Beggars can be boozers

City Council's new ordinance prohibiting "panhandling" is a waste of time. [April 24, News: "Panhandling panned: No more Mall driving, either"] (http://www.readthehook.com/93376/news-panhandling-panned-no-more-mall-dr...).

People asking for money will just be more careful to watch out for the occasional police officer on the Downtown Mall.

No one is forced to beg in Charlottesville, but they do choose to. There are generous and free soup kitchens every day of the week as well as other free or subsidized sources of food, clothing, and shelter. The only thing not available is free booze.

Most of the beggars in Charlottesville are fed, clothed, and sheltered alcoholic opportunists who are begging for money so that they can get drunk. If people didn't give them money, the bums wouldn't waste their time asking for it. It may relieve people's guilt feelings, but caving in to beggars only perpetuates the problem. An ordinance isn't the answer.

Refusing to enable alcohol dependence is.

Kevin Cox
Charlottesville