Immigration, gun control, government surveillance, foreign policy — policy questions arising from Boston

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Timothy P. Carney,Gun Control,Immigration,Homeland Security

This is Washington, and so every major news event gets us thinking about federal policy. This week’s bombing in Boston, and the subsequent manhunt for the bombing suspects will implications on many policy issues. It’s too early, and too much information is still unknown, for us to speak knowledgably on many of these issues, but starting soon — maybe next week, certainly later this year — policy proposals will arise out of this storyline.

Some possible policy questions:

  • Immigration: The bombing suspects were immigrants. Can the U.S. do a better job of screening out potential terrorists? Even if we can, it seems it wouldn’t have made a difference with these brothers: they came here as minors, and if they were radicalized, it appears they were radicalized while in the U.S.
  • Gun control: The suspects got their hands on guns. How? What sort of background checks did they go through? Should anything in their past have prevented them from owning guns? What sort of guns did they have? Would they have been easier to catch if they had less powerful guns?
  • Government surveillance: London has a huge network of police cameras. Big Brother always knows where you are. Could something like this in our major cities have prevented the attack? Could it have aided in identifying suspects?
  • Foreign policy: Was this bombing related to Chechnya’s battles with Russia? Will this affect our relationships with Chechnya?
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