Should Vaccines Be Mandatory?
reason's catch phrase may be "Free Minds and Free Markets," but I didn't see much about how the market might have an influence in Ronald Bailey's entry in "Should Vaccines be Mandatory?" (April).
If insurance companies were allowed to discriminate, they could charge the "unhealthy" employees higher premiums or refuse to provide them with coverage when they showed up with a disease for which a vaccine was available. Airlines might not let you fly and your neighborhood health club wouldn't let you join until you had been immunized. Your doctor might refuse you as a patient when he sees that you don't get immunized, to protect himself.
If a child suffers problems because of neglectful care by his or her parents, the parents can be punished for not meeting their parental duties. There should already be parental neglect statutes on the books.
If I deliberately inoculated myself with some communicable disease and then went to a crowded theater to see how many people I could infect, I would have to agree with Ronald Bailey's opinion that mandatory vaccination is reasonable. But if the infection was an accidental one, I would only be guilty of miscalculating the odds that I would get the disease without being immunized. That hardly rises to the level of a criminal act.
Five Gun Rights Cases to Watch
In Brian Doherty's article "Five Gun Rights Cases to Watch" (April), he points out that New Jersey allows only about 1,200 concealed carry permits. He also quotes Judge Ruggero Aldisert saying that restricting this right "to only those who can show a 'justifiable need' will further [the government's] substantial interest in public safety."
This has to be predicated on the assumption that only 1,200 people in New Jersey are victimized by violent crime in any year and they are always the 1,200 that the state gave permission to defend themselves. And we're trying to reason with people who think that makes sense.
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