In this piece Eric Nolte, an "airline captain for a major carrier," makes two fine points. Here's one:
When the waves closed over the watery graves of Kennedy, his wife, and sister-in-law, calls began to arise for greater regulation of private pilots. But there were already plenty of regulations on the books to cover every facet of Kennedy's last flight. As I asked my friends, how would the government restrain anybody from getting in their cars and driving off a cliff? How does one regulate common sense? And more to the point, what are the hazards of granting government the power to attempt such regulation of horse sense?
We live in an era when most people assume that every new problem is properly open to solution by government regulators. Implicit is the belief that the regulators have enough power, information, and wisdom to meet any new challenge.
Young Kennedy's pitiful death illustrates some of the issues that arise from the question of government regulation and the hugely vexing and misunderstood question of the major political tension of our age: the questions of the political primacy of the individual versus the state, and the very purpose of government.