The city’s get-tough plan to silence booming car stereos was pulled Friday after the mayor and comptroller turned up the political pressure.
Alderman Craig Schmid’s proposal to allow police to impound cars with enhanced stereo equipment was criticized as overly broad and intrusive. The bill would have allowed the city to fine motorists with some sound systems straight from the factory, technically enabling police to take their cars regardless of whether music was pumping or not.
Headlines that focus on the minor bad thing that this legislation would address–annoying loud car sound systems–overlooks the far greater evil in its punishment–government seizure of private property for a small infraction.
Because I’m not so far from my youth to have forgotten how I would occasionally turn up my radio to probably inappropriate levels when a good song came on the radio. A ticket, I could have handled. Taking my car would have driven me to unemployment, as most of the places I lived in my twenties didn’t offer quick or convenient mass transit that could convey me twenty miles to my various places of underpaid employment.
Legislating to eliminate pet peeves by putting down their owners should never pass nor be considered seriously, but with 200 years of legislation and a thousand years of English common law behind them, our legislators have to make busy to citizens’ detriment.