So we were coming home from Christmas shopping this evening & listening to Joe Pags talk about the latest wingnut proposal from City Council. Seems John Clamp wants to allow police to seize panhandlers' "earnings". (My word, not his.)
There's plenty of strangeness in that story. Clamp comes across about as sane as that one panhandler the ex and I ran into in Hawaii who turned down coins because "That's how they get to you, man. Mind control." Clamp apparently thinks the panhandlers have a union or are the mob, because there are a couple of quotes where he refers to "organized panhandling."
I've got a problem with this, which if you've been reading my blog any amount of time, you probably could have guessed. If I give money to a panhandler, it's because I want him to have it. Will he spend it on booze? Has he manufactured a sob story just to make money? Either one is quite possible. I acknowledge that. BUT for me, the bottom line is this: it is my money to do with as I please, and the government does not (on any level) have any business taking my money from the person to whom I chose to give it, and gifting it elsewhere.
According to the article, "legal rulings have determined that panhandling is protected free expression." This hints to me that attempts to seize apparently-legitimate earnings wouldn't float too well, either.
Still, if the City Council wants to have money from panhandling to give to SAPD, there's an obvious solution to the problem.
I'll even give McManus a piece of cardboard to make his sign.**
**Just for the record, this is not meant as a dig at Chief McManus. I pink sparkly <3 him.