I find it deeply troubling that some Fort Worth City Council members want to make it illegal to give a homeless person money.
Where is the need to deprive the homeless of voluntary acts of kindness?
Public safety? No, that’s a pretext for what the people behind the ordinance are really after — hiding the inconvenient truth that there are many people who can’t get by on their own and need help.
People who would rather not have to see evidence of this fact now want to deprive others of the ability to lend a helping hand. And there’s the added bonus of not even having to deal with your own conscience: “Sorry, pal. Can’t help you. It’s illegal [shrug].”
Before his change of heart, Ebenezer Scrooge was asked for a charitable donation to help the poor, and he responded: “Are there no prisons? Are there no workhouses?”
The City Council is asking the same questions these days.
It seems to me a visit from the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come is in order. It’s the sort of thing that helped Scrooge, and maybe it will help the council.
Jason Rodgers, Aledo
A “John ordinance”?
Congratulations to Fort Worth City Council members Cary Moon and Gyna Bivens for perfectly illustrating the conventional wisdom and logic of our career politicians.
As they would have it, Fort Worth would make a random act of kindness a crime. Rather than address the real issue of homelessness, they would put a convenient Band-Aid on a gaping wound and persecute the kindhearted by ordinance.
To systematically categorize all those panhandling as business opportunists is ludicrous. Few are there by choice.
Exhaustive research shows mental illness and circumstance as primary causes of homelessness.
This perfect illustration of zero accountability and wholesale elitism is exactly why we need a political revolution and are having one.
Councilwoman Bivens was “approached” by an undesirable as she got out of her car. Perhaps she might consider that situational awareness is a large factor in keeping one’s self out of harm’s way.
Meanwhile, I’ll continue my soon-to-be-criminalized activity of giving to the less fortunate.
Hal J. Sullenberger Jr., Hurst
Regarding the traffic issues related to one-way streets in downtown Fort Worth: The city should look at the example of our neighbor to the north, Oklahoma City.
Recently, Oklahoma City took the recommendation of an internationally renowned urban traffic consultant and converted all (yes, all) of its downtown streets to two-way, resulting in a downtown that is more walkable, safer to drivers and pedestrians and less confusing to visitors.
The goal of downtown traffic control should not be to move workers as quickly as possible in and out of downtown at rush-hour.
It should be to encourage residents and visitors to live, work, dine and enjoy a vibrant and unique downtown urban environment.
Wes Gray, Fort Worth
Guns at the zoo
The fight over guns at the Fort Worth Zoo should end right now.
The solution is so simple, it probably escaped all involved.
Let me explain: Don't carry guns into the zoo. Problem solved.
You see, the zoo is a place for families and children. The zoo has security on site at all times, so there is no need to carry a gun.
Just because you have a right to do something doesn't mean you must exercise that right constantly.
You have the right to burn the flag, but you probably aren't going to do it just to prove you can.
There is another right I wish many more people would exercise: You have the right to remain silent.
A new day
I believe a new day is dawning for America. We have a reprieve. Let’s make the best of it.
Jack O. Lewis,