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Opening Arguments

Begging rights

You probably know that some panhandling can get pretty aggressive, and maybe you've even experienced some of it. This seems a little over the top, though, doesn't it?

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - Police are looking for a suspect in a shooting in the parking lot of Lafayette Square Mall.

According to police, the victim was sitting in his car when he was approached by another man asking for money. When the man refused the other man shot him once in the abdomen.

Begging has been defended on First Amendment grounds for a long time now. Suppose some homeless-rights advocate will now defend this guy's Second Amendment rights? Not giving money to those who need it and ask for it is a supreme act of selfishness, isn't it? We could even say it causes so much potential harm to the beggar that it ought to be criminalized. The beggar, therefore, was merely defending himself. If word gets around, bet the next selfish bastard won't refuse to give him money.


Bob G.
Wed, 09/23/2009 - 2:40pm

Bet he didn't EVEN have a carry permit...(just a wild guess).

Michael B-P
Thu, 09/24/2009 - 6:56am

It makes for another good story with which to attract comments about legal inversion of common sense, but it's inaccurate to portray the crime as agressive "begging." Once the perpetrator of the crime pulled out heat, then the aggression kicked in and became assault. Of course, identifying all panhandlers as potential armed assailants is just where some police-state wannabes would like the public to mentally ensconce themselves.