Via Mediaite, has he been doing this more lately or is it just that media-watchers have been noticing more, for whatever reason? I was with him, sort of, on last week’s Ebola lecture. Americans are new to the disease, so the vast, deep ocean of low-information voters out there probably needs a primer or ten before they’ve mastered the basics. What’s the excuse for this shpiel, though, in which Shep reiterates the same “let’s not trade liberty for security” point that civil libertarians have been making every day since around 11 a.m. on September 11, 2001? I feel like he’s a week away from doing Olbermann-esque “special comments” or just telling his audience flat out that they might be too cloddish and easy to upset to responsibly watch his show. If they can’t process Ebola risks without being tutored like third-graders and they can’t process terror attacks without being reminded of the risks of overreaction — because everyone loves TSA, right? — maybe he should start avoiding these sensitive topics entirely. From now on it’s car chases all the way down. With a reminder at the end, of course, to always wear your seatbelt.

Ace asked a good question when I tweeted about this clip last night:

Did he? The libertarians I read are consistent on liberty and security when it comes to terrorism and domestic mass shootings. They didn’t want Congress passing a bunch of new laws that might restrict people’s civil liberties after 9/11 or the Fort Hood shooting or the attempted Times Square bombing or the Boston marathon attack. They also didn’t want Congress passing an assault-weapons ban or new registration requirements that would restrict people’s Second Amendment rights after the Sandy Hook shooting. When I googled around to see what Shep said about gun control, the first dozen or so results all have to do with this moment at Obama’s second inauguration (held a month after Sandy Hook), in which one Fox contributor said that the polls simply weren’t strong enough to get Congress to move on new gun laws. To which Shep replied, “If we stuck with the polls, we’d have had slavery a lot longer than we did.”

So there you go. Don’t freak out over spectacular acts of violence and start rolling back people’s liberties unless, I guess, your preferred freak-out involves changing gun laws. Terrorism gets us TSA, which no one thinks is a real barrier to terrorism, and mass shootings potentially get us bans on large-capacity magazines and an end to the supposed gun-show loophole, which no one thinks would be a real barrier to mass shootings. I guess there’d be some consistency in that.