It never ceases to amaze. We see volunteers out of compassion and love work for long and arduous hours to do something heroic, something that needs to be done quickly and a politician comes along and wants to ruin it. In all fairness to Senator Perry, he is concerned about liability and all of the other things so commonplace in a litigious society, but do you think that hard working and courageous volunteers are going to waste the time to do the paperwork, jump through hoops as the government requires and attend some type of boring training that common sense usually provides before they jump into action when something must be dealt with now. And on top of that they are supposed to pay for the privilege of volunteering to help others.
How about a better idea? Prepare and have the Governor sign special legislation creating an exemption from the hoopla when nature's events require. Good people offering help at a time when none is available should never be turned away by a bureaucrat more concerned about his own turf than the needs of the people. Oh, you need law enforcement standing by to identify any attempts at a "sham" being perpetuated on the trusting public, something akin to watching for excessive price gouging like 250% mark ups on goods in a critical time. Some price increase is clearly going to happen legitimately during times of demand outpacing supply, it just has to be in the realm of reality not a get rich scheme based on the suffering of others.
Cajun Navy member Dustin Clouatre of St. Amant described it best when he said, "How can you regulate people volunteering to help other people?"
Clouatre has it right because you really can't. And I suspect that the good people of Louisiana will rise to the next occasion as they have in the past, with swift response and the result being lives saved and the community coming together which has been a good example for all of us.
Senator Perry's intentions, no matter how well meaning they are, just add to the problem that we see today with politicians and bureaucrats. Stop focusing on control and start focusing on positive results. Louisiana, like the rest of America, has had enough.
Hat tip to WWL-TV in Louisiana for reporting on this matter.