08/29/07 — Pants policy: Councilman has right idea — tickets for low-hanging dress

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Pants policy: Councilman has right idea — tickets for low-hanging dress

There’s an uproar in Atlanta these days.

And its not just about Falcons quarterback Michael Vick and his pet-parenting skills.

This protest is about ... pants.

It seems that some local lawmakers are debating putting a civil penalty on those who are caught wearing pants that go so low that their underwear hangs out for all to see.

And what is even more amusing — and a bit frightening, too — is that people actually turned out to protest the suggestion that their pants might be regulated.

Makes you kind of wonder what America is coming to, doesn’t it?

Those protesting the consideration claim that their dress is self-expression, personal choice and not a crime.

Those who are supporting the measure say showing your underwear in public is not a right, but a nuisance.

Who is right?

In theory, the government shouldn’t really regulate pants usage. There should be no need. Good upbringing should tell anyone who is adult enough to buy his or her own pants that walking around with them hanging to their knees is a disgrace. And it should even be more obvious to a young lady that wearing a pair of thong underpants and making sure everyone knows it isn’t the best message to send to potential suitors or passersby.

But since it seems that there are some people who missed that fashion and decency lesson, regulation is a way to protect the rest of us from having to cover our eyes.

Now, lest you think this is only a problem in the big city, keep your eyes open the next time you are cruising around the city or taking a trip to a local mall.

You just might see more than you were bargaining for.

Over the last couple of weeks, several local residents have written in to ask about the droopy pants issue.

Like most people, they simply want to know if there is anything that can be done about those who choose to wear their pants on the low end of the scale.

A couple have mentioned appealing to parents and decency — and maybe even coming up with a regulation of some sort.

Maybe Atlanta has given us an idea.

Perhaps Goldsboro might consider such a penalty — or even Wayne County. We could even establish a pants control officer with full ticketing authority.

It might not be the most important crime that is stopped each day, but hey, it might clean up the landscape a bit.

It’s something to think about.

Published in Editorials on August 29, 2007 12:00 PM