Published: Tuesday, Oct. 9 2012 12:00 a.m. MDT
While I abhor the idea that anyone would need to panhandle to survive, I have
never thought of it as someone exercising their right to free speech.
Completely changed my outlook on the entire matter.Thanks Deseret
I agree completely. Just because someone is poor and dirty doesn't
disqualify them from practicing their right to free speech.On
another note, I often hear people respond to this question by saying that these
people should get a job. That's their opinion and they are free to it, and
personally I would rather be employed than panhandle, but those on the streets
shouldn't be forced to fit into our ideas of what normal is. Interestingly
enough, these people are offering a service which is in demand. When people give
them money, the people feel good about themselves. Whether this is an honest
feeling or a false one is a matter of opinion, but judging by the fact that
panhandlers survive, it must be profitable. So, the next time you see a
panhandler, I would recommend that you think of them as someone selling an easy
opportunity for people to give a few bucks and feel better about themselves.
Then you are free to say "I'm personally not interested in that
product," and continue with your day. Good luck to everyone in whatever
business you're pursuing.
The author says "many people don't want to be reminded that poverty
exists, or that they have a moral responsibility to do something about
it."No, most people want to help the truly deserving. That is
what Inner City Missions are all about - helping the poor and needy.What we don't like is giving money to able bodied people who find it
easier to beg for money than work for it. A classic example are those who sell
their food stamps for drugs then come looking for a handout.
Panhandlers are welcome to exercise their right to free speech, but if that
right extends to banging on my car window demanding money or attention (not sure
if it was this guy or another in the news this week doing just that), then it
becomes a safety issue and should not be tolerated. Cities have the right to
prohibit "aggressive" panhandling.
Driving by a certain home improvement store one often sees Hispanic men looking
for work, not panhandling. The contrast is graphic. Freedom of speech is not an
issue, it's protected by the Constitution. There is an issue of freedom
from aggressive panhandlers.
"There is an issue of freedom from aggressive panhandlers."------Carrying a sign does not make one aggressive. You're
trying to introduce an issue here which is not really relevant.If
you do get bothered by someone "aggressive" I guess you can always walk
away, or call a cop if it rises to assualt or disturbing the peace. I find your
concern spurious though, given the amount of time I spend downtown. Most
panhandlers don't even talk, they just hold their signs. When they do
verbalize a request, I tell them I am not carrying cash, and walk on. End of
conversation. I'm not sure where you hang out.
A study has shown that the average panhandler makes $190 a day. I doubt they
pay taxes on it.
I really love how the right to free speech has be come the right to use public
property for actions like begging. What an amazing illogical extension of the
Bill of Rights. Certainly, those that wrote the first 10 amendments did not
vote for laws that allowed such activities in their public square. But, as the
article states this is how the person earns his living. Nice career choice I
guess in the Obama economy.
I do not blame the author for the ignorance demonstrated in this article because
in truth most people are ignorant of the truth about most panhandlers. Most
panhandling is a form of low level organized crime. I was a police officer and
dealt with panhandlers on a regular basis. Have you ever wondered why a
panhandler is in the same place and almost no one else ever stands at that
location? It is because panhandling locations are controlled territory by a boss
or pimp. The panhandler will work a corner for the day then give a percentage of
the money they got to the pimp. I once saw a female panhandler show up to her
regular location and there was another male panhandler there panhandling. The
female panhandler got on her cell phone and called her pimp. A few minutes
later the pimp showed up in a very nice car and physically moved the male
panhandler. Not all panhandlers do this but you can bet that the panhandlers in
the good locations with high pedestrian traffic definitely are. If you want to
give to the poor give to a charity or a church that assist the poor.
I say the panhandlers should go in front of Chick-fil-a while remaining on
public property. Shurly Chick-fil-a and it's patrons understand and
appreciate the first ammendment... for everyone.
I ALWAYS give whatever I have to those on the streets.I've taught my
children to do so as well.If not cash, an apple or sandwich.No
hand is left empty."Because I have been given much." “Suppose that in this community there are ten beggars who beg from
door to door for something to eat, and that nine of them are imposters who beg
to escape work, and with an evil heart practice imposition upon the generous and
sympathetic, and that only one of the ten who visit your doors is worthy of your
bounty; which is best, to give food to the ten, to make sure of helping the
truly needy one, or to repulse the ten because you do not know which one is the
worthy one? You will all say, administer charitable gifts to the ten rather
than turn away the only truly worthy and truly needy person among them. If you
do this, it will make no difference in your blessings, whether you administer to
worthy or unworthy persons, inasmuch as you give alms with a single eye to
assist the truly needy.” ~ Brigham YoungP.S. - Follow the
Sorry, commentator, but panhandling is NOT a free speech issue. Hasn't
anyone ever asked themselves why the Constitution does not address whether or
not a citizen is allowed to steal or lie or cheat? It is because the
Constitution was never intended to address what a citizen is allowed to do to
another citizen. That's the business of local legislators. The Constitution
merely ties the hands of the Federal Government. Free speech merely means that
the Federal Government cannot punish you for speaking out against the
government. THAT is free speech. Why can't you slander someone
and istroy their reputation? Why can't you change a few words in
someone's book and sell it as your own? Because your speaking is targeting
and harming a citizen--not the government. Therefore it is not protected. Misguided progressives have successfully muddied the whole notion of
free speech by re-inventing it as something that somehow protects everything
anyone wants to say regardless of who it hurts. If panhandlers are
not hurting anyone, then we should let them be. But if their behavior is hurting
other people, stop pretending it is a free speech issue.
Re: freedomingood provo, Utah"Shurly Chick-fil-a and it's patrons
understand and appreciate the first ammendment... for everyone."I rather doubt that Chick-Fil-A and it's patrons understand and
appreciate the 1st Amendment any better than McDonalds or Wal-Mart. Not quite
sure why you would try and make that connection unless it is a red herring.
the comments disparaging the homeless, poor and panhandlers reflect very poorly
on the people that post the comments not the people they are attacking.
I think the DNEWS Editorial staff should do some real reporting.....they might
find that many who carry a "will work for food" live better than those
who do not and get welfare to boot!
How about asking those who carry a sign saying that they will work for food,
what kind of work they are willing to do? I've done that. I've
offered work. I've offered food in exchange for work.Do you
know what? They weren't interested. They didn't want to work. In the real world, we would call that "false advertising" or
"bait and switch". If someone carries a sign offering to
work for food, offer a job and see what he or she says. Don't be surprised
if he or she spits in your face and calls you some obscene name.There are good people who need help and those of us who regularly give
"fast offerings" and other charitable donations to help those who are
needy. Hiding behind "freedom of speech" to get gain is despicable. It
is the same as being a "preacher for hire". Good people do
good things because they are good. Evil people prey upon good
people.Give to the beggar if you know him or her, but I choose to
give to the organization that cares for millions of beggars world-wide.
@ spring street and LDS Liberal,Actually, judgmental comments speak poorly
of those use them. No one is attacking the poor or the panhandler.
Panhandling may be necessary when there is no other means of attaining food and
shelter. But when our society makes sure there is food and shelter available for
the homeless, you who give to the panhandlers are only providing for them the
drugs and alcohol that keep them down. If that makes you feel good about
yourselves, good for you. But as for me, I'll keep donating my money to the
food bank, fast offerings and Salvation Army.
@j thomas you "choose" to give to your church because it keeps you
in good standing and on the hopes and expectations that it will someday get you
into heaven not the same as true charity.
@j thomas please tell us exactly where Christ tells us that we should
label those beggar we judge as the undeserving as evil? Where exactly does he
say anywhere that it is up to you to decide how is worthy of giving? Did he only
give to those he determined where following his commandments or who he thought
where worthy or did he give with both hands to the staring child and the street
mornixuurGood on you. Come to my part of the city next. LDS liberal can
give to whom he or she may, but stop the sermons. A fool and their money are
soon parted. Giving to St. Vincent's or the SL Rescue Mission does more
good and will make your kids feel even better.
DeseretNews.com encourages a civil dialogue among its readers. We welcome your thoughtful comments.— About comments