Every morning when I ride into work I see a number of young people out jogging before starting their day. It's not all uncommon to see joggers going by as early as 6 AM. I've never looked at them as a threat in any way yet this same 6 AM activity would be considered a crime in Victory Park in Manchester where police have begun cracking down on those violating the 11 PM to 7 AM curfew.
As stated in the Union Leader, Teddy DeJesus was finned $50 (lowered to $25 in a plea bargen) for strolling through the park with his girlfriend. And what he found most shocking was there wasn't even a sign warning him of such a curfew (secret laws, hmmm?).
Think about it, here is public land paid for with tax dollars that those same tax payers are banned from using certain hours. Someone having a few drinks to many at one of the local bars choosing to walk home through the park rather then risk a DWI and driving around it is now discouraged from doing so. Early morning walkers and joggers are being turned into common criminals. A couple choosing to have a late night stroll while gazing at the stars are now committing a crime. A local who works the night shift wishing to take their dog out before or after work is now a violator of the law.
If anything this does nothing more then to create a false sense of security when in reality trouble can strike at any time day or night and those seeking mischief will either do it elsewhere or show up at another time. Perfect example being the nut case they recently arrested in Merrimack. You can read that story here. Basically you had a wack job showing up at a kids park with a ski mask, bb gun, hand cuffs, rope and other items that raised eyebrows. This was 5 PM in the afternoon.
I'd also like to share some quotes from Chief Edgar MacLeod, Chief of Police for Cape Breton and Vice President of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police. Article in full found here.
- "Curfews are a quick fix to a much bigger problem. Curfews don't change the reasons why young people commit vandalism and it's not a proven effective approach. It's also not consistent with our government's policy of developing young people to be full productive citizens."
- MacLeod also says, curfews won't stop vandalism.
- "Vandalism has always been a problem and it will always continue to be a problem, but it's not out of hand and curfews will not stop it. People will always find a way to break the law, despite a curfew."
He's speaking specifically about youth curfews but Manchester is going even further in that they choose to treat everyone including law abiding adults as criminals.
I would even go so far as to argue that curfews are anti-constitutional violating the first amendment.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
Just like freedom of speech, the press and religion we are free to assemble. I see nothing saying we are free to assemble only in daylight hours or only in our own homes just as I see nothing limiting the types of speech yet we allow our government to trample our right of assemble as in the case here in Manchester.
Is this the type of police state we want for ourselves? Live Free or Die, only within the hours allotted as "safe times" I guess. The rest of the time you must lock your doors and stay inside for your own good.