and given thirty-to-life so they have plenty of time to realize that for once in their god damn worthless lives, their actions have consequences
Whilst that might seem well deserved, the US already has something around 0.9% of adults in prison, and a further 2% on probation or parole. Whilst locking up laser wielding fuckwits might be just, there's millions of fuckwits, so where are you going to put them? And can we afford the additional cost of locking them up (around $50k a year each)? And for this calibre of individual, there's already the prospect of fines and jail, so why will the rationalise a longer sentence as a greater deterrent? With 8,000 offences reported each year to the FAA, putting those people away for only six months each would cost $200m. This is for known laser illuminations, I assume the attempted number is several times greater....
Whilst it will be shouted down mercilessly, I seriously suggest that corporal punishment would be an excellent punishment for this type of offence. That would have lower cost than jail, done publicly would probably be a greater deterrent to others, and I suspect that the perps would actually be able to better associate the pain and humiliation of having their arse flogged in public with the idea of "don't do it again", compared to the alternative of a visit to the big house, or fines they can't and won't pay.