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Location: California, United States

I am a neolibertarian minded individual who feels that freedom and individual rights take precedence over the wants of government. I believe government exists to serve the people and not to protect us from ourselves. I am an advocate for private firearms ownership, smaller government, reduced taxes and freedom to live your life however you choose, providing you do not directly hurt others.

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A Feast For Crows
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Saturday, February 11, 2006

Pay Phone Ban to Fight Crime in Boston?!?

From the Boston Globe's news section:

Saying that pay phones attract drug dealers and prostitutes, city agencies are pushing for an amendment to the zoning code meant to restrict installation of coin-operated phones.

''What happens is [drug dealers] hang out there, the buyers come, make the deals," said Sal LaMattina, chairman of the East Boston Neighborhood Response Team. ''For some people that live in the neighborhood, they get a little nervous to walk by. They see the drug dealing that's going on.
This is stupid. If the pay phones attract criminals, this should make things it easier for the police. Rather than stop installing phones, they should just periodically drive by the phones and arrest the prostitutes, drug dealers and other criminals they claim hang out at the phones.

Why do authorities always attack problems from the wrong angle and end up punishing the innocent without deterring crime? I can understand not installing pay phones if the phone companies can't make a profit from them, but if there is someone willing to pay to install and maintain the phones, why block it? Who knows when someone will need to dial 911 and stop a crime or call an ambulance? (For those who say cell phones replace this functionality, keep in mind that land lines are a much better choice for 911 emergency calls as most agencies still can't accurately pinpoint where the cell call came from.)

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