By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog
We live in the People’s Republic of New Jersey, Save Jerseyans, as two Bound Brook teens just learned.
“The two friends were canvasing a neighborhood near this borough’s border with Bridgewater early Monday evening, handing out fliers promoting their service,” explained a report on MyCentral Jersey.com, “when they were pulled over by police and told to stop.”
The story goes on to explain that the police told them they could come back during daylight hours, after the ‘Storm of the Century’ had presumably begun winding down, a concern allegedly rooted, in part, in an active “state of emergency” and travel ban extending throughout the entire state through Tuesday morning.
To tell you the truth, the plight of these teens reminds me an awful lot of the systemic criminal justice concern underlying the Eric Garner debacle, one which our friend Joe Schilp discussed at length back in December. No one died here. Not even close, and unlike Mr. Garner, there’s no indication that these kids were serial lawbreakers. But once again, we have an example of the law being used as a bludgeon for social engineers and statists rather than to protect and defend citizens’ rights.
What do I care if someone is selling untaxed cigarettes? For that matter, why the hell are we taxing cigarettes?
Ironically, it was originally intended to pay for efforts to keep kids from smoking them.
Kids that can’t find a job, by the way, or even shovel snow for money without a permit?
This is paternalism run amok, folks. Yes, we have laws on the books to protect citizens from undue harassment, too, and I don’t want travelling snake oil salesman and three-card monte hustlers to inherit the earth, but somewhere along the way, we’ve lost our ability to appreciate and enforce the spirit of an ordinance or statute. We’re doing more harm than good, not only discouraging the hard work of these teens but also contributing to a culture that now assigns more seriousness to snow storms, “bullying” and peanut allergies than the threat of global Islamic terrorism.
What a world… I wonder how long we can keep it going with the way people are behaving?