Editor’s note: In response to my article on Convoy, “the Uber of trucking,” Pando received the following response from Hubert Horan, by one of the early advisers/architects of the trucking deregulation in the 1970s and a well-known transportation industry expert.
The letter is fascinating, insightful, and critical. I don’t agree with his characterizations of some of my arguments; but I do agree with his own arguments and explanations in this letter, and more than that, I appreciate the time and serious effort Horan put into this letter to educate all of us. Few people in America have his decades-long industry perspective and his unique political insights on the politics of transportation, antitrust, markets, and tech. Here’s the letter in full.
Has Pando missed the heart of the Uber problem?
As an avid Pando subscriber/supporter, I wanted to raise some serious concerns with your November 4th Convoy post…
After the horrific shooting at Umpqua Community College, President Obama took to the airwaves and declared that this issue should be politicized. Part of the issue definitely hasn’t been politicized enough, but it’s not gun laws or mass shootings at schools. It’s the atmosphere generated by the President that rolls down throughout American society.
Those who support the President’s ideas that gun laws are the problem based upon the increase in mass shootings over the last few years seem to conveniently forget one important thing. Guns aren’t new. There have been good guys and bad guys with guns since the country was formed. There have been those who use guns for evil purposes for a centuries. We aren’t looking at a sudden influx of gun violence because guns are too easy to get. We’re seeing a sudden influx of gun violence because values in America have been pushed aside by a government that thrives on perpetuation of strife.
Prior to the Gun Control Act of 1968, getting firearms was pretty easy. One could buy through a mail-order catalog and have a rifle shipped to their door. The act was put into place because a particular gun ordered by a particular man was used to kill President John F. Kennedy. Since then, the issue has been politicized.
Very few major changes have been made to gun control laws since. Sure, we have Brady and the assault weapons ban, but for the most part people who want to own guns and use those guns to commit mass shootings at schools or other places have had that ability for decades. The problem isn’t that people have guns. The problem is that there’s a new atmosphere in which traditional American values have been replaced by radicalized anger and indoctrination into a mindset that makes everyone a victim to something.
Mass shootings have always been possible but were rare when the country had a core of #values. Gun laws haven't changed. Sentiment has. #2A
The President and the country’s shift away from these values is the real cause. This really isn’t even a question of right versus left. It’s a question of faith. The country has been pulling away from the Judeo-Christian values that helped to prevent much of the anger that forms the foundation for radical actions.
It’s important to note here that I’m not talking about the church or the people who have used a false sense of Judeo-Christian values to justify evil actions. We’ve had our share of those people as well. I’m referring to the God-fearing true Christians who don’t want to hurt others. I’m talking about the Judeo-Christian values that allow good people to own guns for the sake of self-defense and protection from tyranny. I’m talking about the values that are passed down from parents to their children that do not embrace liberal secular ideals but that focus on the Bible and the American dream of building something.
Many will make a note that the shooter, Chris Harper Mercer, listed himself as a “conservative Republican” on a dating site. The same people who note this won’t point out that he wasn’t a Christian, that he didn’t like organized religion, or that he related to groups that espoused hatred.
There are many reasons that people choose political opinions. One of the sad realities of this country is that some of the core values of conservatism such as limiting government and gun-owner rights appeal to people who have been radicalized to do bad things. The same can be said for certain core liberal values such as income equality and affirmative action which appeal to people who have been radicalized to do bad things. These people are different but the end goals are often the same.
The President is turning this into a political debate about why this killer had the ability to own a gun. This is ludicrous. Instead, the President should ask what is pushing people to be more violent today than they were in the past.
Mass shooting have increased in frequency over the last several years. Guns have been available for decades well before the escalation. The unique driving factor today isn’t the presence of guns. It’s the shift in values that starts with the President and works its way down through society.