Should Library Users Be Required to Show ID?

Universities represent intellectual freedom for those who can afford to attend them. For everyone else, public libraries symbolize the opportunity to acquire knowledge free from governmental interference. That's why a New Bedford proposal to require library users to show ID before entering the library is so offensive.

The proposal is a knee-jerk response to a sexual assault that occurred in a New Bedford library. Its efficacy depends on the dubious assumption that sex offenders won't show ID. It would not, as the mayor suggests, "let people know they're completely safe." It would, however, cause people to wonder whether they are safe from governmental monitoring of their reading habits, and might deprive those who don't have ID from using the library altogether. Like most knee-jerk responses to the tragedy of crime, this is a proposal that is likely to cause more problems than it will solve.

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    hogwash abdul. (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by cpinva on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 12:14:03 PM EST
    your library requires ID, establishing residence, to receive a library card. i doubt seriously they require any form of ID merely to enter the facility. since when did public libraries start charging a fee just to enter them? prove it.

    this is a law with little hope of being enforced, unless they plan to expand their police force ten fold. i doubt it. i'd kind of like to know where that child's parents were, that they lost sight of their 6 year-old.

    when mine were that age, they weren't allowed to just go roaming free, anywhere, they had to be within viewing range of me or my wife. as well, the library staff frowned on the practice of parents using the library as a free baby sitting service.

    i just have this feeling that when the good citizens of new bedford get their next tax bill, with the increase to cover the cost of this legislation included, they aren't going to be happy at all.

    I've worked in public libraries for 20 years (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by katiebird on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 12:18:27 PM EST
    when mine were that age, they weren't allowed to just go roaming free, anywhere, they had to be within viewing range of me or my wife. as well, the library staff frowned on the practice of parents using the library as a free baby sitting service.

    And this is the policy in the 2 library systems where I've worked.

    Also, libraries get a lot of business from out-of-towners (especially the public computers) I can't imagine the librarians are happy with this proposed ordinance.  Much less that they're again being asked to spy unnecessarily on patrons (by tracking visits even when nothing is checked out)


    I should have said (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by katiebird on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 12:32:08 PM EST
    Requiring that parents/guardians stay with children is the policy.

    Oh Man (none / 0) (#15)
    by tek on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 01:36:35 PM EST
    I was an academic librarian for eleven years. You cannot IMAGINE the stuff that goes on in university libraries. One Sunday evening I went to the lower level to get something for a patron and a tweeny jumped out from between two stacks and started trying to distract and detain me like a city mugger. I figured he had friends in the next aisle either shooting up or having sex. Called security and sure enough, that was the deal. We had homeless people who slept in the library and students who's roommates kept them up at night would come in and nap.

    We had situations occur that made some our female student workers faint. The librarians were pretty much responsible to police the patrons and get rid of problem people. We were really as much at risk as the students. We could call campus security for boisterous patrons and for imminently violent situations we called 911. That happened more frequently than you would think.

    In our university library, you didn't have to be a student to get in. Anyone could use the library, you only had to have an ID to check out materials. The general public could purchase user privileges. That's pretty generally the policy, except possibly at some private universities.


    I worked at a University Law Library before that (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by katiebird on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 01:56:24 PM EST
    And finals at the library was fun.  We had a student complain that another student was turning the pages too loudly...

    But working in a downtown urban library (which I do now) is the most eye-opening experience. Librarians are under the gun (almost literally) all the time.  But, they don't tend to over-react by restricting all patrons because of the behavior of a few.

    At least not from within my personal experience.

    I wonder how that ordinance would work?  How do you GET a card if you can't go inside?


    Awful (5.00 / 2) (#7)
    by Claw on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 12:40:29 PM EST
    TChris, great to have you back.  A couple of wonderful posts today.
    As to the ID requirement and Abdul's assertion that his municipal library requires ID...really?  I've honestly never heard of such a thing.  
    The "big deal," Abdul, is this proposal discriminates against many different groups: the homeless (who often have no photo ID), those without ID for some other reason, and those who simply do not wish to be bothered and spied upon simply for frequenting their local library.  

    Some thoughts: to get a library card (5.00 / 2) (#10)
    by oculus on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 12:55:03 PM EST
    here, a person must show something to show the person lives in the library district, usually a drive license and the envelope from a utility bill.  Don't need to show anything to be in the library.

    Branch library is within a couple blocks of a middle school and elementary school.  After school there are many unattended kids at the library and apparently a parent picks up the kid later.  I've also seen men standing in the stacks not looking at the books, and suspected child molesters have been detained, especially at the large downtown library.  So, this is a problem.  I doubt requiring photo id willl solve it though.

    You don't need to show I.D. (none / 0) (#11)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 12:58:59 PM EST
    to be in the Enterprise AL library either but I did have to show my utility bill just so that they could have a "confirmed current address" on me for my library card.  In Colorado Springs no I.D. was needed to enter any of the library branches either, I think they took my CO driver's license as proof enough of my current address though but I can't remember for sure.

    Think Boo Radley... (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by oldpro on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 01:04:05 PM EST
    When I was a kid, people looked out for each other ... for their own kids and other people's kids.

    In Hillary's parlance, "It Takes a Village."

    Some people seem to think that there is a solution to every problem that involves process.  Not always.  Sometimes people simply have to get with the program and do their job...parents, I mean...and other adults with a head on their shoulders.

    ID to enter a library?  What next?  Movie theatres?  Ball games?  PUBLIC BATHROOMS?

    Then the man will say.... (none / 0) (#47)
    by kdog on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 02:51:52 PM EST
    "Why not just let us implant a chip in your arm, it will be so much easier for ya?"

    I.D. to use the library...I think it's safe to say we are officially the Nazi Germany-esqu "Your Papers Please" society we used to despise.


    Keeping Children Safe (5.00 / 2) (#23)
    by maryjo on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 03:09:12 PM EST
    I have been a public librarian on Long Island for 20 years. Identification isn't required to use these suburban libraries. Library card applicants have to provide identification proving they live in the library district.  The New York Public Library offers library cards to anyone who lives, works, owns property, or goes to school in New York State. I have visited public libraries all over the US; I have never been asked for identification.

    Librarians struggle constantly to convince parents and caregivers that  public libraries are not child care centers, that they can't provide free afterschool care, that they are not safe places for unattended children anymore than a shopping mall or a train station would be.  Too many parents leave their preschoolers in the children's section while they use another part of the library.  I have had to help many children "find mommy or daddy." Public librarians are used to helping young children left alone at the library after closing hours.

    Most librarians welcome everyone, as long as they don't disturb other patrons. Homeless people frequently use urban libraries. Librarians usually stand up for them if other people complain.

    Inane (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by LarryE on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 05:08:46 PM EST
    I suspect I know New Bedford better than others who have commented, including Scribe. I lived in NB for two years and have lived within 45 minutes of it for over 20. My ex-wife has a house there.

    I know the library to which the article refers (including the fact that it is not "the" library but the main branch of the library), indeed I have been in the room pictured in the NYT article. So yes, I do know New Bedford - including its politics (about which my ex keeps me informed).

    The mayor's proposal is a crock. It's unenforceable. It's ridiculously overbroad. It's pandering. It's an attempt to take political advantage of a tragedy, an attempt that will feed on itself as others try to show that they are even more concerned about "the safety of the children" than the next politico until it generates legislation so sweeping that it will get struck down by the courts - but no one now making the noise will care because the political points will already have been scored.

    It's inane.

    And to answer the original question directly, no, you should not have to show ID to enter a public library any more than you should have to show one to enter a post office or to walk down a public street.

    Well said, and you might well be right. (none / 0) (#30)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 05:16:49 PM EST
    But considering the scenario you paint, what other choice is there?

    Tragedy occurs. Citizenry demands action. Politician provides action. Politician survives.

    If the pol doesn't provide action, he'll be fed to the wolves/lose his position, and another pol will take his place who will provide action.


    Well (none / 0) (#33)
    by LarryE on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 05:33:16 PM EST
    what other choice is there?

    Well, how about some political courage? How about some rationality? How about - hmmm, I see your point.

    But more seriously, this wasn't a case of a politician jumping on a bandwagon of public demands for action about libraries. This was a case of the mayor hitching up the team in the first place.


    to the action than any of us. There really wasn't any citizenry who wanted "something done" in response to the rape?

    Clarifying (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by LarryE on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 06:21:27 PM EST
    There wasn't any citizenry who wanted "something done" in response to the rape?

    Of course there was, there was the expected outrage about "sex offenders" with the usual "once a sex offender, always a sex offender" undercurrent.

    But note that I specifically mentioned libraries in the above. That was the topic and that came straight from the mayor.

    Note, too, that besides libraries, the ordinance also makes video arcades and playgrounds "automatic no trespass" zones and the city council is expected to add "places like carnivals." All justified on the grounds that they are places "where children gather." Why, then, not include malls? Candy stores? Video stores? Parades? Any similar public event? Why not public streets?

    Note well I'm not saying that you are advocating any of that. It's rather than I'm pointing out, again, how this sort of mania can feed on itself until it goes from offensive to inane to insane.

    The McMartins and the Amaralts can tell about what happens when legitimate concern about children's safety turns to panic.


    Fellow librarians, Katiebird and Tek (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by NJDem on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 05:41:18 PM EST
    do either of you know if has the ALA addressed this new policy yet?  

    I'm covering the reference desk at a college library as I write this, and I cannot imagine having to supervise a policy like this.  My old private university (GW in DC) had a ID policy, but Special Collections and gov't docs were open to the public.  
    I cannot however see this working at a public library, academic or state/community sponsored.  

    That's horrible that a sexual assault took place, but why not just beef up security?  Have someone in a uniform always walking around?    

    I have a hard time navigating the ALA site (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by katiebird on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 06:02:22 PM EST
    In response to your question, I'm poking around the ALA site, but I think there organization & search algorithm (ironically) stink so my not finding anything doesn't mean it's not there.  Also, it might take a while.....

    But no public library I work in could pull staff aside to examine library cards for every patron.  It's hard enough just to keep the public service desks staffed!

    There used to be some wonderfully isolated areas in the stacks of the University Library where I worked 31 years ago.  But they managed security by renovating the isolation away -- now things are more open.  And cameras cover the less trafficed areas.

    I agree that it is terrible that there was a sexual assault at that library.  And like you think they should first beef up security.  But it seems to me that even if that ordinance passes and they ask patrons for library cards, they'd still have to beef up security at that library.

    Which shows just how useless that idea is.

    Grow up (1.00 / 0) (#13)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 01:17:40 PM EST
    Unfortunately for all of us the world has changed since we were children. I well remember the local librarian helping me with words and showing me how to use a dictionary. And yes, suggesting to me that I would not understand "certain" books, yet when I insisted I wanted to read "The Egyptian" she checked it out to me.

    Also in that world we seemed to have a lot less fewer nuts and rapists and evil people of all kinds than we do today. Asking people to identify themselves to visit a public facility violates no one's rights and should have no chilling effect on anyone except someone who does have evil acts on their minds.

    True (none / 0) (#16)
    by tek on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 01:39:43 PM EST
    I loved the library as a child. It never ever occurred to me there would be bad people lurking in the library.

    I loved libraries, still do (none / 0) (#20)
    by splashy on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 02:14:52 PM EST
    But as a child I assumed there might be bad people there. I assumed that everywhere.

    Then again, I was raised in a tourist area with lots of people coming and going, so was taught from a very young age to beware.

    In fact, I thought of the dark as protective, because those that would prey on you wouldn't be able to see you, so wouldn't know you were there. Being in the light was like saying "here I am!"

    Those raised in more protected environments aren't taught that as emphatically I guess.


    I think.... (none / 0) (#48)
    by kdog on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 02:56:18 PM EST
    there were just as many evil people in your day Jim, just as many sickos harming kids.  We just hear about it more today due to the 24/7 media.

    And as another poster said....sc*mbags who harm kids have I.D. too, this accomplishes nothing.


    You may be right (none / 0) (#49)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 05:46:34 PM EST
    regarding the numbers...

    But the point of the ID is to have knowledge of who is in ghe library. Thta's gotta slow'em down.

    And it hurts no one.


    Except those without ID.... (none / 0) (#51)
    by kdog on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 08:38:29 AM EST
    granted people without papers are few and far between...but they do exist.  And they have a right to use the public library.

    As an aside...a child was molested (allegedly) in the bathroom at my local bowling alley not too long ago.  The bowling alley isn't checking ID's at the door in response.  I took my nieces there last weekend and didn't let them go to the bathroom by themselves.  That's really all that is required here...a reminder to keep an eye on your kids.


    What's the big deal (none / 0) (#1)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 12:04:45 PM EST

    My municipal library requires I.D.  Residents get in free, and non-residents pay a small fee.

    To enter the library? (5.00 / 3) (#4)
    by spit on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 12:30:26 PM EST
    I find that very doubtful, frankly. That would go against established public library policy across the nation. Librarians are generally fiercely protective of their role providing access to all sorts of information to the whole of the public.

    Lots of disturbing stuff in the linked article. My partner, who is a librarian and was even a public childrens/young adult librarian for a good chunk of time, has been keeping a very close eye on these trends, and some of the current direction makes her head just about pop off. Of course reasonable standards for safety are a necessity, that's hardly new -- but when some of this stuff starts making access itself more difficult, we're really shooting ourselves (and our libraries, and our goal of free access to information) in the foot.

    Libraries are for the whole public, they're not daycare centers, and parents ultimately have the responsibility to make sure their small children are supervised (just as they have a responsibility to establish their own controls over their children's reading materials). That's usually standard library policy.


    What city? (none / 0) (#14)
    by eric on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 01:19:40 PM EST
    What city?  We surely can confirm the ID requirement by visiting their website.

    It happened (none / 0) (#25)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 04:09:52 PM EST

    several years ago, in some small burg west of the twin cities.  As this is from memory and I don't rember which town.   I therefore will appologize for posting that which I can no longer verify.

    Typical (none / 0) (#26)
    by jondee on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 04:25:56 PM EST
    Against all regulatory strictures -- unless they're ones they're favor of.

    You can control my public space when you can pry it (metaphorically speaking) from my cold, dead, fingers.


    I suspect... (none / 0) (#35)
    by LarryE on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 05:38:36 PM EST
    ...that what you're remembering is about getting a library card, not getting into the library.

    that's not what you claimed initially abdul: (none / 0) (#42)
    by cpinva on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 03:20:37 AM EST
    My municipal library requires I.D.

    how about this?: you just made it up out of whole cloth.

    the bill proposed by the mayor, should it be enacted, will be quickly struck down. but, as noted by another poster, mr. mayor will have gotten his andy warhol "15 minutes of fame".

    the problem with laws restricting sex offenders to places where children aren't likely to be is that it would require that they all live in bars and adult bookstores.


    The library was one of my favorite (none / 0) (#8)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 12:52:56 PM EST
    places when I was a kid, a million answers stacked for the taking and a million different ideas to entertain.  My Aunt says that our family's love affair with books comes from our impoverished German roots but on a bored summer afternoon I was even known to ride my bike down and be there of my volition.  Making it another difficulty in life will help who?  We can make everything difficult and illegal and bad things will still happen in the real world.

    Stupid law, stupid mayor, stupid town (none / 0) (#9)
    by scribe on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 12:53:16 PM EST
    I've been to and through New Bedford any number of times.  It's a town that is, to be charitable, down on its heels.  It didn't benefit from any of the booms of the last 15 years or so - too far from Boston and Providence to be a viable commuters' bedroom community, beat up infrastructure, no industrial base, run-down educational system and bypassed by tourists on their way to the Cape.  

    In other words, a town ripe for Left-Behind-by-the-New-Economy pols eager to get some coverage while glomming the ideas (and type of ideas) glamourized by Faux Noise and the Republicans - like this one.  Want another?  Look at Hazelton, PA and the unconstitutional anti-immigrant ordinance they used to get some coverage for something other than being a run-down coal town and hometown of Princess Judi.

    And, as to there being a cop available in New Bedford?  Last time I was there, it was not a problem to find one.  A number of us were going fishing and had to meet the boat we'd chartered at the docks well before sunrise.  There was a cop, in his car, parked across from a HoneyDew (a NE chain of donut shops) near the waterfront.  He was in that deep snore where your head flops back and jaw hangs open to the point one might think your neck is broken.  We let him be.

    That's New Bedford.

    Why was a 6-year old left unnatended? (none / 0) (#18)
    by splashy on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 02:05:40 PM EST
    To my mind there should not be 6-year olds running around by themselves in a library to begin with. At that age they can get into all kinds of mischief, or the worse that has happened in this case.  

    They shouldn't be allowed to run around without someone watching over them at least until they are 9 or 10 or so, where they are old enough to have more of a clue about the world.

    That being said, the places where children are allowed in libraries should be in the public view. No back rooms or nooks and crannies should be available to them.

    Restricting the rest of us because some libraries are not set up properly for the protection of children just seems like an excuse.

    So what? (1.00 / 0) (#32)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 05:31:04 PM EST
    I agree that 6 year olds shouldn't be free to run around... either in a library or on an Interstate.

    But some do. That doesn't mean we are excused from taken group responsibility for their safety.

    And what great restriction are you speaking of?? Showing an ID card? I guess you haven't flown on an airplane, checked into a hotel, used a credit card, got a driver's license lately...


    Overreaching (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by LarryE on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 05:52:21 PM EST
    I guess you haven't flown on an airplane, checked into a hotel, used a credit card, got a driver's license

    No, I haven't flown lately, so I'll leave that aside.

    Hotels are public facilities for purposes of discrimination laws but they are still private businesses where you are paying a fee for service. They are not governmental institutions, in particular they are not anything like libraries, and certainly don't have the long tradition of open access that libraries do. They are irrelevant here.

    I can't remember the last time I was asked for ID when using a credit card. I doubt I ever was. Most times people don't even bother checking the signature on the back. (I had a card I used for nearly two years before someone noticed I had never signed it at all.)

    Yes, I needed ID to get a driver's license, just like I needed one to get a library card. But unless I'm stopped for speeding or whatever, I don't need to show ID in order to use my car and I sure as all heck don't need to show ID in order to get into my car.

    So the examples are irrelevant or wrong. Typical.


    In case you don't remember (none / 0) (#40)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 10:33:47 PM EST
    airlines are common carriers and licensed by the government and anyone can fly on them if they follow certain rules of conduct and can pay for the service.

    Displaying proper ID is part of that conduct.

    And I can remember not being asked for an ID when using a credit card, and that includes the hotels I regularly stay at.

    The issuance of the driver's license, which required several form of ID gave you an extended right to drive the car, not a right to drive it without a license and the ID that was required to get that license. Simpler. No ID, no license. No license, no drive.

    The purchase of alcohol requires proper ID to ensure that you are not violating a state law that gives you the right to purchase alcohol.

    And the failure of some people to follow proper procedures do not invalidate the procedures or the reason for them.

    If you value your privacy to the extent that you don't want to aid in the protection of your fellow citizens please feel free to not use the facilities that require an ID.

    We will all be a bit safer.


    Still typical (none / 0) (#50)
    by LarryE on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 06:53:43 PM EST
    None of which changes the fact that all the examples are still irrelevant or wrong with regard to the issue of showing ID to get into a library, which is what you were supposedly responding to. Instead, they're just verbal confetti thrown up as distraction from the topic at hand.

    Which, again, is typical for you.

    Oh, and by the way:

    We will all be a bit safer if I decline to use facilities that require ID? That's lame even for you.

    And please don't even bother trying to claim that's not what you said or I'm being "paranoid" or any such inanity because that is what you said. If it's not what you meant, the failure is yours in not being able to express yourself with basic clarity.


    My branch library now closes at (none / 0) (#21)
    by oculus on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 02:16:45 PM EST
    2:30 p.m. on Saturdays due to lack of funding.  Who will pay for public libraries to be safety zones for unattended children?  

    Seriously? (none / 0) (#19)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 02:11:27 PM EST
    Its efficacy depends on the dubious assumption that sex offenders won't show ID.
    I think the mayors idea is:
    He also says all patrons should be required to show a picture ID and valid library card before entering the library.
    I'm pretty sure in order to get a library card one would have to provide their ID.

    The names would presumably be checked against the RSO database before the library card is issued and obviously a Level 3 Offender on the RSO database would not get a library card.

    Then, in order to prevent the scenario where an RSO might steal a valid library card and use it to enter a library, both a library card and a supporting ID card would be required for entry.

    That said, as unfortunate and as unimaginable as whole situation is, and as personally guilty and horrible as the boy's mom must feel, we all, as parents, need to take absolute responsibility for protecting our children.

    To suggest, as a poster did above, that Ms. Clinton's "It Takes a Village" nonsense should apply to your own child's safety is so incredibly and dangerously misguided that I really just don't know what to say except that when something is everyone's responsibility, in reality, it becomes no one's responsibility and thereby doesn't get done.

    No (none / 0) (#31)
    by jondee on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 05:17:36 PM EST
    a village requires human beings.

    What you're describing is more like a zone or territory in which the creature only need be concerned with the things they've marked with their scent.


    Ummm (none / 0) (#22)
    by jarober on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 02:42:08 PM EST
    Yes, All 3 homeless people who ever use a library will be discriminated against.  Meanwhile, the people who want to go in and have a non-crappy experience won't be.  This notion on the left that having to show ID is discrimination is BS.  Why don't we stop checking ID for cigarettes, alcohol, and getting a voter registration car, too?

    Just how many perfectly nice experiences are you willing to destroy in your stupid quest for egalitarianism?  You see a quest for liberty; some of us hear the footsteps of Robespierre.

    Robespierre in the library (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by eric on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 03:48:25 PM EST
    "Why don't we stop checking ID for cigarettes, alcohol

    Well, because there are laws that prohibit the sale of these items to people of a certain age.  The ID is a way to check to see if you are complying with that law.  There is a nexus between the ID and a legitimate purpose - complying with a law.

    and getting a voter registration car, too?"

    Here in Minnesota, you don't need an ID to vote, nor do you need an ID to register to vote.  I don't see why you would.  I imagine that most places are like this.  (Except, of course, those states with new ID laws).

    There is a big difference between an ID requirement for the sale of alcohol or cigarettes the the ID proposal here.  That difference is that the library is open to everyone.  There is no age requirement or other restriction.  There is no law the compliance of which is furthered by checking ID's.

    Practically speaking, an ID requirement would be useless unless you were recording who comes and goes with those ID's.  And that is pretty repugnant, isn't it?  The government tracking the patrons of its libraries?


    No (none / 0) (#41)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 10:39:35 PM EST
    That difference is that the library is open to everyone.  There is no age requirement or other restriction.  There is no law the compliance of which is furthered by checking ID's.

    Wrong. Rape of a six year old child is obviously covered by law. The ID furthers the compliance in enforcing that law by having a chilling effect on possible offenders.


    Would that it were so (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by jondee on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 04:38:03 PM EST
    Egalitarianism! Perish the thought.

    A perfectly nice experience -- for me and to hell with anyone else, is a perrenial notion from the right whose time has come.


    Would that they (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by jondee on Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 05:00:00 PM EST
    were so scrupulous about who gets into gun shows.

    Have you ever read (none / 0) (#45)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 01:34:01 PM EST
    of a nut walking into a gun show and killing numerous people??

    I've read of a few (none / 0) (#46)
    by jondee on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 01:35:55 PM EST
    walking from one.

    Really? (none / 0) (#43)
    by Claw on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 10:57:00 AM EST
    All 3 homeless people?  Have you ever been to an inner-city public library?  How 'bout the many people who don't have ID but are not homeless?  God forbid the unwashed read!  Oh God! What if they find out about the internet?!

    With out an ID (none / 0) (#44)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 01:33:11 PM EST
    A person cannot open a checking account, cash a check, obtain a driver's license, get a telephone, either cell or wireline, obtain free healthcare, purchase healthcare insurance. They also cannot enroll in welfare, any school or anyone one of the dozens of other usual activities citizens engage in.

    Not True (none / 0) (#52)
    by Claw on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 10:36:27 AM EST
    You can get a pay as you go cell, have a family account into which your checks are deposited and cashed (as many poor people do) but on which you are not named, and you can damn sure get medical care without ID.  
    Of course, none of this has anything to do with entering a library.