Brickbats

Brickbat: Shutter to Think

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Many owners of businesses in Minneapolis that were damaged and looted in the riots following the death of George Floyd say they need to install exterior security shutters to keep future looters from getting in and vandals from breaking their glass windows. But the city code bans such shutters. Minneapolis City Council Vice President Andrea Jenkins, who represents the district in which many of the businesses destroyed in the riots are located, said any property owner who wants external shutters can seek a variance from the city. But the Star Tribune newspaper reports that since the city banned exterior security shutters 16 years ago, just one business owner has sought permission for external shutters, after being burglarized several times. The request was denied. Even a city spokesman says it is "challenging" to meet the requirements to get a variance.

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  1. If they won’t legalize shutters, can they atleast legalize claymores? Your store will still get looted but the first few that attempt will be the holiest.

    1. Are claymores illegal? It’s probably a crime to attack someone with one, but just owning and displaying it? I have seen plenty of samurai swords displayed in homes, so why should a traditional Scottish sword not be allowed? That seems like bigotry to me.

      1. Can the Scots even own swords now? I thought the UK banned all blades, and was working on rules for spoons.

        1. I thought it was only blades with pointy ends.

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        2. There can be only one (utensil)!

      2. I think he was referring to the anti-personnel mine, not the sword.

        M18 Claymore mine

        1. I think Inigo was referring to sarcasm. Something with which you seem to be unfamiliar, Matthew.

          1. There is no longer a difference between sarcasm and the ‘real life’ of democrats.

            1. Poe’s Law they call it.

    2. That’s holeyest.

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  3. The city can’t protect you, but they can prevent you from protecting yourself so I guess it balances out.

    1. Government hates competition.

      1. How is it competition if they aren’t doing it?

    2. How are the mostly peaceful protestors supposed to make a societal omelette if the eggs refuse to be broken?

    3. “The law is powerless to help you, not punish you.”

  4. Even a city spokesman says it is “challenging” to meet the requirements to get a variance.

    Sounds like it’s challenging to continue to contribute to the tax base in Minneapolis

  5. The city is probably going to hold firm on this regulation. If businesses start buying shutters, then that’s physical proof of how bad things were that won’t go away over the next decade. They’re probably hedging their bets hoping that most businesses come back and empty storefronts are less signs of a bad neighborhood than shutters are.

    1. That’s why they passed the ban in the first place – those shutters give the impression that your neighborhood might not be a safe neighborhood and even if your neighborhood is in fact not a safe neighborhood, you’re not allowed to say that it’s not safe. It’s a ridiculous denial of reality, a wrongthink that must be stamped out.

      1. Of course, the people who passed this ordinance, they all live in safe neighborhoods so it’s not like this affects them.

        What’s going to be interesting is when they start issuing fines to people who keep their storefronts boarded up, because I’m sure there’s an ordinance governing how long you’re given to make repairs. Businesses that have been bankrupted, people who no longer have the means or the incentive to make these repairs – how is the city going to handle that?

        1. Of course, the people who passed this ordinance, they all live in safe neighborhoods so it’s not like this affects them.
          Like how politicians ordering public school closures don’t have children in public schools.
          I worked in a government office that had a no personal electronic devices rule. They changed the rule to allow cell phones because management couldn’t live without them.

      2. They need to mandate shutters for all businesses. It wouldn’t be right if only certain neighborhoods had them.

        1. Hilariously relevant outtake from the comments there!

          Rat on a train
          December.15.2017 at 11:45 am

          Isn’t the police presence also an indignity? Just disband the department. Keeping a police department signals that you don’t trust your populace.

          And I bet that you thought you were joking! Now, not even three years later, and that’s like, actually a thing.

          1. Good find — what a way to start the day 🙂

          2. Holy crap! I now have to share some of the blame.

          3. I hope this isn’t the sort of thing I devote my time to when I’m retired…

            1. Enh, I just stumbled across it, noticed it was the same commenter, and thought it was a pretty funny comment, given the “defund the police” talk these days.

              No protection. Having protection is offensive to the people you might need protection from.

  6. Shutters are racist . I bet they were invented by a white guy who’s family owned slave back in the day.

    1. They were probably invented to keep the slaves in.

  7. Perhaps many of the business owners in Minneapolis should become business owners who used to be in Minneapolis.

  8. All it takes is the first business owner to install them anyway. Others will follow. And when the fines come…litigate and publicize.

  9. If Minneapolis wants to be like Somalia, they should embrace Somalian architecture.

    1. Well Omar won the Democratic primary, so she’s pretty much a shoe in for another term.

  10. Anyone who tries to re-open a business in a jurisdiction that allowed a mob to destroy their business, but won’t allow them to do what they need to protect themselves, is a moron.

    1. Like beachfront homeowners after a bad storm? If they’ve got the means and insurance, fear of repeat destruction may not be a deterrent.

  11. The shutters are just an impediment that slows down the looters. When the cops refuse to lift a finger to stop looting, what does it matter if it takes looters a few more minutes to get through the shutters?

    1. It makes them think that it’s too much trouble, so they smash up the neighboring store instead.

    2. Shutters promote arson.

  12. Can’t have shutters, people would think it’s a crime zone! Better to have the rampant looting rather than people thinking it’s a crime zone.

    Seriously, that’s probably what they’re thinking.

    1. Mostly crime-free zones.

  13. Where have I heard of such stupid things before? Oh, that’s right. Some libertarian website.

    Philly Votes to Regulate Bulletproof Glass in Corner Stores

    1. “Democratic Councilwoman Cindy Bass, a primary sponsor of the bill, insisted these delis were the cause, not an effect, of trouble in her district.”

      “We want to make sure that there isn’t this sort of indignity, in my opinion, to serving food through a Plexiglas only in certain neighborhoods,” Bass said.

      Just beyond FUBAR.

  14. My libertarian recommendation is über-stylish exposed cable vertical track lighting systems.

    1. Really high voltage ones.

      1. “Low” voltage, high amperage… high voltage, “low” amperage; I’m not picky. It’s not like the people who’ve found themselves in circuit with a car battery generally shrug off the experience because it’s only 12V.

        1. True, but that can actually hurt you. Maybe I’m just a humanitarian, but I figured the recipe of high voltage, low amperage for the cattle fence effect would be sufficient to deter wandering hands.

        2. People can’t feel 12 volts across their hands. It can be felt on the tongue but that’s about it. Not painful at all.

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  15. Minneapolis city govt to small businesses: “Just lay back and take it, baby.”

    1. Think of England!

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