WaPo highlights great ways to keep homeless out of libraries and airports

The WaPo had a piece moaning about how homeless people are being kept out of public institutions like libraries and airports while unintentionally broadcasting great ways to go about keeping them out:

This week it has become illegal to be in Reagan National Airport in Arlington, Va., during the wee hours unless you can show a ticket for an early-morning flight. This will be devastating to those who counted on airport security guards to leave them alone while they caught some sleep in a warm, safe, Metro-accessible place. Now the homeless can be arrested for trespassing if they are found dozing in any of the terminals between 11:30 p.m. and 4:30 a.m.

This is great!  People waiting for late-night flights will not be menaced in near-empty terminals by the homeless.  The purpose of airports is for people to board planes, not to be hotels.  If the homeless want a place to sleep, they can go to a homeless shelter, a prison, or a mental hospital.  Or they can work for a living like everyone else and rent or buy a home.

My family’s local D.C. library has the kind of metal cage you see at airports, where you measure your bag to see whether it qualifies as a carry-on. To enter the library, your bag has to be small enough to fit in there.

This is also great!  I have never heard of this before!  What a great lesson from the airlines!  What libraries are saying is that people with too much physical baggage probably have too much psychological baggage to enter!  How metaphorically perfect!

What harm are these people doing? Are they really taking up all the empty seats at the airport? Are they checking out too many books at the library?

Not really. It’s all about quality of life. Ours. We’re making their human acts illegal because they make us uncomfortable.

I understand the feeling. There may be piles of dirty blankets. There may be an unpleasant smell. The folks who are mentally ill might scream or shout or rant. Those things make me uncomfortable, too. But not enough to get them banned from my sight.

Here’s the thing — there are many different kinds of people without homes. There are the rough sleepers, the chronically homeless and mentally ill people who make us most uneasy.

The rough sleepers?  Have you ever had trouble sleeping and decided to try to get some sleep in an airport?

The problems with homelessness are numerous.  First of all, many of them smell bad.  I avoid my urban local library because when I am trying to look for books, homeless people in chairs are like air unfresheners plugged into walls.  The stench is powerful and repugnant.

There is also the public health element.  Many of them never bathe and can carry diseases.  And yet, like walking bug factories, they use chairs, touch door handles and books, and spread illnesses like tuberculosis.

The third problem is that many of them create an unpleasant environment, yelling and staring menacingly.  They look dangerous, because many of them are dangerous, and it is impossible to tell which are which.

That's why airports should not be used as dormitories.  Nor libraries, or bus stations, or parks.  If people want a place to sleep, let them pick from shelters, prisons, insane asylums, or the homes of liberals who write these articles.  They shouldn't be making love in public, or taking over public parks.  We shouldn't need public urination maps (New York) or defacation maps (San Francisco) to find out where they live.

This article was written by Ed Straker, senior writer of NewsMachete.com, the conservative news site.

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