Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Dude, be careful what you say.

Have people not died protecting our many freedoms? Including the freedom of speech? Now, I understand not wanting to offend others - to a point. There is simply no way you will offend anyone in your life. That is why people will sometimes say, "I don't want to offend you, but...." even though it's potentially a very bad way to start a conversation. But sometimes, there are just no ways around it. That is why Political Correct speech showed up. However, I come to find that sometimes trying too hard to nevernot offend ends up being . . . well, offending. Now that I've had that little say, here's something else. The other night at work I was reading the paper and came across an article that astounded me. Shocked me. Literally made my jaw drop, and made say, "Whaaaaat?????"

In the Sacramento Bee the other day, there was an article regarding the Roseville Galleria and a pastor being in a lawsuit. Apparently, this nice young man was placed under "Citizen's Arrest" by a security guard from the Galleria until the Roseville PD showed up to take him to the station and book him. Why, you might ask, did this nice young man get arrested?

He spoke to a couple young people that he had never met, and whom had agreed to talk with him. The kicker? Security placed him under arrest for talking to these strangers about things other than the mall. I'm dead serious. Google "Roseville Galleria" and it'll pull up the info.

According to Westfield Galleria of Roseville, (and I'm taking this from the article by Denny Walsh): The specific rule at issue prohibits a person in the center's common areas from "approaching patrons with whom he or she was not previously acquainted for the purpose of communicating with them on a topic unrelated to the business interests" of the mall or its tenants.

Anyone else finding this an extremely ridiculous rule? So, quite literally, if your shopping and the lines are long (or sitting on a bench for a few minutes to rest your feet) and you're bored, you're not allowed to turn to the person behind you or next to you and ask about the latest baseball scores. Or the new fall line-up on TV. Not even the weather. However, as with just about any rule on the books, there is an exception to the rule: (again, taking this from Denny Walsh's article) Another rule requires written applications for permission to make such contacts "to be submitted to the mall's security office four days in advance. Mall management will review the application to determine if the proposed activity is permissible."

(Insert picture of me rolling my eyes) I'm sorry. Four days in advance? Kiss my ass, folks. Now, on the other hand, I can understand that rule if you're applying it to groups/organizations who want to set up a booth, like Relay for Life, the Humane Society, etc. But to restrict normal, every day patrons from speaking to strangers, if it's not mall related, is completely stupid, ridiculous, unconstitutional . . . need I go on? And it gets better. (I know, right?) Apparently, the Galleria's spokeswoman says this: "We are disappointed that the court … determined that the rules in question did not satisfy the required legal standard for reasonable time, place and manner restrictions. We are reviewing the court's decision and will consider our options … including appeal to the California Supreme Court."

Awwww. The courts hurt their little feelings. For Pete's sake, people. How on earth can you possibly prevent strangers from talking to one another in a mall? You'd have to have a lot of security. Oh wait, they must, they're just following all the youth pastors because those are some shady characters. I think security needs to pay closer attention to those who actually look shady, like the kind of shady that shoplifts from little old ladies. Not the kind of shady who asks others if he can talk to them about God; especially if said "others" agreed to the conversation.

So, morale of the story? Make sure you take a friend to the mall - that way, you can talk about whatever you want, like it's your constitutional right to do so. If you go alone, be careful of the wolves out to get you if you need to ask a stranger for the time, or (God forbid) how to get to the hospital. Or . . . better yet - learn sign language. Security will have no idea you're not talking about the mall.

1 comment:

  1. I am apalled and shocked. This is the most ridiculous thing I have ever read! Are they crazy or something? The pastor should sue them back for emotional distress :P


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