David Siegel and Peter Feaver respond to the policy implications of the Orlando massacre

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Political science faculty, David Siegel and Peter Feaver wrote op-ed pieces responding to policy questions surrounding the tragedy of the recent Orlando shooting.

Writing in, "Why you can't support a no-fly list but allow those on it to get guns" Siegel concludes, "A member of Congress could be consistent with his or her positions on Second Amendment issues and argue that the no-fly list represents an unjust and dangerous government overreach. Or that member could be consistent with his or her views on security and prohibit weapons possession by those on the no-fly list. But members of Congress can't have it both ways." Continue reading here.

And in Foreign Policy, Feaver responds to the question, "To what extent did President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s approach to the Islamic State threat contribute to the horrific Orlando terrorist attack?"  He concludes, "Pursuing a wiser set of policies would likely have placed us in a much more advantageous position in the war on terror than the one in which we find ourselves today. The case is pretty conclusive that Obama is bequeathing his successor a security legacy that falls far short of what it could and should be. But the hard truth is that even if the Obama administration had heeded its critics and adopted wiser policies earlier, there is no guarantee that it would have prevented the Orlando attack."  Continue reading here.

Writing for The News and Observer in "Orlando shooting shows why 'inspired by terrorism' a useless distinction," David Siegel explains: "The fact is, the ideologies of those who commit violence are not really of interest. Ideologies supporting violence have changed over time. The historical record does not provide a singular ideology of violence, any more than it does a singular set of personality traits leading to violence. And that’s despite a great deal of effort put into finding one.  We’d do better just ignoring the ideologies claimed by those who would do violence. Doing so would give adherents of such ideologies less incentive to commit violence to earn notoriety and make recruitment more difficult for the groups. Most importantly, though, this would allow us to focus on practicable ways to thwart violence." Continue reading here.