"The Official Portrait of Miss InDiana"

"The Official Portrait of Miss InDiana"
aka "Miss Victory"

Friday, August 7, 2009

For Who Then Shall Save Us From The Other?

The City Council is likely to take up a proposal again this coming Monday that would seek to ban 'panhandling' by barring all manner of sign holding, protest or begging within 50 feet of an intersection. The proposal; however, well intentioned, is over broad and even fails to specify how the '50 feet' is to be measured. It runs the risk of violating people's right to free speech and I would hope the council is wise enough to go back and strengthen existing panhandling laws or petition IMPD to increase enforcement of such.

My point for the day is this:

The Council would seek to protect us from panhandlers on street corners who seek voluntary contributions to their cause, however worthy or otherwise.

If only the Council saw equally fit to protect us from the professional panhandlers that come in the form of sports teams or arts organizations. Those organizations seek to extract money by proxy using the force of government - essentially offloading the panhandling to people with badges to somehow legitimize it.

One million dollars to an arts organization still divides out to an involuntary contribution of probably about $5 per family in Marion County. Might not seem like much, but some family somewhere would probably have liked that five dollars back so they could buy a gallon of milk and some bread for their kids.

If the purpose of the law is to protect our life, liberty and property from the predations of others; should it not be interested in protecting us equally from all such threats? Perhaps a proposal that outlaws lobbying the Council by private organizations within 50 feet of the City County building would be more appropriate and certainly would save us all more money.


Indianaclassaction said...

Report Indiana government violations here:


Flipper said...

Melyssa, If the ordinance passes it will be challenged in court and
B & T will make millions off the city defending it...Go figure

Sean Shepard said...

LoL ... Flipper makes an excellent, and unfortunate, point.

Indy Student said...

Great post, Sean.

jabberdoodle said...

If this proposal passes, then I don't want to see any firefighters out with their boots collecting money for 'Jerry's kids' this Labor Day.