07/03/2007 11:58 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Make Mine a Beretta! A Crack Down On Beer And A Crack Up On Guns

Two recent news items capture our national state of regulatory schizophrenia: In Tennessee, World War Two veterans must now provide identification before they can buy a beer in a store - thanks to a new law that came into effect on July 1 making universal carding mandatory. Meanwhile, in Washington, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved, as the New York Times notes,

"New language that threatens law enforcement officials with jail time if they dare use federal gun purchasing data to try to systematically address the problem of gun trafficking."

The amendment to the so-called Tiahrt amendments, named after Todd Tiahrt (R. Kan), could send data-trolling cops to the slammer for five years, was opposed by the Justice Department on the not-unreasonable grounds that it could make it more likely that law enforcement would end up on trial than gun traffickers.

So unregulated beer sales bad; unregulated gun sales good?