But when we regulate things, we take into account things other than the singular consideration about saving lives. Banning cars would cost the economy trillions — and also probably cost lives in various unintended ways. So we regulate them with speed limits, seat-belt requirements, etc. And even here we accept a certain number of preventable deaths every year. Regulators don’t set the speed limit at 5 miles per hour, nor do they make highway guardrails 50 feet high.

Every serious student of public policy — starting with Joe Biden and Barack Obama — knows this to be true. Some just choose to pretend it isn’t true in order to push through their preferred policies.

The idea that the government can regulate or ban its way into a world where there are no tragedies, no premature deaths, is quite simply ridiculous. But that is precisely the assumption behind phrases like “if only one life is saved, it’s worth it.”

Which brings us to the dangerous part. Pay attention to what Biden is saying. The important thing is for government to act, not for the government to act wisely.