Far-too-infrequent ObsidianWinger Sebastian has some good questions about the rhetoric surrounding the George Tiller murder. In the spirit of this post of hilzoy’s, however, it seems to me that an even better approach might be to ask whether, in the face of a series of violent attacks against the homes, property, and persons of UCLA scientists using non-human animals for their research, the proper political response would be to:
(a) Repeal all restrictions requiring humane treatment of non-human animals. The Congress should not get into the specifics of what procedures can be used when. If it must, it should broaden the set of cases in which non-human animals can be harmed or killed to include not only cases in which human health is at stake, but cases in which people get a kick out of it, or in which there’s money to be made through the research.
(b) Require training in animal research techniques for a Ph.D. in the natural sciences.
(c) Require that any research center provide any researcher or corporate donor with appropriate resources to perform research on non-human animals, and that those research costs be fully reimbursable by the federal government. If they have no one on staff who can perform the research, they should get someone. See (b) above.
Because, you know, one way to stop terrorism is by enforcing our laws. We should absolutely do that. But another is to make it clear that terrorism doesn’t work. We should do that too. And the best way I can think of is to change our present situation, in which far too few scientists perform research on non-human animals. We can keep whatever strictures we want on research on human subjects while also ensuring that no one person has to take on him- or herself the risks that militant animal rights activists want to subject them to.
Or am I somehow misunderstanding the logic of hilzoy’s position?