The City of Paterson in New Jersey is considering a curfew in order to try to curb a summer spate of violence. This idea could not possibly be any more dunder-headed. First of all, a curfew rule is not going to scare those who are capable of murder. Secondly, it should be up to each citizen to weigh the risks of his trip and decide for himself whether or not he will take his chances. There are places I will go in Philadelphia during the daytime, but not during the night. I don’t need a curfew to make my decisions for me. Thirdly, my best guess is that much of the violence in Paterson is drug-related. Stop the drug war so that conflicts between dealers and customers can be resolved in civil courts, rather than through violence. The law is not responsible for protecting people from their own stupidity. If someone wants to take heroine and lose his teeth, let him. (This leaves aside, of course, the well-documented fact that drugs got much deadlier after they went on the black market. But most people don’t even know that they were once legal.)
What will all the twenty four hour businesses do if such a curfew goes into effect? And how will people get to work on their 11-7 shift? I can just see the cops going around saying, “Ihre papiere, bitte.” Oh yeah….the cops…….at least Dunkin’ Donuts won’t suffer if this law is adopted.
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