Wake County Commissioners have now made it official: all panhandlers in the county must now present a photo ID to obtain a permit before being allowed to beg for money. Don’t you feel safer knowing the Wake County Commissioners took action and have brought such nefarious behavior under the umbrella of government regulation?
According to news reports, the permit requires mendicants to furnish a document that provides a name, address, age, height and weight. That’s right to beg you need to supply a photo ID; but to vote; you don’t. Of course we are only to wonder what will happen to beggars who don’t have the funds to purchase a state ID.
Advocates say the ordinance is targeted at eliminating aggressive and intimidating panhandling, a growing problem at some busy intersections in the city. It also assumes panhandlers will either disburse or get downtown to apply for a permit. What do you think? Since people living on the edge don’t think much about compliance issues, it is not likely that this ordinance will have the desired effect.
Yes, the public has a right to not be pestered by the solicitations of others. However this isn’t a solution to that problem. It’s just another example of how passing a law that fails the common sense test will do little or nothing to resolve a problem.