A headline in the Beaumont Enterprise caused my Liberty alarm bells to ring and clearly it was the word “order” that immediately drew my attention. It read: Jefferson County orders rural addresses displayed.
In the story we learn that “By Nov. 15, residents outside of the [Jefferson] county’s incorporated areas must place a sign made of reflective, durable material adjacent to the road. If they don’t, they’re subject to a fine of as much as $500.” All to allow police, fire and other emergency services to more easily find a house that may exist in the country because the owner does not want to be easily found.
How laudable the weak on freedom and personal responsibility will think. How horrible and almost unbelievable the lover of Liberty and property rights will conclude.
Turns out that House Bill 2665, from Nederland Democrat Allan Ritter, made it through the legislature and was signed into law without anyone of the so called champions of rural Texas objecting. The law doesn’t force counties to pass such an ordinance, but empowers them to do so and thereby infringe upon the Liberty of their residents.
Whether or not a farm or ranch house, out in the middle of no-where as some dismissive urban dweller might say, wants to be easily found by police, the VFD, or an ambulance, is entirely the decision of the property owner who lives there. Government has no overriding interest so great that it should be able to force a home owner, in an unincorporated, non-subdivision, part of a county to do anything that does not directly and significantly affect neighboring property owners.
Sadly this will seem trivial to many, which is more of an indictment of their understanding of, and commitment to, Liberty and property rights than to anything else.
Robert Pratt is host of the top rated Pratt on Texas radio program which can be heard at www.PrattonTexas.com.