On Wednesday the Houston City Council voted 9-5 in favor of an ordinance giving businesses the right to build electrified fences, which were previously forbidden. Although still prohibited for residential use this is a minute step in the right direction for private property rights.

Councilwoman Melissa Noriega is quoted as saying she is not “confident that this is absolutely safe”.  Life is not safe, Councilwoman. Driving my car home from work is not safe. This ordinance has so many limitations it’s almost as mean as telling your children they’re going to Disney Land and taking them to the dentist.

For starters, the electrified fence must have a regular perimeter fence surrounding it with warning signs in English, Spanish, and of course, Vietnamese. One would think the little man and the lightning bolt would suffice.  Near homes, the surrounding fence must be solid to protect children. The fence must be powered by a 12 volt battery, cannot be active between 8a.m. and 5p.m. unless closed on the weekends or in the presence of a security guard who can shut the fence off quickly. The list continues. Sounds pretty safe to me.

Councilwoman Sue Lovell said that “if the council was so concerned about balancing property rights with safety, it should regulate guard dogs”. Cheers to that. Dogs have a mind of their own; fences don’t. And if a solid perimeter fence doesn’t stop a child from getting shocked by the electrified fence within, they probably deserve it.


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