One Nation Under Arrest

Twelve-year-old Ansche Hedgepeth grabbed an order of French fries after school on her way to the Tenleytown/American University Metrorail station in Washington, D.C. The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority had decided to kick off a week of “zero tolerance” enforcement of “quality of life offenses.” When a police officer noticed Ansche, unaware of the no-eating rule on the metro, consuming her first French fry, she was immediately searched; her jacket, backpack, and shoelaces were confiscated; and she was handcuffed and taken to the Juvenile Processing Center in a paddy wagon. Ordinarily an adult is fined on a first offense and arrested on a second. A minor can be warned but not fined, and the zero-tolerance policy removed the officer’s ability to warn Ansche, leaving arrest as their only other option. –Heritage

Not that I agree with Ayn Rand on much, but…

The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What’s there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced or objectively interpreted ““ and you create a nation of law-breakers ““ and then you cash in on guilt. -Ayn Rand

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