That 13 year old in the back…lock her up! (Photo from Flickr)
Chesapeake is coming under fire for having a law that bans teenagers from trick or treating. Fake news? Nope. It’s for real:
Sec. 46-8. – Trick or treat activities.
(a) If any person over the age of 12 years shall engage in the activity commonly known as “trick or treat” or any other activity of similar character or nature under any name whatsoever, he or she shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished by a fine of not less than $25.00 nor more than $100.00 or by confinement in jail for not more than six months or both.
(b) If any person shall engage in the activity commonly known as “trick or treat” or any other activity of similar character or nature under any name whatsoever after 8:00 p.m., he or she shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished by a fine of not less than $10.00 nor more than $100.00 or by confinement in jail for not more than 30 days or both.
Way to go Chesapeake, VA for being the biggest teenage “fun sponge” of Hampton Roads!
Chesapeake officials counter with the fact that they haven’t arrested anyone over this, and really use it as a rule to counter teenage “ghouls” that cause property damage. But this argument falls apart if you scroll down a bit to Section 46-131.1:
If any person willfully and maliciously damages or defaces any public buildings, facilities and personal property or of any private buildings, facilities and personal property, he or she shall be guilty of a class 1 misdemeanor.
The anti-Halloween ordinance is dumb. Sure, nobody has used it yet, but it is now totally legal to use it. If it’s not needed, it should be removed.
This highlights the much bigger problem of legislature overreach. Too many people scoff at the complaints of bureaucratic costs of doing business, but it is true. The more rules you have to follow, the harder (and more expensive) things become. What happens in real life is people either ignore the rules (which risks fines, jail, etc.) or the costs rise to do what should be routine work.
These aren’t insignificant costs. For example, hair braiders had to get cosmetology licenses, even though they didn’t use chemicals or perform any of the services involved in a license. Cosmetology licensing eats an estimated $1.7 billion dollars a year from the industry, without really offering much in terms of enhancing service. More insidiously, it places a big barrier to more vulnerable members of our society that simply want to work and earn a living.
Stupid rules and stupid licenses. We need to get rid of all these stupid laws.
This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other federal agency. It obviously doesn’t represent the views of the City of Chesapeake, which was too busy hating on teenagers and passing stupid laws to comment on the article.