The Corner

You Better Have a Permit for That Kid You Rescued…

Cable news viewers will be familiar with the Lisa Irwin missing-baby case in Missouri. Today, Bill Stanton, a private investigator and telly celeb, arrived in Kansas City to begin helping the family. The most interesting aspect of this NBC Action News report was the reaction of local PIs:

Ron Rugen says he is legally bound to file a complaint with the state because he says Stanton has no license to be a P.I. in Missouri.

So in a supposedly free society a family cannot call in someone from out of state to help find a missing kid? Somewhere in my latest book, I note that in the Fifties one in twenty Americans required permission from the government to do their jobs, and that today it’s one in three. No doubt it’ll be one in two within a half-decade or so. But, even so, it’s impressive to see how for Mr Rugen & Co it’s less important to find the kid than to find out whether you’re in compliance with the Bureau of Bureaucratic Compliance.

[Mr Stanton] added, in reponse to those who are questioning his credentials in the State of Missouri that he wants, “to keep the focus on finding the baby.”

Good luck with that. If an uncredentialed person recovers the baby, does he have to return her to the kidnapper? 

Mark Steyn is an international bestselling author, a Top 41 recording artist, and a leading Canadian human-rights activist.