The Newtown, Connecticut Tragedy

Most public disputes involve issues for which there is no obvious solution. If there were, it would have been taken already. Even our fractious politicians have been able to pluck the low hanging fruit. To reduce the number of innocent people slain by crazy gunmen (they have all been men/boys) should we tighten gun controls, liberalize institutionalization of the (probably) insane, or restrict violent games and movies or all or none of these. Any of these measures involve tradeoffs between safety and freedom. The preferred boundary shifts from time to time in the face of events and public sentiment. The following two articles are particularly insightful on this topic.

Charles Krauthammer:  “The roots of mass murder”   http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/charles-krauthammer-the-roots-of-mass-murder/2012/12/20/e4d99594-4ae3-11e2-b709-667035ff9029_story.html

Senator Jon Manchin:  “Obama and the NRA both fall short”  http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/sen-joe-manchin-between-obama-and-the-nra-another-path-to-stopping-mass-violence/2012/12/21/181d4e94-4adc-11e2-9a42-d1ce6d0ed278_story.html

About wcoats

I specialize in advising central banks on monetary policy and the development of the capacity to formulate and implement monetary policy.  I joined the International Monetary Fund in 1975 from which I retired in 2003 as Assistant Director of the Monetary and Financial Systems Department. While at the IMF I led or participated in missions to the central banks of over twenty countries (including Afghanistan, Bosnia, Croatia, Egypt, Iraq, Israel, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kosovo, Kyrgystan, Moldova, Serbia, Turkey, West Bank and Gaza Strip, and Zimbabwe) and was seconded as a visiting economist to the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (1979-80), and to the World Bank's World Development Report team in 1989.  After retirement from the IMF I was a member of the Board of the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority from 2003-10 and of the editorial board of the Cayman Financial Review from 2010-2017.  Prior to joining the IMF I was Assistant Prof of Economics at UVa from 1970-75.  I am currently a fellow of Johns Hopkins Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, Institute for Applied Economics, Global Health, and the Study of Business Enterprise.  In March 2019 Central Banking Journal awarded me for my “Outstanding Contribution for Capacity Building.”  My most recent book is One Currency for Bosnia: Creating the Central Bank of Bosnia and Herzegovina. I have a BA in Economics from the UC Berkeley and a PhD in Economics from the University of Chicago. My dissertation committee was chaired by Milton Friedman and included Robert J. Gordon.
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