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It’s time to get panhandlers off the streets

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and we all have something to be grateful for.  Most of us should be thankful for family, for friends, for our health and well being.  Some aren’t that fortunate.  Many are out on the streets, homeless and literally begging for anything.

Recently, a judge correctly ruled that New Orleans’s panhandling law is unconstitutional and he’s right.  How can we outlaw any person asking another for help?  You can’t.  But we desperately need to get creative and figure out a way to curb (no pun intended) the sheer amount of folks begging on the streets.

The clear minority of these folks are legitimately needy.  Most are not desperate.  Many are freeloaders from the north, modern day hippies, hitch hiking across America on your dime.  Others are coaches and parents teaching their kids to hit the street and beg for money so the kids sports team can go to that tournament out of town.  What a lesson to teach our kids: go be a bum.

New Orleans needs to get creative and outlaw any group begging for money without the legal permit.  We don’t want to exclude firemen and the like from asking for a donation.  But we also don’t want kids at every stop light begging for cash.  It’s not right and it’s not safe either.  Some kid is gonna get killed begging for money on Earhart and Carrolton and then it’ll be too late.

Happy Thanksgiving and have empathy or even sympathy for the real needy.  The others need to be off the street.

 


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