The disagreements over the recently proposed ordinance restricting aggressive panhandling in downtown Salt Lake got me wondering; while some say it's a long time coming, there are those who feel it infringes on the free speech of others. Many in the latter camp claim these people have as much right to be on the streets as food vendors and are essentially harmless. Hmm, didn't Ed Smart try to do the right thing and hire an impoverished beggar named Immanuel to do some work at his home? Didn't that person turn out to be Brian David Mitchell?
At the risk of sounding callous to the plight of the poor, anyone who knows me knows I am very sympathetic to the misfortune of others and yes, there are many homeless and those down on their luck who need assistance. Fortunately there is help by way of The Road Home and other local organizations. Unfortunately sometimes those who really are deserving get lumped in with the shysters, hoodlums and career panhandlers. Sad indeed.
David M. Candland