Thursday, October 24, 2013

They Hate The First Amendment, Too...

Commenter Ed sends in the following story that perfectly illustrates the Massachusetts mindset. It's not about the guns, it's about the control. Without the guns, the government can do things like this:

Boston bans MIT frat parties indefinitely
Officials in Boston have put an indefinite ban on parties and large gatherings at about 18 MIT fraternities, sororities and other independent living groups located in the city limits, after a student crashed through a skylight and fell four stories at Phi Sigma Kappa on Commonwealth Avenue, last month. reports MIT officials emailed the residence organizations Friday, notifying them that until the city issues new inspection certificates, they cannot host gatherings larger than the number of people legally permitted to live at each location.
I'm really struggling to think of a way in which this is *not* a GIANT First Amendment lawsuit waiting to happen. Dear Boston City officials:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
Emphasis mine.

Honestly, how on earth can they do this? If the building is so unsafe that they have to limit the number of people in it, shouldn't the inspection happen immediately? If there's time to make proclamations and threats and such, is it really severe enough to warrant the threat of being shut down completely? What would the reaction be if they had targeted a minority fraternity? Why is the ACLU not stomping Private Pyle's guts out?

How does banning "parties and gatherings" - defined as "one or more persons than those paying to use the building as a domicile" - protect anyone? It's not like the skylight was rated for 10 students, and the 11th student caused it to fail. This is some kid, likely inebriated, who did something they shouldn't and got hurt in the process. This isn't the kind of thing that stopping a "frat party" is going to address.

Although it sure gives the city a lot of power when they can (attempt to) hold back a college student from finding a party...

That is all.


JD said...

I guess it all boils down to who owns the building. . . if it is the school then they can make the rules, if not then they need to be sued. . .

Just my thoughts on it.

Rob said...

It's a control issue.

Long ago I read a piece where it was mentioned how much easier it would be to "manage" the population without the Bill Of Rights.

Ed said...

“Puritanism: The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.” - H.L. Mencken

The buildings in question are not City of Boston school buildings. MIT is a private university in Cambridge, separated from Boston by the Charles River. The buildings occupied by MIT fraternities and sororities are not necessarily owned or maintained by MIT.