For once, I agree with Brian Rudman.
Mrs King believes the most effective punishment is forcing taggers to clean up their mess in the full glare of the public eye. Hopefully so. But first you have to catch them, prosecute them, call for probation reports and debate whether bad parenting made them do it. All at great expense. And they just keep coming. Even under existing law, Auckland City had 191 arrests last year, West Auckland 182 and so on and on.
In the medical world, when you have an epidemic like this, you don’t sit around waiting to treat each patient as they succumb, you try to wipe out the virus at source. Manukau City’s proposed legislation wanted to ban the sale of spray cans to under-18-year-olds within its boundaries only. All that would have done was drive the kids across to an Auckland City shop, or to an older mate.
The obvious way to kill this virus in its tracks is to outlaw paint spray-cans totally. And nationally. If my experience is anything go by, they’re only produced to swell paint manufacturers’ profits anyway.
Most of the paint ended up on everything but the thing I was aiming at.
But even if we accept they have their uses, and my aim stinks, the question is, do the advantages outweigh the negatives? From the view of society as a whole, you have to say no.
While I have a great deal of sympathy for the Liberterian position on most things, I’ve realised more and more as I get older that idealistic just isn’t always realistic. Management needs to be applied sometimes, and this is a classic case in my opinion.