Panhandling rules ignore truly needy
No one likes to see panhandling, especially the aggressive sort. But too often, the government's response is an overreaction that violates civil rights or, at a minimum, makes life unnecessarily miserable for those with enough misery in their lives.
It's not always easy to drum up sympathy for panhandlers, but there are plenty of people on our streets who aren't drug addicts or drunks and, instead, are simply down on their luck.
The Larimer County Commission is about to take up a new panhandling ordinance that, among other things, would establish fines of up to $1,000 for panhandling.
Is that good policy, or an overreaction? You have to wonder: If a panhandler had $1,000, would they bother begging on the streets?
Look, I'm all in favor of making sure panhandlers keep their hands off whomever they're soliciting.
I agree with making it illegal for panhandlers to keep asking for money "after the person solicited has refused the panhandler's initial request."
But I'm afraid we're going overboard with some of the other provisions in this measure.
For example, as the proposal is currently drafted, panhandling
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Groans, too, no doubt, from oil and gas interests and others.
The number of people living