Posted: 08/18/08 21:55
by Roxanne Mindeman
It?s official; in Burnsville Minnesota hot dog vendors have more constitutional protection than peace protestors. Well, maybe not ?official? ? yet, but ? if local law enforcement gets its way, it will be.
By my best count, 3 proactive citizens who chose to ?Honk for Peace? have been ticked in Burnsville for honking their horn outside the office of Congressman John ?never available to meet with dissenting constituents? Kline. As I understand it, the first person ticketed quietly paid the $120 fine for ?Unlawful use of Horn?? and more likely than not, has never dared to honk again. The 2nd citizen intended to do the same ? until she received support from the Minnesota?s ACLU. The 3rd, we don?t know yet, but we?ll find out.
Word has it that the ?education? being delivered to passing motorists, stopped by local law enforcement, is that ?Horn honking is for emergencies only?. The unquestionable reality is that, having had no success at shutting down the protestors, local law enforcement is attempting to stop the protest by intimidating passing drivers who dare to share and acknowledge the ?End the War? or ?Honk for Peace? sentiments.
Preliminary research seems to be suggesting that this restriction of horn usage to ?emergency situations?, applies only to peace protesters. So far, we can find no record of anyone else ever being charged. One might ask, ?Are there others who could be charged?? Well???.. sometimes, not often, but perhaps when it?s most needed, the stars align, and the universe intervenes to support the righteous. (Ok, maybe that?s a little over the top, but not much.) Just this past weekend, 3 of our most faithful activists came across this ?.. (Insert Picture)
?? 2 girl scouts, with a hotdog stand on a public street, holding up signs that said ?Honk for Hot Dogs?. No squad cars. No state highway patrol. No threats of arrest. No $120 tickets. I?m guessing, no citizen complaints. In fact, lots of smiles, waves ? and more than just a few ?Honks for Hot Dogs?.
Now, I understand that girl scouts selling hot dogs are a lot cuter than adults drawing our attention to the glaring and growing deficiencies, dishonor, and deceptions, being perpetrated upon America and our entire world, by the Bush Administration. But, you know what? That?s totally beside the point.
Last time I checked, despite the tireless efforts of the Bush Administration, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights are still (relatively) intact, and the law of the land.
So may I suggest that the next time you encounter an activist expressing their opinion with a sign on a public street corner, ask yourself, regardless of you political affiliation, ?Do I really want to live in a country where hot dog vendors have more constitutional protection than citizens protesting the actions of government?? Then, if you just can?t find it in you to ?Honk for Peace?, ?Honk for the Constitution?.