Normandy, MO — Residents in Normandy, Missouri are questioning a new ordinance they are calling ridiculous which requires anyone who wishes to shovel snow for money—to have a permit. To be clear, this is not just for adults running businesses, but as the following case illustrates, it's being enforced against children trying to earn some extra money.
Charles Shelton and his foster son Keyshawn Anderson learned about the police state bureaucracy the hard was last week when Anderson tried to raise some extra cash by shoveling snow.
Shelton dropped the boy off at his grandma's home in Pasadena Hills last week to shovel snow and once he started, the police quickly rolled in to check if Anderson had a permit. He did not, so he was shut down.
“I feel like there are other ordinances that are more important that should be addressed verses some young man shoveling snow,” said Shelton.
According to Anderson, he was approached by police twice for shoveling his grandma's driveway without a permit.
“I felt like that was unfair, I felt like I wasn’t doing anything wrong,” said Anderson.
When the officer came back the second time, Anderson was issued a warning, noting that if he attempted to shovel snow without scribbling on government paper again, he'd be extorted via a citation.
Naturally, police are claiming that the permits are there for public safety. They claim a video of two black youths ringing a doorbell with shovels in their hands is proof this town needs to be permitted.
Sgt. Tameika Sanders said residents allegedly called in over the weekend to report teens knocking on doors carrying shovels. She says—without any evidence of crime, mind you—that these teens were "casing" the homes by "pretending" to offer shoveling services.
Exactly how she knows they were pretending, when none of the residents actually hired them, remains a mystery. However, it is good enough to force aspiring entrepreneurs to fill out government paperwork before trying to earn an honest dollar.
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Sadly, requiring children to obtain permits to move snow around with a shovel is a common practice in the land of the free. As TFTP previously reported, in Bound Brook, New Jersey, two 18-year-old boys were stopped by police during a snowstorm because they were offering to shovel their neighbors driveways.
Matt Molinari and his friend Eric Schnepf, both seniors in High School at the time TFTP covered their story, were going door-to-door advertising their snow shoveling services in advance of the storm. School was out, and instead of sitting inside and playing XBOX, these two young entrepreneurs felt the fire of enterprise and decided to turn their down time into an actual dime.
However, Molinari and Schnepf apparently didn’t realize that in order to make a dime you have to pay a quarter — to the state. When the two boys were out trying to rustle up some business during what they saw as an opportunity, along came the uniformed agents of the state, to put this unapproved business venture out to pasture.
“We weren’t looking to break the law. We just didn’t know the law,” Molinari said.
The cops then gave these two kids a lesson in statist economics, which consequently ended their high school snow shoveling business.
“They need a permit, unpermitted solicitation is not allowed,” Molinari said, recalling what the police told them.
In this particular county, anyone selling goods and services door to door must apply for a license that can cost as much as $450 for permission that is valid for only 180 days; after all freedom ain’t free.
Police Chief Michael Jannone summed up both of these ridiculous scenarios quite accurately when he noted that “We don’t make the laws but we have to uphold them.”
Indeed, most of the atrocities in recent history have all been carried out by those people "just doing their jobs," not the ones writing the laws.