By: Kenny Moore

It is now a crime for people under 18 to be outside after arbitrarily chosen hours in many major cities across the United States. I am writing this article to speak out in opposition to the fascist- like curfews that are being implemented on kids in cities such as Miami, Phoenix, Dallas, Tampa, and many others on the way. I hope that I will be able to expose to everyone what a complete load of rubbish our leaders are attempting to force feed us with this supposed solution to crime.

I would like to begin by saying that I feel that everyone will agree that crime must be prevented. Crime can be defined and seen in many ways. Crime can be seen as a young punk beating up an elderly woman, or a drug addict robbing a convenience store to support his habit. This is what we are taught to think of when we hear the word crime. Crime can and must also be seen as bank executives swindling the public out of billions of dollars and expecting the taxpayers to bail them out. Crime must also be seen as a government that has sold out the American public to corporate interests, turning the American Dream into a nightmare for millions of working class people struggling to get by. This same government tells you that we must get tough on crime, while corporate influence and corruption run rampant in the halls of power without even a whisper of getting tough on such white collar crime committed by our beloved leaders.

The reality of what this government is pushing on all of us is control. A controlled society is much easier to manage and manipulate than a free society. I have spoken with many people that are over the age of 18 that feel that, "well, I'm over 18, the curfew won't affect me, so I don't care". I would like to point out that a curfew affects each and every person, wherever it is enforced, no matter what age group you belong to. Suppose you, as a parent, make the decision that you wish to raise your child in an environment where it is okay for your child to be outside until 3am as long as that child keeps his/her grades up in school, for example. Now the government is intervening and undermining your right to raise your child as you see fit by imposing a curfew. So we now see where it's not just the teens that are being affected by this proposed law. George Orwell wrote about Big Brother, now it seems that our Government wishes to become Big Mother and Big Father as well. Why are they doing these things you ask? Well, in their words it is to protect us, to make us safer and more secure. I don't think that any parents will feel any safer when Big Mother and Big Father take away that $500 fine for not following the proper "government endorsed" parenting plan, or when HRS steps in to investigate why the children are out late against the government's wishes.

City officials use the following as another coercing argument for this curfew: "children should be inside after midnight and most parents feel this way. It's just that there are so many parents who are not doing their jobs as parents--not living up to their responsibilities, so now we have a crime problem and it's time for the government to step in." This is also a view shared by just about everyone that is in favor of this curfew.

Besides the obvious fact that it is not the government's job to decide for everyone how they should handle parenting, there is one other major flaw in their plan. They say that so many parents are not doing their jobs, yet instead of getting to the source of the problem and finding out why, they simply want to become the parents themselves. The reason for this is that they know exactly why parents aren't doing their jobs and they desperately want to divert your attention away from the reason why. Twenty years ago, one man could work a full time job (8 hours a day) and support a family of four comfortably. Today, in most households, BOTH parents MUST work (often 10, 12 or even 14 hours a day) simply to get by--and for some even this is not "paying the bills". The majority of America is living paycheck to paycheck, and as soon as you receive that check, it's going back out to pay one bill or another. This is a direct result of all the corporate bought and influenced decisions made by our leaders in recent history.

Make no mistake about it, folks. This is no longer "We The People" is now government of the dollar, for the dollar, and by the dollar, and those with the most dollars get their way. So now our system has both parents out of the house for the majority of the day, the children go totally unsupervised and often neglected, and a few go on to become the terrible people that commit the crimes you see on the news at night.

Instead of getting to the cause of the problem, our government wants to stop the symptoms of the problem. They attempt to divert your attention by saying that the music causes crime, that television violence causes crime, that video games cause crime, that we must sweep the streets of all children--criminals or not--all in the name of stopping this crime. They enlist the influence of the "create-a-crisis" nightly news to whip society into such a frenzy over the issue of the day that many of us are ready to give up Constitutional rights just so we can win the war. They will NOT point out the fact that the single greatest enemy to "good old family values" is the economic slavery system they have instituted under the whip of Corporate America's campaign contributions.

In a time when so many marriages break up over financial matters, when families are torn apart by arguments and stress caused by the lack of money, or simply done in by the pressures of day to day life--knowing that if you miss a payment or two you'll probably lose everything and end up homeless--isn't it ironic how the powers that be speak of returning to "good old family values". Parents are not doing their jobs as parents because most are too busy busting their asses to keep a roof over their heads and are simply not around or are too exhausted to put in the amount of time necessary for a proper parental role. So enter the government to save the day...the same corporate bought officials that implemented the system that created the problems now are going to solve things by got it...more rules AGAINST the people they are supposed to be serving.

I would like to ask everyone this question...If the logic to this government solution to crime was to extend to adults as well as children, would we not ALL be completely outraged at the blatant infringement on our rights? Why then would anyone say that it is acceptable just because it only applies to children? Is this the message you want to send to the kids, that the only way to stop crime is to sweep the streets?

To those in favor of the curfew, I ask you why can you not be content with your right as a parent to impose a curfew on your own children within your own home? Why must you have your views inflicted upon everyone, whether they like it or not?

I strongly urge everyone that we do everything we can to stop the continued attacks on our freedoms. Nobody said that a free society is the easiest to manage. I feel that these curfews are being implemented simply because it is easier for authority to get rid of all the children instead of finding and punishing the true criminals--the only problem is that authority's shortcut to an easier time runs straight through our rights. I feel that no matter how the city tries to candy-coat the effects with government sanctioned basketball games and dances for the kids to give them something positive to do, the bottom line is that children will no longer be able to partake in non-government sanctioned activities after curfew hours and that many of the freedoms kids once enjoyed will then be gone.

For every crime the police seek to stop, there is already a law on the books that can and should be enforced. If an assault is committed, is there not a law against assault that can be cited in arresting the guilty party? The obvious effect that this curfew will have will be to take rights away from good kids. Those that are causing the problems and committing crimes are criminals. By definition, a criminal is someone that breaks the law. So what good will it do to implement a new law to stop these crimes. If the law against assault does not prevent assaults from occurring, do you honestly think a curfew law will be heeded by the guilty? If anything, these curfew laws will foster more crime because each time a police officer takes the time to baby-sit a kid that has committed no crime, that is one less officer that will be on the street combating real crime. I think that if the police are truly as outmanned in the war on crime as they claim to be, then they would be opposed to such a blatant waste of their limited resources, and that they would be more eager to put every available officer on the task of stopping the true criminals.

Lastly, I would like to say that it sickens me to see how far we are letting the government go in their attacks on our civil liberties. There once was a time when Americans threw all their tea into Boston Harbor rather than being subjected to a simple tea tax. I'm afraid that the American public is going spineless in fending off government intrusions into our lives. In my opinion, it is a crime when a government steps on the rights of its people, no matter what age they may be. I think it is a crime when a government assumes people are guilty until proven innocent and punishes the innocent for the actions of the guilty. I think it is a crime when a government sells its power to the highest bidder and ignores the plight of those that do not have corporate wallets to buy influence with. I think it is a crime when it gets so bad that you can't walk the streets at night--for fear of being arrested, or detained by the authorities. Ladies and Gentlemen...I say let's get tough on crime--SAY NO TO THE CURFEW!!!

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