Get rid of the stupid laws

by R H | October 27th, 2018

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Get rid of the stupid laws

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. 468. — 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 46131.1:

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.

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.

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