I don't see all the Lake Erie shore newspapers all the time, but I don't remember reading anything about the national boat operating license proposed by the Coast Guard last spring. I just learned about it from an article in BoatUS I read in my doctor's office.
This should be of concern to every one who ever stepped foot in a boat. It is nothing but another federal power grab that will once again weaken the U.S. Constitution and our freedoms. I would think people would be deluging their representatives with calls and letters just as they did when the citizens stopped the big amnesty move for illegal immigrants.
"Commandant" Allen of the USCG would like us to think that having a national license will stop the threat of terrorism. But anyone who believes that a terrorist will go out and get a boat operator's license must not be thinking clearly. The real threat is from the Coast Guard -- Lake Erie boaters are more afraid of the U.S. Coast Guard than they are of Osama Bin Laden.
Yes, the real threat here is of the USCG and its abuse of the 4th Amendment and other articles of the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights. The Coast Guard has a long history of abusing the Constitution and now is the time to draw the line.
This proposal is simply another opportunity for a bureaucrat to expand his empire at the cost of $30 billion to the taxpayer. We need to reduce the size of government, not increase it. If "Commandant" Allen wants to do something in the War On Terror, let him join the Army and drive a HumVee in Iraq.
Carl R. Goodwin