Howard County Bill 9-09 is meant to represent a concern for the safety of the people of the county. In the 1556 days that I have resided in Howard County I have never once felt unsafe either as a driver or a pedestrian, while an individual is soliciting money or advertising. Granted this may not at times be the most appealing of spectacles, but is that any reason to infringe on the Constitutional right behind the 1st Amendment? Which states “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 for a redress of grievances.”
If this Bill is passed, and enforceable action is taken on these solicitors of money and advertising, where will they go to support their cause? Our schools, local businesses, or our neighborhoods? Now for some causes these are legitimate options, however do we want panhandlers walking the streets of our Neighborhood? Or how about the community school children looking to collect money for their respective sports program, who will now venture into unfamiliar and unpopulated areas where child molesters strike on these opportunities. This “new law” will have handed our children right over to these predators. This Bill will have a massive impact on our community and receive irrevocable negative National attention, especially when the country sees Howard County has no empathy for the firemen whom ask us to “Fill the Boot” in support of the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
As an American, and U.S. military Veteran, I am befuddled to think a local governmental entity,
Our local governmental entity is contemplating silencing one of the greatest attributes to America, The United States Constitution.