Saturday, January 3, 2015

Hoodie Madness

Republican State Senator Don Barrington of Lawton has solved all of the problems of the universe (Jimmy Hoffa's whereabouts and predicting prime numbers were particularly knotty), so he is now turning his attention to the problem posed by people who wear hoodies in public.

Barrington's law would make it illegal to wear something that disguises or conceals your face when you are in public. You may let your Batman mask freak flag fly all you wish inside your own domicile, but should you venture out into Gotham to fight crime, you will become part of the problem, according to Sen. Barrington.

The story at KFOR notes that an Oklahoma statute on the books for 90 years or so already makes it illegal to conceal your identity while committing a crime, but they didn't know about hoodies in the 1920s -- unless that's what Al Capone called it when he gave you his "team player" speech with a Packard instead of a Louisville Slugger. Since the old law also concerns disguises and concealments, it would seem to be broad enough to encompass the novel idea of a sweatshirt with an attached drawstring hood.

In fact, Sen. Barrington himself notes that these laws are already on the books, suggesting that his irony detector is a little rusty. When you justify the silly law you want passed by referring to another, similar law that has been around for almost a century, you are failing to make a connection.

Left unanswered by the senator's cross-every-T dot-every-I thoroughness is what will happen when it gets cold and people begin covering their faces to prevent them from freezing. It may become tough to tell folks apart when frostbite leaves none of us with noses. Also left unanswered is the question of all those masked mendicant midgets prowling the streets at the end of October, who are no doubt violating several city ordinances regarding panhandling.

The real roadblock for this law is the location which we all share with Sen. Barrington. A law banning concealment or alteration of facial features might fly in some other regions, but this is the south. You start telling some of the ladies in this part of the country that they can't use makeup for what they see as its God-given purpose of making them presentable to the public, and you'll be the one who needs a disguise.

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