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Letter to the editor: Don't punish the just to get at the criminal

Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - 12:01 am

My question is rather simple, At what point are we, as Americans, going to become fed up with the overreaching laws and guidelines set forth by our government?

Two cases: First, I visited a local superstore to shop for a Father’s Day gift. I thought about a pocket knife. All of the pocket knives were locked behind a glass case. After about five minutes, an employee began to help me. I selected the two knives that I wanted to purchase, and he stated to me that he had to escort me to the electronics department so I could be rung up. After I questioned this, the employee stated that this was their policy on weapons.

At what point did a folding pocket knife with a blade length of less than 3 inches become a weapon? Upon checking out, I was asked to show my driver’s license to ensure that I was old enough, 18, to purchase a Father’s Day gift, pocket knives!

Second, occasionally I suffer from summertime allergies, and while at a local drugstore I thought that I should purchase some allergy medicine. I was denied the purchase because I did not have my photo ID with me. Upon asking why it is necessary for me to show my ID for allergy medicine, the clerk explained that because of its chemical makeup, the medicine is on a federal watch list, most likely for those who use it to make meth.

These separate events happened on back-to-back days. Upon noting my frustration, friends and family replied with, “Well, it’s the time we live in!” And to that I say, bull! Why can’t the laws inhibit criminal actions while at the same leaving the 85-90 percent of the law-abiding public alone? Criminals are people who work outside of the law; that is how they become criminals. Isn’t it reasonable to think that if a meth dealer needs an ingredient, he will find a way to circumvent the system? Instead the government seems to be content with punishing the just person with inane laws and rules that we are forced to abide be because we are not criminals.

I have had enough! I hereby refuse to buy goods from local stores; instead I will buy goods online, where good customers are rewarded by not being asked to show a photo ID for products sold!

Joe Becker