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Posted at 10:47 AM ET, 02/ 4/2011

Rand Paul lone dissenter in laser-pointer vote

By Felicia Sonmez

Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul was the sole "no" vote Thursday night on a measure that would make it a federal crime to aim a handheld laser pointer at an aircraft.

The measure, offered by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) as an amendment to a measure on funding the Federal Aviation Administration, passed on a 96-to-1 vote, with three senators not present. It would call for anyone who knowingly aims the beam of a laser pointer at an aircraft to face fines or a prison term of up to five years.

Paul told reporters after Thursday's vote that he believed the laser-pointer issue was one best handled by the states, not the federal government.

"There are a lot of states that already have laws, and I think states ought to take care of it," Paul said.

The laser-pointer vote marked the second time in the past week that Paul voted "no" on a measure supported by the vast majority of his Senate colleagues. Last Thursday, Paul joined with fellow Senate Tea Party Caucus members Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) as well as Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.) to oppose a rule change that would end the practice of secret holds. That measure passed 92-to-4.

While the 112th Congress is only one month old, Paul's early "no" votes echo the voting record of his father, Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), who has frequently been the lower chamber's lone dissenter on measures that he believes overstep Congress' constitutional authority.

By Felicia Sonmez  | February 4, 2011; 10:47 AM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency  
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Comments

TO:lindalovejones
who wrote:

Have you ever heard of the FBI?

Ever heard of Federal Prisons?

I think if someone gets caught shining a laser at any airplane (and a couple of people already have) they’re going to put some time in at Club Fed.

Thanks for being the tool that made my point

FBI does not enforce the federal laws on the books now - just look at immigration and medicare fraud

there is no federal police force capable of enforcing the federal laws on conduct and behavior

And the AG's office is clear they will not enforce the laws already on the books
Look at voter intimidation in PA

And AZ is proof the states are not allowed to

Posted by: JohnSpek | February 11, 2011 6:36 PM | Report abuse

Good for Rand Paul. Shame on the rest, who thoughtlessly voted for a no-substance measure becasue it sounded good to them. How do you enforce this stupid law...? How do you find a person who pointed a laser and prove it...? And are there not other laws already on the books that make it illegal to interfer with the safe operations of aircraft.

It's a sad, sad day when there is only 1 man in the senate who has the avocados to vote against absurdity.

Posted by: carolm62 | February 7, 2011 7:59 AM | Report abuse

Rand Paul is not the most thoughtful person to have in Congress. His votes are already showing that. He wants to be noticed more than anything else.

Posted by: softjazz41 | February 6, 2011 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Pointing a laser at a plane, five years is tooo long for a low IQ kid.

Posted by: 1uncle | February 6, 2011 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Do you honestly think that some guy on the ground is going to be able to blind a pilot at 30,000 feet going at 300 mph with a laser pointer? And how are the Feds going to find him? There are isolated alleged incidents around airports that are dealt with by local laws. The hysterics and name calling from the left are hilarious here. You people are insane. Rand is the only sane person in the Senate. He is the only one who understands the Constitution or common sense.

Posted by: dogofthecourt | February 5, 2011 9:39 PM | Report abuse

Kentuckians must know by NOW that they made a disasterous mistake in voting for Rand Paul. Further, Kentuckians that did NOT vote, can see how much damage they also did by sitting out this important November election. We do NOT need someone like Paul at a federal and/or state level representing folks. Paul is a legend but only in his feeble mind. What nut would be against this bill regardless of which level of goverment. Kentuckians you must fix this mistake which affects more than just your state, this is a nation wide problem. Rand must be voted out as soon as possible. He is against civil rights, business owners should have a right to discrimminate as to whom they will serve and/or let come into their business. Rand is on a crash course to destroy us.

Posted by: netstoy | February 5, 2011 7:03 PM | Report abuse

There are many documented instances of pilots being at the least distracted, or worse, actually injured by laser pointer incidents. Generally the incidents affect flights on approach (=low and slow) or helicopters (ditto). While "leave it to the states" has some surface appeal, aviation is a quintessential interstate issue, and the risks of this kind of behavior have nothing to do with state borders. Do you really want zapping a crew's eyeballs with a 1/2 watt laser to be legal in any state just because the locals haven't gotten around to outlawing it or won't think it's a big deal until somebody crashes?

Ideology and common sense sometimes don't mix. I'm surprised that Mr. Paul hasn't proposed abolishing all aviation regulation and just leaving the aftermath to the free market.

Posted by: A_Reader | February 5, 2011 12:30 PM | Report abuse

There are many documented instances of pilots being at the least distracted, or worse, actually injured by laser pointer incidents. Generally the incidents affect flights on approach (=low and slow) or helicopters (ditto). While "leave it to the states" has some surface appeal, aviation is a quintessential interstate issue, and the risks of this kind of behavior have nothing to do with state borders. Do you really want zapping a crew's eyeballs with a 1/2 watt laser to be legal in any state just because the locals haven't gotten around to outlawing it or won't think it's a big deal until somebody crashes?

Ideology and common sense sometimes don't mix. I'm surprised that Mr. Paul hasn't proposed abolishing all aviation regulation and just leaving the aftermath to the free market.

Posted by: A_Reader | February 5, 2011 12:28 PM | Report abuse

There are many documented instances of pilots being at the least distracted, or worse, actually injured by laser pointer incidents. Generally the incidents affect flights on approach (=low and slow) or helicopters (ditto). While "leave it to the states" has some surface appeal, aviation is a quintessential interstate issue, and the risks of this kind of behavior have nothing to do with state borders. Do you really want zapping a crew's eyeballs with a 1/2 watt laser to be legal in any state just because the locals haven't gotten around to outlawing it or won't think it's a big deal until somebody crashes?

Ideology and common sense sometimes don't mix. I'm surprised that Mr. Paul hasn't proposed abolishing all aviation regulation and just leaving the aftermath to the free market.

Posted by: A_Reader | February 5, 2011 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Rand Paul has wasted no time in showing what a fool he is.

Libertarianism is great for dorm discussions but it doesn't translate to the real world.

Posted by: FauxReal | February 5, 2011 11:52 AM | Report abuse

How come people can on the hand be such ardent supporters of the 1st amendment while on the other demonize someone for not being w/ the majority? so he disagrees with the majority. get over it.

Perhaps all the anti-war people can go back to the actual vote in 2002 and see the very few who actually voted AGAINST it. Hint (one of them was not a democrat). hmmmm perhaps independent thought should be valued, not demonized.

Posted by: castiz79 | February 5, 2011 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Obviously Rand Paul has presidential aspirations.... he's all yours, 'baggers...

Posted by: seakeys | February 5, 2011 5:22 AM | Report abuse

Since passenger jets take off, land and fly over all sorts of states, even in a single flight, this is a prime example of interstate commerce and it makes sense that this should be handled at the Federal level. However, it should not be regulated. They should be free to crash as often as they want. If passengers don't like it, they can choose another safer airline, and over time, the airlines will become safer and safer. Regulations always make things worse, not better. We were much safer and freer during the stone age.

Posted by: johnnormansp | February 5, 2011 5:05 AM | Report abuse

I really wish some of you guys would think about things.

What... are we going to send 12 year olds up the river to the federal pen?

This is stupid for the FEDERAL government to be worried about. Its along the same lines as the mattress tag you cant remove.

stewardess sees laser pointer...calls the federal laser pointing marshals!!! LOL RIDICULOUS!

Yes lets make a FEDERAL CASE out of the matter...because airport security and local law ..... cant handle it.

Posted by: activeliberty | February 5, 2011 3:27 AM | Report abuse

So does Rand Paul think that we shouldn't have federal laws against bank robbery, kidnapping, and terrorism as well? After all, those crimes all actually happen within state borders, too. Maybe we should abolish the FAA, too, and the federal highway administration while we're at it. In fact, why have a nation at all? We could just have 50 sovereign states, each with total freedom to make their own laws, wage war on each other, worship the Aqua Budda, whatever. Or we could make a clean sweep and simply abolish government altogether, and restore the natural state of man, which was being a property-less hunter-gatherer.

Posted by: pjkiger1 | February 4, 2011 11:57 PM | Report abuse

Woody3691 wrote:

At first blush it looks like Paul is an idiot. But he's got a point. There is a redundancy of laws and if states have laws on the books what's the point of a federal law also?

My Comment. Paul does not have a point. The regulation and coordination of the airspace is one of the perfect examples of where Federal law is the RIGHT approach. When's the last time that you have heard of a mid-air collision due to inconsistent laws. This is one of those areas that STATES have no business regulating.

Woody3691 wrote:
Question is will a federal law on the books cost taxpayers?

My Comment: What an absurd test for deciding whether or not we have a Federal Law. ALL LAWS cost something. The reason that we have Government is for the common good. To provide those services which are not efficiently provided by the private sector. To protect the disadvantaged. The test should be whether the law serves a societal benefit.

Posted by: dcraven925 | February 4, 2011 11:47 PM | Report abuse

Although I agree with the safety concerns of the laser pointers, I agree with Mr Paul that the states can handle it better due to less bureaucratic cost. I can't understand how so many people want the Government to control everything. If you don't like this freedom so many have died to provide for us, move to China. The Government there controls everything. Go become a socialist... like the progressives want us to become.

Posted by: maninNH | February 4, 2011 10:47 PM | Report abuse

I'm glad the WaPo exists because if it didn't I would not know how to think.

Posted by: grunk | February 4, 2011 10:25 PM | Report abuse

Rand Paul is wrong, wrong, wrong!!!!!

We need more federal government. Everywhere, something is unregulated that the Feds could regulate under the Commerce Clause. More agencies, more departments, more regulations!!!

I can't think for myself! Give me more federal government!

Posted by: grunk | February 4, 2011 10:20 PM | Report abuse

Let's not be so mean to Rand Paul, people. The Constitution says nothing about either lasers or aircraft, so it's obviously wrong for the federal government to regulate either one.

Posted by: roblimo | February 4, 2011 9:44 PM | Report abuse

Rand Paul is about as competent at governance as his supporters are at only posting once....

Posted by: waxtraxs | February 4, 2011 9:04 PM | Report abuse

So everyone else get's it but Rand Paul? Not a surprise. Another utterly useless politician with more attitude than brains. The Tea Party types will love him for this, no doubt. He's making his mark in Washington! Totally worthless...

Posted by: rmtaylor2 | February 4, 2011 9:00 PM | Report abuse

So everyone else get's it but Rand Paul? Not a surprise. Another utterly useless politician with more attitude than brains. The Tea Party types will love him for this, no doubt. He's making his mark in Washington! Totally worthless...

Posted by: rmtaylor2 | February 4, 2011 8:57 PM | Report abuse

Congressman Paul and others in Congress did vote against the laser bill, so what? But Karma and some individual will point his or her laser right into the eyes of a pilot who is flying a airliner for one or all of these members of Congress, which includes Senators Ensign, Nevada and good old James De Mint, South Carolina and Mike Lee of Utah. Republicans all.

Posted by: nalaegral | February 4, 2011 8:37 PM | Report abuse

So Rand Paul is going to cast "no" votes on basically any measure, regardless of how national in scope, that can be handled by 50 state legislatures. Since commercial airliners cross state lines every second, why should pilots worry in which airspace they are? Rand Paul needs to pick his "no" voting issues more carefully or he will be viewed as someone playing without a full deck.

Posted by: EarlC | February 4, 2011 8:19 PM | Report abuse

What Mr. Paul knows and radical liberal elites fail to understand is that just because a federal law exists doesn't mean that a person so inclined will not aim a laser at an airplane.

Posted by: rteske | February 4, 2011 8:14 PM | Report abuse

Freethotlib we should get rid of the states all together. They are archaic and not needed anymore. The Fed should take over jurisdiction from city, county and state officals. Since every city, county and state should have the same laws anyways. Damn locality that's so passe. We should all have the same laws and eat the same food. Anything else would just be moronic. I totally agree.

Posted by: CBarnardo | February 4, 2011 8:13 PM | Report abuse

@lindalovejones I don't know why you keep pointing the finger at Republicans. TARP passed with a bipartisan majority as did Gramm–Leach–Bliley and both were signed by Democratic Presidents. So I really I have idea no why you are just blaming Republicans. My first post was all sarcasm and wasn't meant to be taken seriously. This one isn't.

Posted by: CBarnardo | February 4, 2011 7:59 PM | Report abuse

@lindalovejones I don't know why you keep pointing the finger at Republicans. TARP passed with a bipartisan majority as did Gramm–Leach–Bliley and both were signed by Democratic Presidents. So I really I have idea no what you are just blaming Republicans. My first post was all sarcasm and wasn't meant to be taken seriously. This one isn't.

Posted by: CBarnardo | February 4, 2011 7:58 PM | Report abuse

Random Paul flies in the ionosphere of his own delusions.

Posted by: jimsteinberg1 | February 4, 2011 7:57 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Paul and THOSE THAT AGREE WITH HIM are morons. If you want to leave the safety of flying to the states you will have 50 versions of what THEY THINK is safe. Do you really want 50 versions? If so, you are too stupid to breathe. Further "Laser light in the pilot’s eyes causes glare (inability to see past the light). At higher power levels, it can also cause temporary flashblindness and afterimages (like when you look at a bright camera flash, and cannot see for a many seconds afterwards). Since the beam can’t be held completely steady on the cockpit, pilots experience one or more of these bright flashes" from LaserPointerSafety.com

Posted by: Freethotlib | February 4, 2011 7:55 PM | Report abuse

TO: CBarnardo who wrote:
‘lindalovejones is right if all the Senators are voting one way then everyone should. Independent thought is not needed in the government and especially the Senate. The Majority is always right…”

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

This is how Republicans took down the American Economy and they'd DO IT AGAIN IN A HEART BEAT.

They just can’t FACE IT when they are WRONG.

Wrong is wrong, period.

Republicans want to be wrong and stick with being wrong because they can’t stand to admit to their mistakes.

That is NOT how you make things right, by PRETENDING nothing was wrong in the first place.

I’m speaking to this issue only. Not trying to say anybody is right all the time, least of all if they think they’re right just because they refuse to admit they were WRONG.

I don’t believe the other 99 Senators were INCAPABLE of independent thought, it’s just that Rand Paul was only one who didn’t do his homework.

Posted by: lindalovejones | February 4, 2011 7:49 PM | Report abuse

The more numerous the laws, the more corrupt the government.

Posted by: thoughts | February 4, 2011 7:39 PM | Report abuse

Go Rand! Stick it to the central government. They'll get you in the end because they always do but give them hell while you can.

Posted by: DJ_Spanky | February 4, 2011 7:38 PM | Report abuse

TO: horacemann who wrote:
“Well, since planes stop at the border of each state before taking off for the next one, I can see his point. I believe lasers are incapable of crossing state borders …”

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

That makes no sense.

People fly back and forth from coast to coast all day long NEVER stopping at the “border of each state before taking off for the next one.”

There also are plenty of “non-stop” flights going everywhere, and NEVER stopping at the “border of each state before taking off for the next one.”

What is this nonsense supposed to mean?

You and Rand Paul = Mr. Dazed and Mr. Confused.


Posted by: lindalovejones | February 4, 2011 7:38 PM | Report abuse

lindalovejones is right if all the Senators are voting one way then everyone should. Independent thought is not needed in the government and especially the Senate. The Majority is always right. Just like when Iraq had all those WMDs. Even though we couldn't find doesn't mean they still weren't there. No matter its all the Republicans fault anyways. The Democrats are always right and even if they are wrong the Republicans are more wrong. That's the problem with everything Republicans and independent thought and those laser pointers. America needs more laser pointer regulation to save our children and airplanes from certain danger. The Senate needs to spend more time on that. In fact I think they need laser point committee without any Republicans on it. That way they can save the children and the airplanes.

Posted by: CBarnardo | February 4, 2011 7:38 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: COWENS99
According to his outdated 1854 States Rights Policies, the USA would not have responded against Al Qaeda after the 9/11 attacks.
-----

And what is exactly your point? After 9/11, didn't centralized executive power get us into ill-conceived military operations that are still on-going at a cost of many billions a month? And BTW, we may have decimated Al Qaeda, which was a tiny organization, but we created a on-going movement that is broadly international. We also failed to capture/kill/bring to justice Bin Laden. Our country could survive another 9/11, but our country might not survive the federal government's reaction to another attack. Seriously - we'd certainly bankrupt ourselves if react in the same way to the next attack.

Posted by: chucka1 | February 4, 2011 7:27 PM | Report abuse

TO: woody3691 who wrote:
“At first blush it looks like Paul is an idiot. But he's got a point…”

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

No, he doesn’t have a point. When everybody in the room, both Democrats AND Republican, votes “yes” all together, an average person can pretty well imagine it’s a common sense question of which there can be only one correct answer, and Rand Paul couldn’t even get THAT right.

It’s just that Republicans love to over strain the facts in order to make a mistake look like it’s not a mistake, even though it was.

That’s how Republicans took the American Economy down: lie and deny.

Come on buck up Republicans! Start facing the real facts instead of always making up your own!


Posted by: lindalovejones | February 4, 2011 7:23 PM | Report abuse

At first blush it looks like Paul is an idiot. But he's got a point. There is a redundancy of laws and if states have laws on the books what's the point of a federal law also? On the other hand, interstate transportation such as air travel may need a federal law in cases where there are jurisdictional questions as to where the crime took place. Also if a state is cash strapped and declines to prosecute or if a state has no law then Paul's reasoning falls short. Question is will a federal law on the books cost taxpayers? The law should also include prosecution costs should defendant be found guilty. If some miscreant aims a laser at an aircraft and his actions cause prosecution, said miscreant should pay court costs and prosecution costs if found guilty.

Posted by: woody3691 | February 4, 2011 7:12 PM | Report abuse

At first blush it looks like Paul is an idiot. But he's got a point. There is a redundancy of laws and if states have laws on the books what's the point of a federal law also? On the other hand, interstate transportation such as air travel may need a federal law in cases where there are jurisdictional questions as to where the crime took place. Also if a state is cash strapped and declines to prosecute or if a state has no law then Paul's reasoning falls short. Question is will a federal law on the books cost taxpayers? The law should also include prosecution costs should defendant be found guilty. If some miscreant aims a laser at an aircraft and his actions cause prosecution, said miscreant should pay court costs and prosecution costs if found guilty.

Posted by: woody3691 | February 4, 2011 7:10 PM | Report abuse

Good for Paul. Paul is accused of being from the "fringe," but if there were more people like Paul in Congress, the country would be a lot wealthier and safer.

Posted by: chucka1 | February 4, 2011 7:10 PM | Report abuse

At first blush it looks like Paul is an idiot. But he's got a point. There is a redundancy of laws and if states have laws on the books what's the point of a federal law also? On the other hand, interstate transportation such as air travel may need a federal law in cases where there are jurisdictional questions as to where the crime took place. Also if a state is cash strapped and declines to prosecute or if a state has no law then Paul's reasoning falls short. Question is will a federal law on the books cost taxpayers? The law should also include prosecution costs should defendant be found guilty. If some miscreant aims a laser at an aircraft and his actions cause prosecution, said miscreant should pay court costs and prosecution costs if found guilty.

Posted by: woody3691 | February 4, 2011 7:09 PM | Report abuse

Unfortunately, this blog says nothing about the real issue, laser pointers and aircraft safety, so it allows ideologues to spout support for Rand Paul by saying he has the courage to stand up to pointless legislation. The reality is that laser pointers aimed at aircraft do pose a safety hazard, as attested to by the laser light industry, see here: http://www.laserpointersafety.com/laser-hazards_aircraft/laser-hazards_aircraft.html.

It's also too bad that the blog did not comment on the problems with Paul's claim that this should be regulated by the states. The idea of state control of air traffic safety and national security is so utterly absurd that even Jim Demint couldn't go along with this one.

Posted by: Glase | February 4, 2011 7:08 PM | Report abuse

At first blush it looks like Paul is an idiot. But he's got a point. There is a redundancy of laws and if states have laws on the books what's the point of a federal law also? On the other hand, interstate transportation such as air travel may need a federal law in cases where there are jurisdictional questions as to where the crime took place. Also if a state is cash strapped and declines to prosecute or if a state has no law then Paul's reasoning falls short. Question is will a federal law on the books cost taxpayers? The law should also include prosecution costs should defendant be found guilty. If some miscreant aims a laser at an aircraft and his actions cause prosecution, said miscreant should pay court costs and prosecution costs if found guilty.

Posted by: woody3691 | February 4, 2011 7:08 PM | Report abuse

At first blush it looks like Paul is an idiot. But he's got a point. There is a redundancy of laws and if states have laws on the books what's the point of a federal law also? On the other hand, interstate transportation such as air travel may need a federal law in cases where there are jurisdictional questions as to where the crime took place. Also if a state is cash strapped and declines to prosecute or if a state has no law then Paul's reasoning falls short. Question is will a federal law on the books cost taxpayers? The law should also include prosecution costs should defendant be found guilty. If some miscreant aims a laser at an aircraft and his actions cause prosecution, said miscreant should pay court costs and prosecution costs if found guilty.

Posted by: woody3691 | February 4, 2011 7:08 PM | Report abuse

At first blush it looks like Paul is an idiot. But he's got a point. There is a redundancy of laws and if states have laws on the books what's the point of a federal law also? On the other hand, interstate transportation such as air travel may need a federal law in cases where there are jurisdictional questions as to where the crime took place. Also if a state is cash strapped and declines to prosecute or if a state has no law then Paul's reasoning falls short. Question is will a federal law on the books cost taxpayers? The law should also include prosecution costs should defendant be found guilty. If some miscreant aims a laser at an aircraft and his actions cause prosecution, said miscreant should pay court costs and prosecution costs if found guilty.

Posted by: woody3691 | February 4, 2011 7:07 PM | Report abuse

At first blush it looks like Paul is an idiot. But he's got a point. There is a redundancy of laws and if states have laws on the books what's the point of a federal law also? On the other hand, interstate transportation such as air travel may need a federal law in cases where there are jurisdictional questions as to where the crime took place. Also if a state is cash strapped and declines to prosecute or if a state has no law then Paul's reasoning falls short. Question is will a federal law on the books cost taxpayers? The law should also include prosecution costs should defendant be found guilty. If some miscreant aims a laser at an aircraft and his actions cause prosecution, said miscreant should pay court costs and prosecution costs if found guilty.

Posted by: woody3691 | February 4, 2011 7:06 PM | Report abuse

A federal appeals court has upheld a controversial verdict that an Arizona rancher must pay $87,000 to four illegal immigrants he detained at gunpoint while they crossed his property

There were four or them and one lonesome rancher. He made an appropriate citizen's arrest. The illegal immigrants might have been smugglers or bandits. The court's decision has made a laughing stock of America. Have a nice day!


Read more: http://www.azcentral.com/community/phoenix/articles/2011/02/04/20110204phoenix-weather-weekend-forecast-abrk.html#comments#ixzz1D2MHDw9h

Posted by: byetheway77 | February 4, 2011 6:55 PM | Report abuse

Senator Paul is the only one with the cojones to point out the our government passes too many laws that are just plain silly. Can you cite me one case where a laser pointer has brought down an airplane? Anybody? 100% of the 9/11 terrorists were young Middle Eastern men, yet we won't allow TSA to single out young Middle Eastern men for extra screening. But God forbid someone points an ineffectual laser pointer at an airplane.

Posted by: Chippewa | February 4, 2011 6:30 PM | Report abuse

GOOD for Rand Paul

Our elected officials focus on useless, ridiculous, feel-good regs like not pointing "laser pointers" at airplanes. Meanwhile we have US troops in 35 countries, a $1.5 Trillion deficit, and inflation going through the roof.

Rand Paul at least has enough BALLS to not participate in such nonsense.

Posted by: pgr88
____________________-
Paul didn't suggest that it was useless, ridiculous, or "feel good." he suggested that the states should pass 50 laws against it instead of one at the federal level. and what if one didn't? in that state, it would be legal, and if you couldn't prove intent to harm, you couldn't use any other law either.

I realize that the commerce clause has been stretched to the point where some believe it has no limits, but if it doesn't cover the regulation of airline travel then it has no reach at all and nothing could be regulated under it.

Posted by: JoeT1 | February 4, 2011 6:28 PM | Report abuse

If anyone could convince me there is even the possibility of a thread from a laser pointer to an aircraft, I'd sing a different tune.
Posted by: tbailsh

Just last week I read about a helicopter pilot who was blinded by a green laser. Luckily he had a co-pilot in the plane with him, who did the landing. If it blinded him it could blind a 747 pilot. They caught the kid, yes a kid. These things should be regulated/registered, like guns.

These laser pointers are not your laser pointers used in office meetings. They are more powerful and can be bought almost anywhere and can cause blindness.

As for Rand, he's IMHO an idiot. Let the states handle it?

Posted by: Fate1 | February 4, 2011 6:28 PM | Report abuse

GOOD for Rand Paul

Our elected officials focus on useless, ridiculous, feel-good regs like not pointing "laser pointers" at airplanes. Meanwhile we have US troops in 35 countries, a $1.5 Trillion deficit, and inflation going through the roof.

Rand Paul at least has enough BALLS to not participate in such nonsense.

Posted by: pgr88 | February 4, 2011 6:18 PM | Report abuse

Well, since planes stop at the border of each state before taking off for the next one, I can see his point. I believe lasers are incapable of crossing state borders as well due to the uniqueness of individual state photons.
Posted by: horacemann | February 4, 2011 11:43 AM
*****

Best post of the day! Thank you so much ..lol

Posted by: Gracefulboomer | February 4, 2011 6:15 PM | Report abuse

Rand Paul is truly going to retain the "idiot" of the Senate without difficulty.

According to his outdated 1854 States Rights Policies, the USA would not have responded against Al Qaeda after the 9/11 attacks.

They attacked New York, not the federal government, thus it is New York, not the USA to respond.

I predict that if Bachmann were to get the Republication nomination in 2012, Rand Paul will be her pick for V.P. She has finally found someone dumbier than Srah "the Parrot" Palin.

I also predict that the people in KY are so ignorant, Rand Paul will be in the Senate for life.

Posted by: COWENS99 | February 4, 2011 6:02 PM | Report abuse

Rand Paul is truly going to retain the "idiot" of the Senate without difficulty.

According to his outdated 1854 States Rights Policies, the USA would not have responded against Al Qaeda after the 9/11 attacks.

They attacked New York, not the federal government, thus it is New York, not the USA to respond.

I predict that if Bachmann were to get the Republication nomination in 2012, Rand Paul will be her pick for V.P. She has finally found someone dumbier than Srah "the Parrot" Palin.

I also predict that the people in KY are so ignorant, Rand Paul will be in the Senate for life.

Posted by: COWENS99 | February 4, 2011 6:00 PM | Report abuse

why would u want someone in congress whose specific goal is to actually do nothing? Makes no sense

Posted by: Chops2 | February 4, 2011 5:43 PM | Report abuse

ozpunk,

You really think I don't know what the Commerce clause says? I think you assume too much. Indeed, twisting of the Commerce clause is possibly the most shameful violation of the Constitution that Congress has ever perpetrated.

Posted by: mwpalmer | February 4, 2011 5:43 PM | Report abuse

Guess airline safety should be handles by the states also. Lets. put airports at each state line and require planes to land and check in with the state. Next he will want to have states control railroads and trucking.
I think the votes for Paul were a plot by some people to get the jokes off the backs of West Virginia and on to Kentucky.
Geesh. The traffic laws are tough enough on interstate travelers. One permits tinted window, the next does not. Same with radar detectors, right turn on red, red light cameras, pedestrian right-of-way,and the list goes on.

Posted by: pjohn3 | February 4, 2011 5:38 PM | Report abuse

Great... throw another useless federal law on the books. It won't help a thing: The U.S. fed gov will still owe $14 trillion(!), mostly to the International Banksters Cartel; it'll still be borrowing even more massive amounts of money than during the Bush-Cheney Reign of Terror; it'll still be outsourcing jobs on a daily basis and eroding the nation's middle and upper-middle classes; it'll still be beating the lower class down even farther by deliberately ignoring millions of illeegs and their employers; it'll still be sucking on the big ones fed to it by the Pirates of Wall Street and Corporate America... ...but if anyone on the ground has a powerful enough laser and is inclined to shine it at an airplane he or she will be violating a federal law. If the federal government can catch him or her. Given the fed gov's track record dealing with illeegs and their employers I'd say he or she can rest easy... and even then the fed gov will have to prove he or she 'knowingly' did it.

We are being led over the edge by monkeys and morons in Washington, DC... personally, I don't know much about Rand Paul. But given the record of the past 10 years, I don't think he's the problem...

Posted by: srb2 | February 4, 2011 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Heyyyyyyyy Kuntucky....thanks a lot for nuttin

Posted by: rmk1122 | February 4, 2011 5:24 PM | Report abuse

mwpalmer - Commerce clause, google it.

Posted by: ozpunk | February 4, 2011 5:17 PM | Report abuse

mwpalmer - Commerce clause, google it.

Posted by: ozpunk | February 4, 2011 5:16 PM | Report abuse

mwpalmer - Commerce clause, google it.

Posted by: ozpunk | February 4, 2011 5:15 PM | Report abuse

mwpalmer wrote:

Strictly speaking, writing laws restricting the use of lasers is not within the purview of Congress.
--------------
Yawn. Strictly speaking, your parroting strict constructionism is strictly outside the purview of jurisprudence.

Posted by: cpwdc | February 4, 2011 5:15 PM | Report abuse

mwpalmer wrote:

Strictly speaking, writing laws restricting the use of lasers is not within the purview of Congress.
--------------
Yawn. Strictly speaking, your parroting strict constructionism is strictly outside the purview of jurisprudence.

Posted by: cpwdc | February 4, 2011 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Apparently, Paul is the only senator in the Senate who understands government as established by the U.S. Constitution. Strictly speaking, writing laws restricting the use of lasers is not within the purview of Congress. Doing so is acting beyond the powers granted it, and hence an illegitimate usurpation of authority. If Congress feels it must make such laws then let it amend the Constitution to assume the pertinent powers... or leave the matter to the states. That's the way it's supposed to work.

Now, anticipating those who are inclined to misunderstand what I am saying, I think that attempting to blind a pilot operating a aircraft is indeed criminal behavior. But certainly, if clever lawyers can work out ways to circumvent the U.S. Constitution, they can find ways to charge and prosecute a guy for pointing a laser at an airplane. It just seems to me that messing with constitutional principles is pretty serious stuff that we take much too lightly.


Posted by: mwpalmer
_______________________
not even Paul suggested that it was even remotely unconstitutional. and it's not.

he just thought it was unnecessary. and he's wrong several times over.

Posted by: JoeT1 | February 4, 2011 5:07 PM | Report abuse

...and the original so-called USA PATRIOT Act passed 98 to 1 and was signed by President Bush-43, November, 2001. Does the author of this little snippet have a point? I suspect she has an agenda... but does she have a point?

The lone holdout on the original so-called USA PATRIOT Act was Sen. Russ Feingold, I believe. The most recent re-authorization, without modifications and signed by President Obama, was done on a 'voice vote' in the U.S. Senate (you aren't entitled to know who vote how). Maybe Sen. Paul can at least force the rest of 'em to go on record at the next re-authorization... wouldn't be the worst thing for a republic which touts its representative democracy pretty loudly.

Posted by: srb2 | February 4, 2011 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Apparently, Paul is the only senator in the Senate who understands government as established by the U.S. Constitution. Strictly speaking, writing laws restricting the use of lasers is not within the purview of Congress. Doing so is acting beyond the powers granted it, and hence an illegitimate usurpation of authority. If Congress feels it must make such laws then let it amend the Constitution to assume the pertinent powers... or leave the matter to the states. That's the way it's supposed to work.

Now, anticipating those who are inclined to misunderstand what I am saying, I think that attempting to blind a pilot operating a aircraft is indeed criminal behavior. But certainly, if clever lawyers can work out ways to circumvent the U.S. Constitution, they can find ways to charge and prosecute a guy for pointing a laser at an airplane. It just seems to me that messing with constitutional principles is pretty serious stuff that we take much too lightly.

Posted by: mwpalmer | February 4, 2011 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Geez, if "leave it to individual states" is his answer to every legislation brought forth in the United States Senate, why even bother? You don't like the government? Leave it!

Posted by: cpwdc | February 4, 2011 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Well, this idiot proves you can't make an Einstein out of stupid, right-wing chimp. I blame the imbeciles who voted for this sack of garbage.

Posted by: analyst72 | February 4, 2011 4:59 PM | Report abuse

To drain you. As a kentucky voter I'm offended that you called us dumb. Yes we might not have a great hs graduates or the best ACT score but we are smart people and know what right and wrong. Also Rand Paul may be our senator (god help us) but associated him with us because all ky will say yes to make it a federal crime to point lasers at planes. Rand Paul might be our senator but kentuckians have more morals and ethics to know what right or wrong and Senator Paul don't have them. (When I met was High school graduation rates at the top)

Posted by: mtt_brbr | February 4, 2011 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Geez, if "leave it to individual states" is his answer to every legislation brought forth in the United States Senate, why even bother? You don't like the government? Leave it!

Posted by: cpwdc | February 4, 2011 4:56 PM | Report abuse

To drain you. As a kentucky voter I'm offended that you called us dumb. Yes we might not have a great hs graduates or the best ACT score but we are smart people and know what right and wrong. Also Rand Paul may be our senator (god help us) but associated him with us because all ky will say yes to make it a federal crime to point lasers at planes. Rand Paul might be our senator but kentuckians have more morals and ethics to know what right or wrong and Senator Paul don't have them. (When I met was High school graduation rates at the top)

Posted by: mtt_brbr | February 4, 2011 4:55 PM | Report abuse

RandAL is just another self serving politician worried that this law would affect his intellectual property. Dr. Paul's latest business venture involves surface to air laser eye surgery for airline pilots in flight...

Posted by: ozpunk | February 4, 2011 4:55 PM | Report abuse

RandAL is just another self serving politician worried that this law would affect his intellectual property. Dr. Paul's latest business venture involves surface to air laser eye surgery for airline pilots in flight...

Posted by: ozpunk | February 4, 2011 4:55 PM | Report abuse

RandAL is just another self serving politician worried that this law would affect his intellectual property. Dr. Paul's latest business venture involves surface to air laser eye surgery for airline pilots in flight...

Posted by: ozpunk | February 4, 2011 4:54 PM | Report abuse

RandAL is just another self serving politician worried that this law would affect his intellectual property. Dr. Paul's latest business venture involves surface to air laser eye surgery for airline pilots in flight...

Posted by: ozpunk | February 4, 2011 4:54 PM | Report abuse

To drain you. As a kentucky voter I'm offended that you called us dumb. Yes we might not have a great hs graduates or the best ACT score but we are smart people and know what right and wrong. Also Rand Paul may be our senator (god help us) but associated him with us because all ky will say yes to make it a federal crime to point lasers at planes. Rand Paul might be our senator but kentuckians have more morals and ethics to know what right or wrong and Senator Paul don't have them. (When I met was High school graduation rates at the top)

Posted by: mtt_brbr | February 4, 2011 4:53 PM | Report abuse

RandAL is just another self serving politician worried that this law would affect his intellectual property. Dr. Paul's latest business venture involves surface to air laser eye surgery for airline pilots in flight...

Posted by: ozpunk | February 4, 2011 4:53 PM | Report abuse

To drain you. As a kentucky voter I'm offended that you called us dumb. Yes we might not have a great hs graduates or the best ACT score but we are smart people and know what right and wrong. Also Rand Paul may be our senator (god help us) but associated him with us because all ky will say yes to make it a federal crime to point lasers at planes. Rand Paul might be our senator but kentuckians have more morals and ethics to know what right or wrong and Senator Paul don't have them. (When I met was High school graduation rates at the top)

Posted by: mtt_brbr | February 4, 2011 4:52 PM | Report abuse

RandAL is just another self serving politician worried that this law would affect his intellectual property. Dr. Paul's latest business venture involves surface to air laser eye surgery for airline pilots in flight...

Posted by: ozpunk | February 4, 2011 4:52 PM | Report abuse

He's a footnote... so what!

Posted by: whocares666 | February 4, 2011 4:44 PM | Report abuse

This is just posturing on both sides. IF aiming a handheld laser pointer at an aircraft is (even theoretically) hazardous to the aircraft, there are already a plethora of civil and criminal laws that are entirely adequate to prosecute any person who intentionally attempts to create such a hazard.

Simply stated, it is already illegal to try to make an airplane crash. It is already illegal even to seriously annoy a flight crew. The new law is a meaningless bit of supernumerary nonsense. That the United States Congress spends its time, and our money, in the pursuit of such nonsense is a travesty.

Posted by: Iconoblaster
_________________________
we pass laws this specific all the time, because using more general laws becomes difficult. You can't prove intent to cause a crash or even distract the pilots if the idiot just says he wanted to see if he could hit the plane and see a reflection. so we make it illegal to aim a pointer at a plane, regardless of intent.

we do this all the time at the state and federal criminal level

and local police can arrest you for a federal crime, so enforcement isn't compromised.

and one federal law is cheaper to pass and enforce than 50 states taking their time to pass their own, and since we all pay taxes at both levels, federal is cheaper.

and even if you were right about existing laws, it doesn't cost a dime extra to have another count in the indictment, and it will be easier to prosecute than a crime requiring proof of some intent.

Posted by: JoeT1 | February 4, 2011 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Well, we know where the village idiot from Rand Paul's town is, in DC, voting to not protect people in airplanes from laser attacks. Maybe the VI would like to suffer the consequences of someone disabling his pilot and having that aircraft carrying him involved in a disaster. One more example of why the Tea Party is doomed, stupid stuff like his. And he sides with a guy who is up to his ears in ethics violations, more proof that he is lost on the political landscape. And we are paying this guy for this trash. What a waste. Reduce federal spending, cut out Rand Paul's pay.

Posted by: ronjeske | February 4, 2011 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Are all teabaggers this dumb? 99% of all commercial airlines fly over more than one state! This makes air travel part of interstate commerce! Hey Rand, I thought you guys knew all about the Constitution! Did you check with Scalia and Thomas and they told you there were no airplanes when the Constitution was written? Maybe you want laser shooting to be OK in Kentucky!

Posted by: mikesba | February 4, 2011 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Ayn Rand Paul is walking talking proof that Kentucky voters are some of the dumbest people on the face of the earth.

.

Posted by: DrainYou | February 4, 2011 4:30 PM | Report abuse

TO: Paleocon_Bill who wrote:
“And who do you think is best position to respond to such a threat? The handful of FBI agents in the Local Bureau office, or the hundreds, and in places thousands, of local law enforcement officers?...”

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

You would be absolutely SHOCKED if you but knew how many FBI agents we have in this country.

SHOCKED.

And you don’t even know they’re there because they blend in effortlessly with the population.

I saw the FBI operate once, and seemingly out of nowhere there must have been over 100 FBI agents right next to you, in front of you, beside you, across the street, it was incredible! And their automobiles too. One minute you’re just moving about town and suddenly out of nowhere there they are.

Fantastic!

(The event: President Bill Clinton was passing through town.)

Posted by: lindalovejones | February 4, 2011 4:29 PM | Report abuse

TO: Paleocon_Bill who wrote:
“And who do you think is best position to respond to such a threat? The handful of FBI agents in the Local Bureau office, or the hundreds, and in places thousands, of local law enforcement officers?...”

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

You would be absolutely SHOCKED if you but knew how many FBI agents we have in this country.

SHOCKED.

And you don’t even know they’re there because they blend in effortlessly with the population.

I saw the FBI operate once, and seemingly out of nowhere there must have been over 100 FBI agents right next to you, in front of you, beside you, across the street, it was incredible! And their automobiles too. One minute you’re just moving about town and suddenly out of nowhere there they are.

Fantastic!

(The event: President Bill Clinton was passing through town.)

Posted by: lindalovejones | February 4, 2011 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Ayn Rand Paul is walking talking proof that Kentucky voters are some of the dumbest people on the face of the earth.

.

Posted by: DrainYou | February 4, 2011 4:26 PM | Report abuse

TO: Paleocon_Bill who wrote:
“And who do you think is best position to respond to such a threat? The handful of FBI agents in the Local Bureau office, or the hundreds, and in places thousands, of local law enforcement officers?...”

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

You would be absolutely SHOCKED if you but knew how many FBI agents we have in this country.

SHOCKED.

And you don’t even know they’re there because they blend in effortlessly with the population.

I saw the FBI operate once, and seemingly out of nowhere there must have been over 100 FBI agents right next to you, in front of you, beside you, across the street, it was incredible! And their automobiles too. One minute you’re just moving about town and suddenly out of nowhere there they are.

Fantastic!

(The event: President Bill Clinton was passing through town.)

Posted by: lindalovejones | February 4, 2011 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Are all teabaggers this dumb? 99% of all commercial airlines fly over more than one state! This makes air travel part of interstate commerce! Hey Rand, I thought you guys knew all about the Constitution! Did you check with Scalia and Thomas and they told you there were no airplanes when the Constitution was written? Maybe you want laser shooting to be OK in Kentucky!

Posted by: mikesba | February 4, 2011 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Random Paul, a leader for our times, in the wrong direction.

Posted by: jimsteinberg1 | February 4, 2011 4:25 PM | Report abuse

TO: Paleocon_Bill who wrote:
“And who do you think is best position to respond to such a threat? The handful of FBI agents in the Local Bureau office, or the hundreds, and in places thousands, of local law enforcement officers?...”

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

You would be absolutely SHOCKED if you but knew how many FBI agents we have in this country.

SHOCKED.

And you don’t even know they’re there because they blend in effortlessly with the population.

I saw the FBI operate once, and seemingly out of nowhere there must have been over 100 FBI agents right next to you, in front of you, beside you, across the street, it was incredible! And their automobiles too. One minute you’re just moving about town and suddenly out of nowhere there they are.

Fantastic!

(The event: President Bill Clinton was passing through town.)

Posted by: lindalovejones | February 4, 2011 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Well, we know where the village idiot from Rand Paul's town is, in DC, voting to not protect people in airplanes from laser attacks. Maybe the VI would like to suffer the consequences of someone disabling his pilot and having that aircraft carrying him involved in a disaster. One more example of why the Tea Party is doomed, stupid stuff like his. And he sides with a guy who is up to his ears in ethics violations, more proof that he is lost on the political landscape. And we are paying this guy for this trash. What a waste. Reduce federal spending, cut out Rand Paul's pay.

Posted by: ronjeske | February 4, 2011 4:25 PM | Report abuse

This is just posturing on both sides. IF aiming a handheld laser pointer at an aircraft is (even theoretically) hazardous to the aircraft, there are already a plethora of civil and criminal laws that are entirely adequate to prosecute any person who intentionally attempts to create such a hazard.

Simply stated, it is already illegal to try to make an airplane crash. It is already illegal even to seriously annoy a flight crew. The new law is a meaningless bit of supernumerary nonsense. That the United States Congress spends its time, and our money, in the pursuit of such nonsense is a travesty.

Posted by: Iconoblaster | February 4, 2011 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Ayn Rand Paul is walking talking proof that Kenticky voters are some of the dumbest people on the face of the earth.

.

Posted by: DrainYou | February 4, 2011 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Kind of shows you how in step this idiot is with the rest of the world. "I have it right, these other 96 clowns are wrong" allrighty then.

Posted by: deadchief | February 4, 2011 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Does Rand Paul need a competency evaluation? There is the tinge of paranoia in his presentations. It seems as if he feels the need to take on everyone and everything from the view that each state should act independently on all manner of things. That view looks eerily like he would want to destroy the union.

Posted by: leonh741 | February 4, 2011 4:23 PM | Report abuse

TO: Paleocon_Bill who wrote:
“And who do you think is best position to respond to such a threat? The handful of FBI agents in the Local Bureau office, or the hundreds, and in places thousands, of local law enforcement officers?...”

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

You would be absolutely SHOCKED if you but knew how many FBI agents we have in this country.

SHOCKED.

And you don’t even know they’re there because they blend in effortlessly with the population.

I saw the FBI operate once, and seemingly out of nowhere there must have been over 100 FBI agents right next to you, in front of you, beside you, across the street, it was incredible! And their automobiles too. One minute you’re just moving about town and suddenly out of nowhere there they are.

Fantastic!

(The event: President Bill Clinton was passing through town.)

Posted by: lindalovejones | February 4, 2011 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Aircraft operate under the control of the FAA, a federal agancy. The feds have every right to protect aircrews, passengers and those on the ground. Rand is simply showing how silly he is. Idiot.

Posted by: jckdoors | February 4, 2011 4:17 PM | Report abuse

One devoutly hopes that the thusands of UPS pilots that fly in and out of the UPS world hub in Louisville, KY will vote out Sen. Rand Paul for his Neanderthal mentality and inability to understand the gravity of laser beams on pilots and why only the FBI, FAA have the full expertise to track down imbeciles.

Posted by: Irishvetter | February 4, 2011 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Most, if not all, of the states are ill-equipped to handle a threat from the ground to an aircraft. This is a job for the Feds. Rand Paul was a phony, Rand Paul is a phony, Rand Paul will always be a phony.

==

This, and the other comments supporting federalization of this issue, are silly. The states have been prosecuting this issue effectively. The problem is not that states are ineffective to handle it, but that the idiots involved don't appreciate the seriousness of what they're doing or that it's illegal. It's simply an education issue, not one of the effectiveness of enforcement.

And for the typical people who embrace any feel good federal legislation, do you know that it is the states who prosecute pilots suspected of intoxication in an aircraft? Hmm? Did you know that? So why are the states "equipped" to handle drunk pilots, but "ill equipped" to "handle a threat from the ground"?

And who do you think is best position to respond to such a threat? The handful of FBI agents in the Local Bureau office, or the hundreds, and in places thousands, of local law enforcement officers?

It is unbelievable how the internet, which you'd think would be populated by more tech-savvy people, nonetheless has numerous people incapable of thinking clearly.

Posted by: Paleocon_Bill | February 4, 2011 4:10 PM | Report abuse

TO: horacemann who wrote:
“Well, since planes stop at the border of each state before taking off for the next one, I can see his point. I believe lasers are incapable of crossing state borders …”

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

That makes no sense.

People fly back and forth from coast to coast all day long NEVER stopping at the “border of each state before taking off for the next one.”

There also are plenty of “non-stop” flights going everywhere, and NEVER stopping at the “border of each state before taking off for the next one.”

What is this nonsense supposed to mean?

You and Rand Paul = Mr. Dazed and Mr. Confused.


Posted by: lindalovejones | February 4, 2011 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Most, if not all, of the states are ill-equipped to handle a threat from the ground to an aircraft. This is a job for the Feds. Rand Paul was a phony, Rand Paul is a phony, Rand Paul will always be a phony.

==

This, and the other comments supporting federalization of this issue, are silly. The states have been prosecuting this issue effectively. The problem is not that states are ineffective to handle it, but that the idiots involved don't appreciate the seriousness of what they're doing or that it's illegal. It's simply an education issue, not one of the effectiveness of enforcement.

And for the typical people who embrace any feel good federal legislation, do you know that it is the states who prosecute pilots suspected of intoxication in an aircraft? Hmm? Did you know that? So why are the states "equipped" to handle drunk pilots, but "ill equipped" to "handle a threat from the ground"?

And who do you think is best position to respond to such a threat? The handful of FBI agents in the Local Bureau office, or the hundreds, and in places thousands, of local law enforcement officers?

It is unbelievable how the internet, which you'd think would be populated by more tech-savvy people, nonetheless has numerous people incapable of thinking clearly.

Posted by: Paleocon_Bill | February 4, 2011 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Face it, Rand Paul is just a weirdo.

Posted by: gregnowell | February 4, 2011 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Face it, Rand Paul is just a weirdo.

Posted by: gregnowell | February 4, 2011 4:03 PM | Report abuse

TO: wfmccarthy who wrote:
“The founding fathers vetoed state's rights when they scraped the Articles of Confederation in favor of the US Constitution …”

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

You did say that the Articles of Confederation were scrapped.

Prior to the abolishment of confederacy, certain “states” claimed to be their own “country” of which I think Texas was one, by way of example.

It wasn’t until after the North won the war that certain southern “countries” became “States” as part of the “United States.”


Posted by: lindalovejones | February 4, 2011 4:02 PM | Report abuse

TO: wfmccarthy who wrote:
“The founding fathers vetoed state's rights when they scraped the Articles of Confederation in favor of the US Constitution …”

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

You did say that the Articles of Confederation were scrapped.

Prior to the abolishment of confederacy, certain “states” claimed to be their own “country” of which I think Texas was one.

I wasn’t under after the North won the war that certain southern “countries” became “States” as part of the “United States.”


Posted by: lindalovejones | February 4, 2011 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Most, if not all, of the states are ill-equipped to handle a threat from the ground to an aircraft. This is a job for the Feds. Rand Paul was a phony, Rand Paul is a phony, Rand Paul will always be a phony.

Posted by: ners1507 | February 4, 2011 3:55 PM | Report abuse

horacemann at 11:43AM is the winning entry.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | February 4, 2011 3:53 PM | Report abuse

TO: JohnSpek who wrote:
“Now that it's a FEDERAL law - how is it going to be enforced?..”

^^^^^^^^^^^^

Have you ever heard of the FBI?

Ever heard of Federal Prisons?

I think if someone gets caught shining a laser at any airplane (and a couple of people already have) they’re going to put some time in at Club Fed.

As for Rand Paul voting against this legislation, I think that's a clear sign that (1) Rand Paul won't be READING anything; and (2) Rand Paul is going to vote "No" on everything, he doesn't care what it is.


Posted by: lindalovejones | February 4, 2011 3:44 PM | Report abuse

I think it is okay to point a laser pointer on to a screen in a theater full of people. But not shout "fire" at the same time!

Posted by: kishorgala | February 4, 2011 3:43 PM | Report abuse

How would one know if it is a LED pointer or a laser pointer?

Can one carry a laser pointer on a plane? Do the pointers have to be registered or licensed?

Posted by: kishorgala | February 4, 2011 3:36 PM | Report abuse

theobserver4 .... what's the Supremacy clause have to do with the subject legislation?

To have supremacy the legislation needs to be enacted ... Paul's NO vote is true to his belief that if the States can handle something there is no need to enact federal legislation - just to increase costs. Police matters are local. Pointing a laser is generally done at one location and is more a public nuisance than a federal criminal conspiracy.

Posted by: Hazmat77
____________________
right as to the supremacy clause, but misguided otherwise. If 20 states don't bother, then there would be no penalty in those 20 states absent a federal law. if all 50 states don't pass identical laws punishing hijacking an aircraft, then it's legal in the ones that don't?

there's no need for federal criminal laws on housebreaking or the like, but there are a ton of subjects that the lack of federal law would be unacceptable. this is one of them. and it's cheaper to have one federal law enforced by the feds than 50 state laws enforced by local authorities, not the other way around, if for no other reason than that a lot fewer people have to learn the law and draft indictment forms, etc.

Posted by: JoeT1 | February 4, 2011 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Now that it's a FEDERAL law - how is it going to be enforced?

IMMIGRATION is a FEDERAL law, and AZ is one of many cases that prove local police are not permitted to invoke or enforce FEDERAL law

Remember - there is no national, FEDERAL police force

ROFLMAO at the stupidity of all of the federal laws, with no federal enforcement

Posted by: JohnSpek | February 4, 2011 3:30 PM | Report abuse

This vote confirms it. Everybody in the Senate is out of step except Rand !

We are indeed fortunate to have such brilliant man in the Senate who will stand up protect us from the rest of "those pinkos".

Rush, Glen and Sarah must be proud of his brave stand on this controversial issue.

Posted by: WESHS49 | February 4, 2011 3:29 PM | Report abuse

If anyone could convince me there is even the possibility of a thread from a laser pointer to an aircraft, I'd sing a different tune.

Mr. Paul (with whom I usually disagree) rightfully recognizes this is a non-issue on which the government should not even be debating.

Different if the laser is an aiming device. A laser pointer is not. Nor could it POSSIBLY maintain track long enough to cause damage to a pilot traveling 600 miles per hour.

Posted by: tbailsh | February 4, 2011 11:55 AM


If you're an idiot by choice, nobody can convince you of anything.

Posted by: Bridge3263 | February 4, 2011 3:27 PM | Report abuse

If a plane leaving NYC enroute to SF encounters a laser beam in say in the Kansas City, MO area and the plane goes down outside of Kansas City, Kansas due to the distraction, who responds? NY, MO, or Kansas? What state has jurisdiction? That's why this law was passed by the Senate. It makes me wonder why Rand Paul was sent to the Senate. Is he going to sit there and flip a coin to determine what state has jurisdiction or just run and say federal employees aboard the aircraft have to file in all those jurisdictions so as not to participate himself in the determination? Whether he or anyone supporting his philosphy on this matter realizes, it is the FAA that would take the lead on this investigation along with the NTSB. I think the state budgets would be overburdened having to provide the same services.

Posted by: ewjazzed | February 4, 2011 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Please learn about the US Constitution. State laws are not Unconstitutional.

Posted by: dottydo | February 4, 2011 1:25 PM
_________________________________
Yes, please learn about the U.S. Constitution and the role of the Federal Courts. State laws frequently are found unconstitutional.

And take your meds.

Posted by: luridone | February 4, 2011 3:11 PM | Report abuse

All of this is why any discussion with a Tea Party person, dittoheads and all the rest is pointless. A law is needed to govern the use of laser pointers in the entire country. This is a problem that needs to be unlawful. If only half the states have laws, half the country can do what they want. It needs to be a federal law, covering 50 states. Think about it instead of just saying it's better if each state passes their own laws. I give up. Have fun.

Posted by: tojo45 | February 4, 2011 3:07 PM | Report abuse

theobserver4 .... what's the Supremacy clause have to do with the subject legislation?

To have supremacy the legislation needs to be enacted ... Paul's NO vote is true to his belief that if the States can handle something there is no need to enact federal legislation - just to increase costs. Police matters are local. Pointing a laser is generally done at one location and is more a public nuisance than a federal criminal conspiracy.

Posted by: Hazmat77 | February 4, 2011 3:04 PM | Report abuse

theobserver4 .... what's the Supremacy clause have to do with the subject legislation?

To have supremacy the legislation needs to be enacted ... Paul's NO vote is true to his belief that if the States can handle something there is no need to enact federal legislation - just to increase costs. Police matters are local. Pointing a laser is generally done at one location and is more a public nusiance than a federal criminal conspiracy.

Posted by: Hazmat77 | February 4, 2011 3:03 PM | Report abuse

theobserver4 .... what's the Supremacy clause have to do with the subject legislation?

To have supremacy the legislation needs to be enacted ... Paul's NO vote is true to his belief that if the States can handle something there is no need to enact federal legislation - just to increase costs. Police matters are local. Pointing a laser is generally done at one location and is more a public nusiance than a federal criminal conspiracy.

Posted by: Hazmat77 | February 4, 2011 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Dottydo: Certainly state laws can be unconstitutional. If a state passes a law that is not constitutional, like the Arizona laws about police checking you immigration status being fought right now, what else do you call it? It will end up in the U.S Supreme Court and declared UN-CONSTITUTIONAL.

Posted by: tojo45 | February 4, 2011 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Please learn about the US Constitution. State laws are not Unconstitutional.

Are you somehow suggesting that those with Rangel as a hoosecow deserving representative is a better one?

Posted by: dottydo

****************************************************************************************

Have you ever heard of the Supremacy Clause? Nobody except right wingers believes what every Tom Dick and Harry are constitutional scholars. This is what happens when we have generations of Americans who worship ignorance and hates them book learnins.

Posted by: theobserver4 | February 4, 2011 2:42 PM | Report abuse

The founding fathers vetoed state's rights when they scraped the Articles of Confederation in favor of the US Constitution that was eventually signed and enacted into law. State's rights was OK when there were 13 colonies and 10 million people but it's a little more complicated now, some 200 years later. They evidently don't teach that in Rush Limbaugh's (phony) Institute for Advanced Conservative Studies.

Posted by: wfmccarthy | February 4, 2011 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Question: what do "laser guided munitions" use to hit their targets?
-
Is it reasonable for the FAA to prohibit the completely unnecessary pointing of laser light at aircraft, in aid of preventing an attack on those aircraft?

Posted by: OldUncleTom | February 4, 2011 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Just how do Americans recall this dud?

Posted by: KHMJr | February 4, 2011 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Bow before Aqua Buddha and his juvenile interpretation of the Constitution!!

The FAA has the letter F in the acronym for a reason. Way to go Kentucky!!

Posted by: theobserver4 | February 4, 2011 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Even if you disagree, you could excuse the vote on lasers pointed at aircraft as a principled decision, however muddled Paul's principles may be.

But the vote to preserve secret holds is not about principle. It's about the power of an individual to muck up the system without being held accountable. We need more transparency from government, not less.

Posted by: j3hess | February 4, 2011 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Way to go Paul, way to stick up for state's rights...the federal government has too many regulations that take our freedoms away.

Posted by: tonyjm | February 4, 2011 2:16 PM | Report abuse

So Rand Paul is against airline safety, and all for letting terrorists attack flying aircraft.
I say it again; the man is a anti-American P. O. S.
With ears.

Posted by: jeffc6578 | February 4, 2011 2:10 PM | Report abuse

This is what you get from voters who think it is somehow a good idea to step on defensless women's heads at campaign events.

Posted by: John1263 | February 4, 2011 1:59 PM | Report abuse

What a loser!

Posted by: Sirius2 | February 4, 2011 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Personally, I think since he knew the vote was going to be pretty much all "yes" votes, he probably felt by voting "no" he could make a statement and still not change the outcome of the majority. I could be wrong, but I would not be surprised. I agree this issue should be a federal issue. Since it passed, then maybe the states could get rid of all of their varying laws pertaining to the laser pointers and leave the punishment up to the feds.

Posted by: not4n | February 4, 2011 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Sorry about my multiple posts - what a crappy platform the Post has.

Posted by: Nevergen | February 4, 2011 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Regardless of what you think of Rand's vote, some people need to educate themselves about what the bill was really about. We're talking about the types of very powerful lasers used at laser shows or so-called signal lasers, which can be easily acquired. These are not the lasers you use for PowerPoints or to play with your kitty. There have been a number of incidents where pilots have been blinded by these lasers while trying to land a plane. At LAX, lasers from the ground were aimed at aircraft over 2800 times alone in 2010. Hence, the reason that police and pilot associations support the bill. God forbid if a plane crashes due to one of these things, people will screaming for Congressional action.

Posted by: Nevergen | February 4, 2011 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Regardless of what you think of Rand's vote, some people need to educate themselves about what the bill was really about. We're talking about the types of very powerful lasers used at laser shows or so-called signal lasers, which can be easily acquired. These are not the lasers you use for PowerPoints or to play with your kitty. There have been a number of incidents where pilots have been blinded by these lasers while trying to land a plane. At LAX, lasers from the ground were aimed at aircraft over 2800 times alone in 2010. hence, the reason that police and pilot associations support the bill. God forbid if a plane crashes due to one of these things, people will screaming for Congressional action.

Posted by: Nevergen | February 4, 2011 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Hey Paul Rand, how about Americans pay for our National Defense. Currently the entire defense budget ($895 Billion for 2011) is borrowed money. Paying for it would cost 120 million working taxpayers $7,458 each. Lets’ start with your state, Kentucky, coughing up their share!

2011 Total USA Defense Spending = $895 Billion: 34.8% of $2.57 Trillion in Revenues, all of which is borrowed deficit spending.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/special/politics/budget-2010/

Posted by: Airborne82 | February 4, 2011 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Regardless of what you think of Rand's vote, some people need to educate themselves about what the bill was really about. We're talking about the types of very powerful lasers used at laser shows or so-called signal lasers, which can be easily acquired. These are not the lasers you use for PowerPoints or to play with your kitty. There have been a number of incidents where pilots have been blinded by these lasers while trying to land a plane. At LAX, lasers from the ground were aimed at aircraft over 2800 times alone in 2010. hence, the reason that police and pilot associations support the bill. God forbid if a plane crashes due to one of these things, people will screaming for Congressional action.

Posted by: Nevergen | February 4, 2011 1:48 PM | Report abuse

DOTTYDO: Any law can be un-constitutional, if it is. It would work its way thru the courts to the state supreme court then to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Apparently Rand Paul isn't the only moron around here.

Posted by: tojo45 | February 4, 2011 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Aqua Buddah forgot to read tha part about "intersatate commerce" in the Constitution. Probably has one of those "redacted" versions conservatives like.......

Posted by: John1263 | February 4, 2011 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Rand Paul is INTERPRETING the US Constitution the way RAND PAUL wants to interpret it. He is taking liberties with and abusing the document in order to further teabag agenda items. If there was ever a case of one branch of government being unchecked, it is this Congress. Rand Paul is testing his interpretations of the Constitution vigilante style.

Posted by: fmamstyle | February 4, 2011 1:38 PM | Report abuse

No, it really isn't just about the little pen-like laser pointers people may use for lectures. There are other readily available, significantly more powerful ones that anybody can buy. That's why it breaks my heart if "laser pointer" is really in the name of the bill.

That doesn't educate, inform, or deal with the issue with any accuracy or precision..

Posted by: AnnieDC | February 4, 2011 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Since "some" states have laws about this, there should be no federal law. What about the states that don't? Just have the planes zig-zag and try to stay over states that have the laws? If Paul is sticking to his ideals, he should talk to the pilots and explain his vote. Maybe we should have each state enact its own laws on airline security, visas, etc. Sad to say, I'm sure he's quite proud of himself.

Posted by: Sutter | February 4, 2011 1:37 PM | Report abuse

which is actually dumber than disputing the danger. what could possibly be more proper, and more efficient, for the federal government to handle, as opposed to the states? it's not something that even lends itself to local considerations.

Posted by: JoeT1 | February 4, 2011 1:28 PM

and there is the problem for the Rand Paul types of the world. States over time will have wildly differing laws on the same subject. Laser pointers are easy. Imagine more complex subjects.

Posted by: ModerateVoter | February 4, 2011 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Rand Paul will be a continual reminder that tea parties and politics shouldn't be mixed.

Posted by: bertram2 | February 4, 2011 1:33 PM | Report abuse

The ever erudite Aqua Buddah does not want to limit your "freedom" to cause a major airline catastrophy.

Posted by: John1263 | February 4, 2011 1:33 PM | Report abuse

I bet you could get good ol' Rand and his other Tea Party freaky friends to vote on a bill to change the name of this country to the "States of America."

Posted by: bkllal6020 | February 4, 2011 1:33 PM | Report abuse

It figured DeMint opposed the hold rule. It ought to have been named for him. It doesn't surprise me that Rant Paul voted against the laser law. I don't expect him to vote yes on anything that the government seeks to do other than for crazy social extremists causes. There's plenty of rights he'd rather people not have at all.

Posted by: Nymous | February 4, 2011 1:33 PM | Report abuse

TO: ben16 who wrote:
“Rand isn't interested in the United States of America - he's only interested in the rights of every State … something compels people in Kentucky to vote for idiots.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

He probably thought he WAS running for State Senate and unbeknownst to him ended up in Washington, D.C. (LOL)

People in Kentucky to voting for idiots might have something to do with all that moonshine they be making up in them thar hills. They must be drunk.

Oh let's face it, at least Rand is not crying over this... then again, maybe we should check. No, that Boehner, again.

Posted by: lindalovejones | February 4, 2011 1:32 PM | Report abuse

The bill is a little ridiculous anyways. If I am thinking about the same hand held laser pointer that is used during presentations; A) it can't be seen more than 20 yards away and B) it can't be seen more than 20 yards away. I think the bigger issue would be to make it a federal crime for a person to be within 20 yards of a plane on the tarmac.

Posted by: Jsuf | February 4, 2011 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Oh, someone please tell me that it isn't actually limited to "laser pointers?"

I don't think those things that people use to play with their cats are really the problem. . . . . . .

Posted by: AnnieDC | February 4, 2011 1:31 PM | Report abuse

So, as an airplane flys from New York of Los Angeles, there would be 15 seperate laws governing the problem of lasers? Absurd and unconstitutional. The people of Kentucky should be ashamed of themselves for electing Rand Paul.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Please learn about the US Constitution. State laws are not Unconstitutional.
There are Federally funded highways, and airways. Is it feasible to think that all people with a lazer pointer might be potential criminals?


Are you somehow suggesting that those with Rangel as a hoosecow deserving representative has a better one?


It is really kewl that the guide at the Reagan library can be cuffed up for pointing her pointer at the airforceone there. Kewl kewl kewl.

Posted by: dottydo | February 4, 2011 1:29 PM | Report abuse

To all you fools who are fixated on the lack of danger, remember that the idiot Paul didn't say it wasn't dangerous, he just said the states should regulate it.

_____________________
which is actually dumber than disputing the danger. what could possibly be more proper, and more efficient, for the federal government to handle, as opposed to the states? it's not something that even lends itself to local considerations.

Posted by: JoeT1 | February 4, 2011 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Those of us in the laser-pointer lobby thank you, Rand. You can expect a little something extra this pay period.

Posted by: cthehill | February 4, 2011 1:28 PM | Report abuse

That Rand Paul guy, what a comedian.

And some of these comments are a hoot.

I think he should have a place on the new Wile Y. Fox and Coyote network as a regular broadcaster of important news and views.

He'd give that darn Jon Stewart a run for laughs.

Posted by: Tipidancingbear | February 4, 2011 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Yes Rand, it is the Fed Av Adm., not the Ken Av Admn. Imagine if you can, probably can't but imagine 50 laws for throughout the nation. The plane leaves NY, gets blasted in PA airspace and crashes in Ohio. Now which state law applies would be determined by the details of that law in which state? Rand, are you following the subject?

Posted by: moemongo | February 4, 2011 1:27 PM | Report abuse

So, as an airplane flys from New York of Los Angeles, there would be 15 seperate laws governing the problem of lasers? Absurd and unconstitutional. The people of Kentucky should be ashamed of themselves for electing Rand Paul.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Please learn about the US Constitution. State laws are not Unconstitutional.

Are you somehow suggesting that those with Rangel as a hoosecow deserving representative is a better one?

Posted by: dottydo | February 4, 2011 1:25 PM | Report abuse

TO: daweeni who wrote:
“… Paul didn't say it wasn't dangerous, he just said the states should REGULATE it.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Regulate! I thought Republicans were loath to regulate anything.

Republicans are just making up excuses again for their dimwitted politicians.

I'm waiting for Rand's press secretary to come out and say he just pushed the wrong button.

Posted by: lindalovejones | February 4, 2011 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Rand isn't interested in the United States of America - he's only interested in the rights of every State. Let's just do away with the FAA - and let every state license pilots under their own rule, pass their own regulations on aircraft safety,etc. Kentucky can force every aircraft passing over its airspace to land for inspection, and check for "suspicious" passengers who don't look "American". Which doesn't matter to Rand who is filthy rich and can travel by private jet. Clearly, after Bunning, Ron Paul, and now Rand - something compels people in Kentucky to vote for idiots.

Posted by: ben16 | February 4, 2011 1:22 PM | Report abuse

A law handled by the states? Really? Most states cannot keep their roads in good repair. I am sure that states will get to it after some idiot (kid) shines a laser at a plan on final approach and causes it to crash killing all on board.

By the way, on final approach there is alot going on. Take a flying lession and see.

Posted by: ModerateVoter | February 4, 2011 1:21 PM | Report abuse

So when we tour the Regan library and the guide points with a lazer pointer at the Airforce one...they might take her down?

Kewl.

Posted by: dottydo | February 4, 2011 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Rand isn't interested in the United States of America - he's only interested in the rights of every State. Let's just do away with the FAA - and let every state license pilots under their own rule, pass their own regulations on aircraft safety,etc. Kentucky can force every aircraft passing over its airspace to land for inspection, and check for "suspicious" passengers who don't look "American". Which doesn't matter to Rand who is filthy rich and can travel by private jet. Clearly, after Bunning, Ron Paul, and now Rand - something compels people in Kentucky to vote for idiots.

Posted by: ben16 | February 4, 2011 1:20 PM | Report abuse

So when we tour the Regan library and the guide points with a lazer pointer at the Airforce one...they might take her down?

Kewl.

Posted by: dottydo | February 4, 2011 1:19 PM | Report abuse

I wonder how many KY voters regret sending this fool to Washington? Surely some of his voters are having buyer's remorse.

Posted by: Observer691 | February 4, 2011 1:17 PM | Report abuse

To all you fools who are fixated on the lack of danger, remember that the idiot Paul didn't say it wasn't dangerous, he just said the states should regulate it.

Posted by: daweeni

==============================

Quick! Look! No....never mind.. It was just a deflection.

Posted by: fmamstyle | February 4, 2011 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Probably because he didn't know what they hell they were talking about.

Maybe he thought they meant "UFOs". LOL

Posted by: lindalovejones | February 4, 2011 1:13 PM | Report abuse

This is a Herald of Coming Good (or Lunacy depending on your viewpoint). Nowhere is it mentioned in the Constitution that the federal government has the power to restrict laser pointing devices. To the contrary - to the degree that they can be considered weapons, they are clearly protected by the Second Amendment.

Posted by: doughty | February 4, 2011 12:49 PM

***************************************

The Second Amendment does not give you the right to shoot at aircraft. The law does not ban laser devices, it just makes it illegal to use them in an attempt to disrupt the vision of a flight crew.

Posted by: hisroc | February 4, 2011 1:12 PM | Report abuse

fish4: "just another plot by the Marxist communist fascist Nazis in charge to impose Sharia law."

damn right.

Posted by: newageblues | February 4, 2011 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Look at it this way, if Rand voted yes he would be lost in the crowd. By voting being the only no vote it is guaranteed him coverage and a soap box. This is the modus operandi of the far right. By being outrageous, it guarantees them increased exposure.

Posted by: chucko2 | February 4, 2011 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Rand Paul is P. O. S.
With ears.

Posted by: jeffc6578 | February 4, 2011 1:03 PM | Report abuse

To all you fools who are fixated on the lack of danger, remember that the idiot Paul didn't say it wasn't dangerous, he just said the states should regulate it.

Posted by: daweeni | February 4, 2011 1:01 PM | Report abuse

One could argue that intra-state flights are not subject to FAA regulations, for instance, if I'm in the middle of Montana and want to fly an ultra-light, why should the Feds have anything to say about this? What part of the "commerce clause" covers flying ultra-lights that don't cross state lines?

However the existing regulatory framework is set. The Feds regulate flying and therefore they ought to regulate pointing lasers at them. This is not rocket science! The Pauls must have a fruitcake gene.

Posted by: cyberfool | February 4, 2011 12:56 PM | Report abuse

I don't want a permit to carry a concealed laser pointer. My second amendment rights are being violated.

Posted by: fmamstyle | February 4, 2011 12:55 PM | Report abuse

If anyone could convince me there is even the possibility of a thread from a laser pointer to an aircraft, I'd sing a different tune.

Mr. Paul (with whom I usually disagree) rightfully recognizes this is a non-issue on which the government should not even be debating.

Different if the laser is an aiming device. A laser pointer is not. Nor could it POSSIBLY maintain track long enough to cause damage to a pilot traveling 600 miles per hour.

Posted by: tbailsh | February 4, 2011 11:55 AM
***************************************************************
Since the vast majority of the 2,800 incidents reported last year are by PILOTS, the validity of the danger is self-evident.

And who says that all of these incidents involve aircraft traveling at 600 MHP? The aircraft includes small planes & helicopters as well as larger planes while they taxi on the runway. And since new laser pointers are stronger and more visible, the danger is growing. Rand Paul is just too ignorant to recognize it.

Is that a big enough THREAD for you?

http://www.televisionbroadcast.com/article/112618

Posted by: lgaide | February 4, 2011 12:50 PM | Report abuse

This is a Herald of Coming Good (or Lunacy depending on your viewpoint). Nowhere is it mentioned in the Constitution that the federal government has the power to restrict laser pointing devices. To the contrary - to the degree that they can be considered weapons, they are clearly protected by the Second Amendment.

Posted by: doughty | February 4, 2011 12:49 PM | Report abuse

If anyone could convince me there is even the possibility of a thread from a laser pointer to an aircraft, I'd sing a different tune.

Mr. Paul (with whom I usually disagree) rightfully recognizes this is a non-issue on which the government should not even be debating.

Different if the laser is an aiming device. A laser pointer is not. Nor could it POSSIBLY maintain track long enough to cause damage to a pilot traveling 600 miles per hour.

Posted by: tbailsh | February 4, 2011 11:55 AM
***************************************************************
Since the vast majority of the 2,800 incidents reported last year are by PILOTS, the validity of the danger is self-evident.

And who says that all of these incidents involve aircraft traveling at 600 MHP? The aircraft includes small planes & helicopters as well as larger planes while they taxi on the runway. And since new laser pointers are stronger and more visible, the danger is growing. Rand Paul is just too ignorant to recognize it.

Is that a big enough THREAD for you?

http://www.televisionbroadcast.com/article/112618

Posted by: lgaide | February 4, 2011 12:48 PM | Report abuse

There are some things I think the federal government should do - and making some bonehead think twice before aiming a blinding device at an aircraft is high on my list.

Posted by: MidwaySailor76 | February 4, 2011 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Didn't think it was possible, but Kentucky actually downgraded from Jim Bunning.

loux24, how can you not vote for someone who had such a great slider?:)

High-powered green lasers are a distraction to the pilots at a critical point on their approach to landing.

Anyone directing a laser at an aircraft should be punished for just being that efing stupid.

Posted by: giscone | February 4, 2011 12:44 PM | Report abuse

If anyone could convince me there is even the possibility of a thread from a laser pointer to an aircraft, I'd sing a different tune.

Mr. Paul (with whom I usually disagree) rightfully recognizes this is a non-issue on which the government should not even be debating.

Different if the laser is an aiming device. A laser pointer is not. Nor could it POSSIBLY maintain track long enough to cause damage to a pilot traveling 600 miles per hour.

Posted by: tbailsh | February 4, 2011 11:55 AM
***************************************************************
Since the vast majority of the 2,800 incidents reported last year are by PILOTS, the validity of the danger is self-evident.

And who says that all of these incidents involve aircraft traveling at 600 MHP? The aircraft includes small planes & helicopters as well as larger planes while they taxi on the runway. And since new laser pointers are stronger and more visible, the danger is growing. Rand Paul is just too ignorant to recognize it.

Is that a big enough THREAD for you?

http://www.televisionbroadcast.com/article/112618

Posted by: lgaide | February 4, 2011 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Is there any way the Washington Post can keep people from re-posting the same comment 10 times? This is really annoying.

Once is enough to make your point, people. Post it once and assume at least some people will read it.

Posted by: scrim1 | February 4, 2011 12:42 PM | Report abuse

If anyone could convince me there is even the possibility of a thread from a laser pointer to an aircraft, I'd sing a different tune.

Mr. Paul (with whom I usually disagree) rightfully recognizes this is a non-issue on which the government should not even be debating.

Different if the laser is an aiming device. A laser pointer is not. Nor could it POSSIBLY maintain track long enough to cause damage to a pilot traveling 600 miles per hour.

Posted by: tbailsh | February 4, 2011 11:55 AM
***************************************************************
Since the vast majority of the 2,800 incidents reported last year are by PILOTS, the validity of the danger is self-evident.

And who says that all of these incidents involve aircraft traveling at 600 MHP? The aircraft includes small planes & helicopters as well as larger planes while they taxi on the runway. And since new laser pointers are stronger and more visible, the danger is growing. Rand Paul is just too ignorant to recognize it.

Is that a big enough THREAD for you?

http://www.televisionbroadcast.com/article/112618

Posted by: lgaide | February 4, 2011 12:40 PM | Report abuse

If anyone could convince me there is even the possibility of a thread from a laser pointer to an aircraft, I'd sing a different tune.

Mr. Paul (with whom I usually disagree) rightfully recognizes this is a non-issue on which the government should not even be debating.

Different if the laser is an aiming device. A laser pointer is not. Nor could it POSSIBLY maintain track long enough to cause damage to a pilot traveling 600 miles per hour.

Posted by: tbailsh | February 4, 2011 11:55 AM
***************************************************************
Since the vast majority of the 2,800 incidents reported last year are by PILOTS, the validity of the danger is self-evident.

And who says that all of these incidents involve aircraft traveling at 600 MHP? The aircraft includes small planes & helicopters as well as larger planes while they taxi on the runway. And since new laser pointers are stronger and more visible, the danger is growing. Rand Paul is just too ignorant to recognize it.

Is that a big enough THREAD for you?

http://www.televisionbroadcast.com/article/112618

Posted by: lgaide | February 4, 2011 12:39 PM | Report abuse

I understand a general preference for state level regulation wherever feasible. But I can't think of anything more appropriate, efficient, effective or sensible for the federal government to handle rather than the states than this.

If Paul thinks this is best left to the states (he doesn't disagree that it's a problem), then he probably thinks defense is best left to the states as well, so if KY wants to send its militia to North Korea, good for it.

Posted by: JoeT1 | February 4, 2011 12:39 PM | Report abuse

If anyone could convince me there is even the possibility of a thread from a laser pointer to an aircraft, I'd sing a different tune.

Mr. Paul (with whom I usually disagree) rightfully recognizes this is a non-issue on which the government should not even be debating.

Different if the laser is an aiming device. A laser pointer is not. Nor could it POSSIBLY maintain track long enough to cause damage to a pilot traveling 600 miles per hour.

Posted by: tbailsh | February 4, 2011 11:55 AM
***************************************************************
Since the vast majority of the 2,800 incidents reported last year are by PILOTS, the validity of the danger is self-evident.

And who says that all of these incidents involve aircraft traveling at 600 MHP? The aircraft includes small planes & helicopters as well as larger planes while they taxi on the runway. And since new laser pointers are stronger and more visible, the danger is growing. Rand Paul is just too ignorant to recognize it.

Is that a big enough THREAD for you?

http://www.televisionbroadcast.com/article/112618

Posted by: lgaide | February 4, 2011 12:37 PM | Report abuse

If anyone could convince me there is even the possibility of a thread from a laser pointer to an aircraft, I'd sing a different tune.

Mr. Paul (with whom I usually disagree) rightfully recognizes this is a non-issue on which the government should not even be debating.

Different if the laser is an aiming device. A laser pointer is not. Nor could it POSSIBLY maintain track long enough to cause damage to a pilot traveling 600 miles per hour.

Posted by: tbailsh | February 4, 2011 11:55 AM
***************************************************************
Since the vast majority of the 2,800 incidents reported last year are by PILOTS, the validity of the danger is self-evident.

And who says that all of these incidents involve aircraft traveling at 600 MHP? The aircraft includes small planes & helicopters as well as larger planes while they taxi on the runway. And since new laser pointers are stronger and more visible, the danger is growing. Rand Paul is just too ignorant to recognize it.

Is that a big enough THREAD for you?

http://www.televisionbroadcast.com/article/112618

Posted by: lgaide | February 4, 2011 12:37 PM | Report abuse

If anyone could convince me there is even the possibility of a thread from a laser pointer to an aircraft, I'd sing a different tune.

Mr. Paul (with whom I usually disagree) rightfully recognizes this is a non-issue on which the government should not even be debating.

Different if the laser is an aiming device. A laser pointer is not. Nor could it POSSIBLY maintain track long enough to cause damage to a pilot traveling 600 miles per hour.

Posted by: tbailsh | February 4, 2011 11:55 AM
***************************************************************
Since the vast majority of the 2,800 incidents reported last year are by PILOTS, the validity of the danger is self-evident.

And who says that all of these incidents involve aircraft traveling at 600 MHP? The aircraft includes small planes & helicopters as well as larger planes while they taxi on the runway. And since new laser pointers are stronger and more visible, the danger is growing. Rand Paul is just too ignorant to recognize it.

Is that a big enough THREAD for you?

http://www.televisionbroadcast.com/article/112618

Posted by: lgaide | February 4, 2011 12:37 PM | Report abuse

If anyone could convince me there is even the possibility of a thread from a laser pointer to an aircraft, I'd sing a different tune.

Mr. Paul (with whom I usually disagree) rightfully recognizes this is a non-issue on which the government should not even be debating.

Different if the laser is an aiming device. A laser pointer is not. Nor could it POSSIBLY maintain track long enough to cause damage to a pilot traveling 600 miles per hour.

Posted by: tbailsh | February 4, 2011 11:55 AM
***************************************************************
Since the vast majority of the 2,800 incidents reported last year are by PILOTS, the validity of the danger is self-evident.

And who says that all of these incidents involve aircraft traveling at 600 MHP? The aircraft includes small planes & helicopters as well as larger planes while they taxi on the runway. And since new laser pointers are stronger and more visible, the danger is growing. Rand Paul is just too ignorant to recognize it.

Is that a big enough THREAD for you?

http://www.televisionbroadcast.com/article/112618

Posted by: lgaide | February 4, 2011 12:37 PM | Report abuse

If anyone could convince me there is even the possibility of a thread from a laser pointer to an aircraft, I'd sing a different tune.

Mr. Paul (with whom I usually disagree) rightfully recognizes this is a non-issue on which the government should not even be debating.

Different if the laser is an aiming device. A laser pointer is not. Nor could it POSSIBLY maintain track long enough to cause damage to a pilot traveling 600 miles per hour.

Posted by: tbailsh | February 4, 2011 11:55 AM
***************************************************************
Since the vast majority of the 2,800 incidents reported last year are by PILOTS, the validity of the danger is self-evident.

And who says that all of these incidents involve aircraft traveling at 600 MHP? The aircraft includes small planes & helicopters as well as larger planes while they taxi on the runway. And since new laser pointers are stronger and more visible, the danger is growing. Rand Paul is just too ignorant to recognize it.

Is that a big enough THREAD for you?

http://www.televisionbroadcast.com/article/112618

Posted by: lgaide | February 4, 2011 12:36 PM | Report abuse

If anyone could convince me there is even the possibility of a thread from a laser pointer to an aircraft, I'd sing a different tune.

Mr. Paul (with whom I usually disagree) rightfully recognizes this is a non-issue on which the government should not even be debating.

Different if the laser is an aiming device. A laser pointer is not. Nor could it POSSIBLY maintain track long enough to cause damage to a pilot traveling 600 miles per hour.

Posted by: tbailsh | February 4, 2011 11:55 AM


*************************************************************
Since the vast majority of reports of the laser pointer incidents are by PILOTS, the validity of the danger is self-evident.

And who says all of the 2,800 incidents reported last year involved aircraft traveling at 600 MPH? Aircraft includes small planes & helicopters and aircraft while they taxi on the runway. With the advent of stronger and more visible laser pointers, the danger is growing. Rand Paul is just too ignorant to recognize it.

http://www.televisionbroadcast.com/article/112618

Posted by: lgaide | February 4, 2011 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Remember, Rand Paul is the idiot that also worshiped the false god "Aqua Buddha" and wanted to sacrifice a virgin on its altar. No wonder he was the only one that voted no.

Posted by: WorkatHomeGuy | February 4, 2011 12:29 PM | Report abuse

@fergusonfoont: You are probably right and never thought of it that way. Your comment as to why these Teabaggers are the way they are, easier to bully state than Feds and Horacemann your comemtns are funny.

The thing with these teabaggers are they are the radical part of the tea party. There is a huge difference between the two and the way you can tell is follow the corp money. Teabaggers are beggers of corp funds and the tea party are concerned americans who want help america to strive and teabaggers want only corp greed to thrive..And another way to tell them apart, baggers are aways with corp sponors and tea party(members) are working with community groups to make america better.

Posted by: Realistic5 | February 4, 2011 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Didn't think it was possible, but Kentucky actually downgraded from Jim Bunning.

Posted by: loux24 | February 4, 2011 12:27 PM | Report abuse

JHampshire, Yes, there are numerous reports by pilots of green lasers lighting up the cockpit upon approach to landing and at takeoff. Please use the resource called "The Internet" to look it up.

Anyway, the earth is only 10,000 years old, and it's flat too. Airplanes would only fly off the edge of the earth, so what difference does it make? It's all an elaborate hoax perpetrated by "liberals". Don't you worry your little head about it.

Posted by: fmamstyle | February 4, 2011 12:26 PM | Report abuse

D0UCHE!

Posted by: FoundingMother | February 4, 2011 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Obviously this would infringe on the second amendment right to bear arms. They make laser scopes that are mounted on guns and we the people would no longer be able to point our guns with laser scopes at airplanes. This is just another plot by the Marxist communist fascist Nazis in charge to impose Sharia law.

Posted by: fish4 | February 4, 2011 12:21 PM | Report abuse

5 years seems excessively long for pointing a laser pointer at an aircraft. Clearly this is a dumb thing to do and I suppose it's theoretically possible if you had pin-point laser-pointing skills, and the pilot had some sort of attention disorder that a crash could occur, but I don't think there has ever been even a close call of this happening. Any evidence? There was a local case of this where the helicopter pilot circled around and phoned in the coordinates to police. Probably risked his life more by doing loops and looking for the guy on the ground then the slight distraction caused by a small red dot. Imagine it's your kid who just thoughtlessly did this, would you still advocate a 5 year federal sentence for your child?

Posted by: JHampshire | February 4, 2011 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Okay Rand...I get it...you are making a statement and sticking to your principles. But really, do you have no common sense?

I don't think this is the issue that's going to wipe out our civil liberties and pave the way for the Socialists to take over.

The only part of it you can object to is the tax dollars that we will be required to pay to prosecute and jail people who break this law. But I'm willing to pay that minimal price to hopefully keep some idiot from blinding a pilot or killing 150 people at one time.

PS...horacemann, your comment is hilarious.

Posted by: LiliKang | February 4, 2011 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Oh, by the way, the reason that I KNOW that Rand Paul's and the others' attacks on Federal authority have nothing to do with states rights and everything to do with furthering an agenda of corporate hegemony is when these same regulatory measures are enacted by states, these same actors oppose them then just as they did for any Federal role.

What they REALLY don't want is any governance at all, and this stems wholly and directly from their desire to pay no taxes. I urge them to follow their hearts and leave America for one of those countries that do not assess taxes against their citizens.

You know, countries like China, North Korea and Cuba.

Posted by: FergusonFoont | February 4, 2011 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Thank you Kentucky for giving this moron to the rest of the country.

Does Kentucky have a recall process?

Posted by: jjj141 | February 4, 2011 12:08 PM | Report abuse

tbailsh wrote: "If anyone could convince me there is even the possibility of a thread from a laser pointer to an aircraft, I'd sing a different tune."

Different if the laser is an aiming device. A laser pointer is not. Nor could it POSSIBLY maintain track long enough to cause damage to a pilot traveling 600 miles per hour.

===============================

A laser "pointer", the kind used in board meetings, would definitely not be a threat to aircraft flying at 35,000 feet at 600 MPH. The "Green" lasers, the much more powerful kind are definitely a threat. There are numerous cases where pilots reported having a laser shine into the cockpit, blinding them temporarily, causing danger to the flight crew and passengers.

Are you parsing it this way as a justification to vindicate Rand Paul's vote?

Posted by: fmamstyle | February 4, 2011 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Rand Paul is an idiot.

Posted by: sumo1 | February 4, 2011 12:02 PM | Report abuse

If anyone could convince me there is even the possibility of a thread from a laser pointer to an aircraft, I'd sing a different tune.

Mr. Paul (with whom I usually disagree) rightfully recognizes this is a non-issue on which the government should not even be debating.

Different if the laser is an aiming device. A laser pointer is not. Nor could it POSSIBLY maintain track long enough to cause damage to a pilot traveling 600 miles per hour.

Posted by: tbailsh | February 4, 2011 11:57 AM | Report abuse

You might think that Rand Paul would be slapping his head repeatedly, saying "Oh my God! Why am I so stupid! How did I so totally misunderstand things?" Nope. He's smirking, and telling his teabag constituency he is right. The arrogance is astounding. Did NO ONE in the chambers voting on this bill tell Rand Paul that he really needs to re-think his stance on this? Doe she have a clue as to how stupid he looks?

Posted by: fmamstyle | February 4, 2011 11:56 AM | Report abuse

If anyone could convince me there is even the possibility of a thread from a laser pointer to an aircraft, I'd sing a different tune.

Mr. Paul (with whom I usually disagree) rightfully recognizes this is a non-issue on which the government should not even be debating.

Different if the laser is an aiming device. A laser pointer is not. Nor could it POSSIBLY maintain track long enough to cause damage to a pilot traveling 600 miles per hour.

Posted by: tbailsh | February 4, 2011 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Surely even the most cramped, Tea Party interpretation of the Commerce Clause would consider jet travel to be interstate commerce.

I cannot imagine what possible constitutional objection there could be to this legislation.

And if Rand Paul doesn't think Congress has the power to protect the safety of air travelers, God knows what he must think of the federal government's ability to protect food safety.

Posted by: Meridian1 | February 4, 2011 11:54 AM | Report abuse

This inkhorn also objects to the Civil Rights Act. How can a neanderthal garner a political future? Oh my heavens, I forgot about Traficante.

Posted by: Martial | February 4, 2011 11:54 AM | Report abuse

To be fair, laser pointers aren't mentioned in the Constitution. So let's ask: Would the Founders, if they understood the technology involved, be okay with this law?

Can you explain to me why they wouldn't be?

Posted by: ravensfan20008 | February 4, 2011 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Rand Paul's adolescent behavior is some sort of idealist dreamer lost in reality... and unfortunately is a crying shame that Kentucky voters do NOT have fair representation - only that of a wantabee perfectionist wasting votes and tax payer money - more GOP anti-federalism!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-Federalism

Posted by: danglingwrangler | February 4, 2011 11:51 AM | Report abuse

You have to try to understand the true rationale behind this push by the hard right to devolve various governmental roles away from the Federal government to the states. It has nothing to do with "states' rights" any more than the defenders of racial segregation had when they evoked states' rights as a subterfuge to conceal their racial bigotry.

Nor does it have anything to do with the Constitution. The nonsensical idea that somehow our Framers had a sense of the perils of air travel is genuinely laughable. More laughable still is the fact that these TEA Party sorts cherish the Constitution at all -- it is for the Articles of Confederation that they pine so plaintively -- the Constitution was drafted and ratified to STRENGTHEN the Federal role.

No, the real reason for it is that it is far easier for our overgrown corporations to bully a state government than it is for them to take on the Feds when it comes to any regulatory or law enforcement matter.

Rand Paul is not the biggest ninny in Congress but he certainly contends with only a handful of others (Coburn, Ensign, Kyl, and perhaps one or two more) for that title in the Senate.

Posted by: FergusonFoont | February 4, 2011 11:49 AM | Report abuse

So, as an airplane flys from New York of Los Angeles, there would be 15 seperate laws governing the problem of lasers? Absurd and unconstitutional. The people of Kentucky should be ashamed of themselves for electing Rand Paul.

Posted by: Lefty_ | February 4, 2011 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Paul told reporters after Thursday's vote that he believed the laser-pointer issue was one best handled by the states, not the federal government. "There are a lot of states that already have laws, and I think states ought to take care of it," Paul said.

=============================

I think airlines and airports should also not have any federal oversight. They should be set free to operate any way they wish, with no government whatsoever interfering in their business. All air traffic control should cease immediately, black boxes must be immediately removed from aircraft, flight rules must be eliminated, and pure capitalism must rule the skies. Why do we have to have stupid rules governing where planes are in the sky? It is unconstitutional to force people to abide by rules. This goes for our highways and trains too. No rules, no government! Let capitalism decide who gets to go or not go! If airplanes run into each other above our heads, it's God's will!

Posted by: fmamstyle | February 4, 2011 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Well, since planes stop at the border of each state before taking off for the next one, I can see his point. I believe lasers are incapable of crossing state borders as well due to the uniqueness of individual state photons.

Posted by: horacemann | February 4, 2011 11:43 AM | Report abuse

So he gets elected, goes to Washington and suggests the states should handle it. Maybe he should have just run for the Kentucky state Senate. What he does understand is in some instances Washington has to act because the states won't. It makes more sense to me to have 1 federal law to deal with this issue instead of a patchwork of state laws. Will he next suggest that hijacking should be handled by the states also so that there can be debate about who has jurisdiction when I certain airliner is hijacked at 35,000 feet.

Posted by: bscoleman | February 4, 2011 11:42 AM | Report abuse

It's called the FEDERAL Aviation Administration, not the Kentucky Aviation Administration. Certain laws just have to be passed by Congress, not the states. This is gonna be a long six years...

Posted by: daveb59 | February 4, 2011 11:41 AM | Report abuse

It's called the FEDERAL Aviation Administration, not the Kentucky Aviation Administration. Certain laws just have to be passed by Congress, not the states. This is gonna be a long six years...

Posted by: daveb59 | February 4, 2011 11:40 AM | Report abuse

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