Republican Primary challenger for House District 92 Andy Cargile has said some rather strange things in favor of implementing an overreaching policy known as “daytime curfew.”
Applying to school-aged children, daytime curfew would, in practice, make being outside during school hours grounds for suspicion of truancy from law enforcement. Any child found on the streets (as well as their parents) would be subject to the problems inherent to being questioned by any law-enforcement officer who may be suspicious of their activities.
Rightly opposed by the liberty-minded in general, the concept of daytime curfew presents a particularly onerous regulation on those who home-school their children, and has aroused the ire of home school rights advocacy groups such as the Texas Home School Coalition.
Speaking before the Bedford City Council at a meeting on March 10, 2009, Cargile offered his justifications for the policy. Some may sound strangely familiar, and others, just strange.
To open, Cargile admitted the local media has called him a liberal clown. He then offered as his counterpoint that “on his more conservative side,” he began issuing tickets in the classroom – implementing a 180 dollar fine when a student would disrupt class or say a curse word and a teacher was offended. Calling the proliferation of financially punitive regulations “conservative” is hardly indicative of being a “committed conservative,” as Cargile’s campaign page states.
The bizarre statements don’t stop there. Cargile went on to assert that daytime curfew will somehow save lives, extrapolating from an incident where a student skipped class, got drunk, and died on his way home implying that a curfew would have entirely prevented the incident. To reinforce this spurious example, he uses the tired old pathos: “If we save one kid, isn’t it worth it?” Gee, where have we heard that justification for police-state expansionism before?
As the video of Cargile’s testimony carries on, he expounds on this facile argument of “enhancing public safety” further with the idea that because school aged-children will be in school or sequestered indoors, they won’t be out “stealing from mailboxes” or “running over homeschoolers” – because nothing prevents the commission of a federal crime like adding a slap on the wrist to a long list of much harsher punishments. Cargile’s logic here mirrors that of those who support the concept “gun-free zones.”
Fortunately, Cargile didn’t end his diatribe without offering us a practical method to apply daytime curfew – profiling. No, really. And against what is arguably the most deserving demographic: “people who look around.”
In his own words, “If a guy’s looking both ways before opening his car, he should be asked why.” No doubt, Texans need to look both ways when dealing with Andy Cargile. There is no telling where he is coming from.