Skip to comments.90 Days In Jail For Unlicensed Talking In D.C.
Posted on 09/17/2010 9:11:50 AM PDT by ChrisBoundsTX
I have always had problems with the government requiring a licenses in order to business. A government license requirement can have some common sense reasons, such building a nuclear power plant. My problem comes with a government license requirement giving the government enormous power to regulate your liberty and your pursuit of happiness. While I could surely find many cases of government abuse in this area, a reader from the Institute for Justice sent over one that will get under your skin!
In Washington, D.C. tour guides are everywhere. By bus, car, foot and even Segways you can follow tour guides around the beautiful city and hear great stories about its abundant history. If you are a history buff and enjoy telling stories you can even become one yourself. But not so fast! Now you must have a tour guide license, essentially giving you permission by the government to talk! Failure to obtain a license could land you in jail for up to 90 days!
Here is a video detailing the case the Institute for Justice is working on, involving two Segway tour guides Tonia Edwards and Bill Main:
If your pursuit of happiness rolls over the laws of the land, who wins? As I recall, we have a RIGHT to pursue happiness, but the Founders wanted to create a nation of laws, not men.
So if a Right meets a Law, which one wins?
Lets hope the court decides that favorably on the side of the Constitution.
Not quite. Our Founders wanted to create a nation of men governed by laws. The difference is in the governance... laws are impartial while men govern by whim and patronage.
It is a TAX.
The government is ensuring that they get their cut of any revenue generated by commerce.
It is a tax and it is control. It is also a limitation to natural rights.
Nothing to see here, folks, just the gubermint regulating commerce. For you see, if the Segway riders and your run-of-the-mill Joe Pedestrians want to conduct groups of people around the Nation’s Capital and point out interesting things, they are free (key word: free) to do so as long as they are not doing so as a business. Engage in commerce and it is a whole different kettle of fish. It’s not that they are speaking, it is that they are charging money for a service.
“Now you must have a tour guide license, essentially giving you permission by the government to talk! Failure to obtain a license could land you in jail for up to 90 days! “
And yet, no license is required to publish 70,000 classified documents, about a hot war, on the Internet.
Those 70,000 documents were leaked by the Obama Administration.
hmmmmm... time to schedule a drive in D.C. with my M-I-L in the back seat telling me where to go; “Oh Officer over here!!!” LOL
Rights always supersede laws. After all laws can give governments the right to trample all over peoples God given rights. ie. slavery, the holocaust, communism's’ collectivism that starved to death millions in both the Soviet Union and China as well as many other places. Laws are only as just as the people who pass them.
On the other hand, as was pointed out elsewhere on this thread, this law doesn't prohibit people from speaking freely without a license, only for charging a fee for their speech (guidance)without a license. If they want to give free tours I believe they may.
There are many aspects of the business license regulatory regimes, in every state, that in many ways are nothing more than protection rackets to keep out competition from existing businesses, means of creating business cartels, and function much like the old “guild system” of the Middle Ages, that had to pass away in order for the industrial revolution to take off.
Was slavery actually codified as acceptable law or was it simply a practice that was so common at the time that no one thought ill of it?
I find it hard to believe that slavery was permissible by law and statute, but to be honest, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was.
We wouldn’t want these tour guides to say something that is politically incorrect, would we?
We wouldn’t want them to point out that Lincoln was a Republican or that several Democrat presidents with memorials were slave owners. We wouldn’t want them to spread information that would cause unrest on the plantation ... like yelling fire in a theater.