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Opening Arguments

Hate that ice cream, man

I don't want to have to fight with my kids, so no ice cream for you, either!

They’re all screaming for no ice cream.

Overprotective Park Slope parents have declared war on a treasured rite of spring: an ice cream in the park.

The icy rebuke of the time-honored tradition erupted on the Park Slope Parents online group when one mother described her son’s meltdown in Prospect Park after she put the ixnay on a acksnay.

“Along with the first truly beautiful day of the year, my son and I had our first ruined day at the playground,” the poster named Sarah somberly recounted. “Two different people came into the actual playground with ice cream/Italian ice push carts. I was able to avoid it for a little while but eventually I left with a crying 4-year-old.”

Another angry mother, identified on the site as Dorothy Scanlan, chimed in.

“I should not have to fight with my children every warm day on the playground just so someone can make a living!” the poster wailed. “I too was at the 9th Street Playground on Monday, and one of the vendors just handed my 4-year-old an ice cream cone. I was furious.”

Sometimes we lose our freedoms because unreasonable restrictions are imposed on us by control-freak functionaries. But sometimes we ask for it because we don't want to make difficult choices or because we don't want to deal with those who make choices we don't approve of. Even many businesses that extol the virtues of capitalism would rather be regulated than free because it gives them a government ally in keeping newcomers out of the field and a regulatory maze they can learn to negotiate to their advantage.