upper hand. What are the possibilities here? Maybe someone has a rescue service and wants to be able to say all of our teams are certified...or maybe somebody has an interest in providing the training required by the regulation.

I don't know that either of these scenarios apply to the situation, but it begs the question "What is the real driver?

The other possibility is that Mr. Perry just doesn't realize that this type of regulation will almost guarantee that people will either not participate next time or will be breaking the law to rescue people. Does he really want that to happen?

Probably the best idea I have heard so far is from MACAOIDH (Scott McKay) over at The Hayride:

"If Perry really wants to promote the Cajun Navy and increase its access to disaster areas, there’s a good answer here which doesn’t involve state law at all. What we need isn’t legislation but rather a festival. If you want to keep the bureaucrats and the law enforcement control freaks from interfering with, as Dustin put it, people helping people, then let’s make the Cajun Navy a cultural phenomenon and let’s have an annual celebration of their heroism over a weekend in the middle of August every year. Let’s have it at the Lamar-Dixon Expo Center or someplace similar, let’s have Bass Pro or Cabela’s bid to be the corporate sponsor of it, let’s have boat rescue safety courses or a seminar as part of the program along with chanky-chank music and jambalaya and beer and baby alligators or whatever else you want and let’s have the Cajun Navy get recognized annually as embodying our tradition of great citizenship and voluntarism."

You can read the whole article here: