I have fond memories of childhood Halloweens. For grown-ups, Halloweens are exhausting and difficult to fit into a stress-filed schedule. For kids, Halloweens are magic. Candy! Pageantry! Make-believe! Staying up late! Running around in the dark in the delicious state between being scared and pretending to be scared! Camaraderie! Freedom!
Naturally all of this must be reined in. You know — for the children.
Hysteria over Halloween is nothing new. You've got the people who think it actually promotes witchcraft and Satanism. You've got the people who believe the vastly overblown urban legends of food tampering. And then you've got the people who think that kids just ought not be going door to door yelling "Trick or Treat!," for the good of the kids and for the good of the treat-givers and possibly for the good of the doors.
The Supervisors of Dunkard Township — that's Dunkard, not Drunkard, this decision notwithstanding — are among that group. They canceled Halloween.
A small community in Greene County is embroiled in controversy after local officials decided to ban trick-or-treating this year.
Instead, Bobtown will hold a four-hour Halloween party.
Supervisors in Dunkard Township say they are taking the steps for safety reasons.
Leave aside for a moment the literal nannyism — the notion that kids ought to be prohibited from trick-or-treating for their own safety, and instead confined to a party, perhaps held inside a giant padded room. I'm more concerned about the nanny-statism. From where, exactly, do Dunkard Township supervisors derive the power to ban families from trick-or-treating on public streets, and to ban households from giving out candy? Given the Supreme Court's pattern of protecting door-to-door solicitation under the First Amendment, I'm skeptical that a trick-or-treating ban is even constitutional.
Dunkard Township leaders — like most nanny-staters in their position — are mystified about the opposition to their plan.
Assistant Dunkard Fire Chief David Pritchard, running unopposed for supervisor in the election, said he was surprised by all the negative reaction to the decision to ban trick-or-treating.
He says there's been a lot of break-ins lately and that older people in Bobtown were scared.
According to Pritchard, the township was trying to keep everyone safe.
Were the break-ins by people in G.I. Joe costumes? Have they been ringing the doorbell? Halloween results in tons of people being on the street, usually monitored by local police. How does preventing that make break-ins less likely?
Ah, but those questions will never be answered. Remember — doing it for the chiiiiillldruuuun means never having to come up with a logical reason for your actions.
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