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December 27, 2019

Councilman Hagen - How Dare You! Part II

Cindy A. Rose

Mr. Hagen was irritated by the fact Maryland doesn’t consider balloon releases “littering”.  The law only addresses objects on the ground, it is silent on objects in the sky. (Maryland Annotated Code – Criminal Law Section 10-110 - Litter Control Law.)   Objects floating in the sky aren’t addressed because they can’t be enforced.  There is no way to know, when or where the object that went up, came down.

My mother passed away a year and a half ago.  At her celebration of life we had a balloon release.  My mother loved balloons, they made her smile.  Bouquets of bouncy, happy, colorful helium filled balloons brought her joy.  When her family, in their time of mourning released dozens of helium balloons it wasn’t with the intention of killing a bird or fish.  Our intention was to send a message of love to God, to heaven - to our Mother, Grandmother and Friend who was no longer with us.

The balloons were our symbolic release of our sorrow so we could let go of our sadness and embrace what brought us joy.

Extinguishing the ability to mourn or celebrate with balloons is as infuriating as it is tyrannical.  The First Amendment exists to protect free people from such abuse of power.  What offends Mr. Hagen, or any council member should not be turned into a law.  He abused his power and used it to tick something off his personal “to do” list.

Leaders educate the public on why they might not want to release balloons.  The public needs to realize this isn’t about balloons.  This law is about your right to live as a free human being.  You have a right to live free from government coerced behavior.

Freedom is chaotic.  With freedom comes the ability, the right, to make crappy decisions.  There are those among us, many in political positions of power who believe we aren’t educated enough to choose for ourselves.  They believe government should intervene because you simply don’t understand the ramifications.  This is how we arrived at a balloon ban.  We weren’t moving swiftly enough in the right direction.

Mr. Hagen has stated on multiple occasions this law is designed to curb behavior he disapproves of.  He thinks everyone should abstain from releasing balloons because he personally finds them offensive.  He believes he has the right to use his authority as an elected official to shape the behavior of others; behaviors more in line with his.  That’s what tyranny looks like.  It’s also the reason we have the Second Amendment.

Mr. Hagen needs to remember he serves us, he was not voted in office to enact regulations to propel his pet causes. 

Those who voted in support of this step toward fascism, should have recognized this was about more than “balloons”.

I hope County Executive Gardner veto’s this malevolent use of the Councilman’s position.

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