Much of the destruction left behind in the wake of the George Floyd riots in Minneapolis could have been prevented if the city had not had laws in place restricting business owners from protecting their own property.
As reported by the Minneapolis Star Tribune and relayed by the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE), Minneapolis currently bars area business owners from installing exterior security shutters on their businesses – you know, the kind that would have prevented “protesters” from looting and burning them to the ground.
According to the city of Minneapolis, such shutters “cause visual blight” and “create the impression that an area is ‘unsafe’ and ‘troublesome,’” which is ironic considering Minneapolis is now a ruinous heap of total destruction, thanks to Black Lives Matter (BLM) and Antifa.
In the aftermath of the “protests,” many area businesses are bucking the rules by installing large metal shutters – and who is going to stop them, seeing as how Minneapolis police have been defunded?
“Times have changed,” stated local liquor store owner John Wolf, whose store was looted by “protesters” who destroyed the windows of his business and stole more than $1 million in alcohol.
“I am going to spend millions of dollars to bring my business back, and I don’t want to buy 20 window panes and have them broken the first day,” he added. “Property owners should have options on how to protect themselves.”
While the city of Minneapolis does allow for some exceptions to its no-shutters rule, reports indicate that it is exceptionally difficult to get one.
A city spokesperson admitted in a statement that, “while someone is authorized to file a variance, it is challenging to meet the legal findings that are necessary to grant a variance from this type of provision,” adding that only one business has ever requested it, only to be denied.
“I have never felt so vulnerable,” says Mark Brandow, the local car repair shop owner who back in July tried to get permission from the city to install security shutters, only to be told no. Consequently, he has had to keep his storefront boarded up instead.
“People in the neighborhood have asked me to take the boards off because it is ugly,” he added. “But I don’t need to be petty. I’m going to leave it ugly until I get some satisfaction.”
Minneapolis is another case-in-point of failed Democratic “leadership”
Wolf, Brandow, and many other Minneapolis business owners are in a tough spot. They are prohibited from protecting their businesses against “protesters,” and are also deterred from calling the police should an incident arise because doing so is now considered to be an act of “privilege.”
The only solution is for Minneapolis business owners to flout the law which, again, cannot even be enforced now that the police have been defunded. It is clearly every man for himself, especially since BLM and Antifa terrorists have been given free rein to do whatever they want in the name of “social justice.”
If the city of Minneapolis is concerned about “visual blight,” then perhaps it should have cracked down on the “protests” that led to the total destruction of many areas of the city, which in many ways looks like some kind of war-torn, third world country.
“Human beings react to every rule, regulation, and order governments impose, and their reactions result in outcomes that can be quite different than the outcomes lawmakers intended,” write FEE’s James Harrigan and Antony Davies about how the regulation against shutters in Minneapolis failed miserably.
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