Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Outlawing Panhandling


We see panhandlers all the time here, mostly out by the high way and down by the "mall" area. Panhandling is illegal in some areas here so one has to be careful where they panhandle. I do not agree with the concept of panhandling being illegal. Panhandling is becoming illegal in many areas.

It reminds me of old vagrancy laws where one was punished for unemployment.  What is a poor person to do? We have never begged for money in the street probably because we have not yet been homeless. There's times we have been tempted though. In my case, they would know I was disabled and probably ask me "What did you do with your check?"  We go to food pantries and get help in other ways. There are times I see panhandlers and have been able to help with a few dollars but there's a lot of times I see them and have no money myself on me which makes me feel bad. A lot of people judge beggars. Sure you have the fake ones who make large amounts of money in big cities but those folks are rarities among the numbers of the down and out in America.

Too many think everyone who is begging is a drug abuser or alcoholic. Some may have turned to drugs or drinking from the stress of poverty.  It's not that hard to end up homeless. While one does not want aggressive panhandlers who border on would be muggers, I believe outlawing begging is definitely outlawing free speech. It reminds one of those laws that outlaw the feeding of the homeless. --The Squawker

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