Dr. Paul Hein makes some excellent observations with regard to the outrageousness of the city of Atlanta attempting to impose a ban on saggy pants. But, I believe that the problem goes even beyond the attempt by a government to become fashion police. It is in fact the government that is responsible for the saggy fashion in the first place.
I came across this discovery on a recent trip to New York City. I have a good friend that owns a pawn-shop there. I visited him at his shop. It is on the edge of what would certainly be deemed a tough neighborhood. Although my friend has the place stocked with hidden guns and baseball bats, I would still wince every time someone came in that I would deem a character. What was interesting about these characters, is that they all had shirts hanging out of their pants and they all had saggy, baggy pants. It was impossible to tell, by their wearing that kind of clothing, whether they had a gun or any other type of weapon on them. Then it dawned on me. This is Ayn Rand’s form fitting function. This is about street drug dealer types adopting a fashion style that makes it very difficult for police to observe if they are carrying drugs or weapons.
If drug dealers wore tighter clothing, the silhouette of a gun could much more easily be identified by passing police. With saggy, baggy pants and shirts hanging out, it is impossible. This is also why you see so many coats with hoods, in drug-infested areas. It’s another case of form fitting function. Big Brother puts up cameras, so the drug dealers put up their hoods when they are doing a deal.
Of course, there are others who follow the lead of gun-carrying drug dealers and wear this fashion, even though they aren’t dealing drugs or carrying drugs, but in the neighborhoods they live in, they sure better look like they are carrying. Otherwise, who is going to protect them, when they come across a true gangster, the police? Not likely. When in Rome, do as the Romans do. In the hood, do as the government-created gangsters do.
I personally find the saggy, baggy pants and hooded sweat shirt style about as ridiculous and ugly a fashion statement as you can have, but the dealers are doing what they have to under oppressive government laws. Fortunately, there is a solution to this problem: legalize gun carrying and drugs.
Upon the legalization of gun carrying and drugs, I predict the saggy, baggy pants-wearing fashion will be gone in six months, maybe less.
Now aside from having the pleasure of walking down a city street without the eyesore of this government-caused fashion style, we will once again have the freedoms associated with the right to carry guns and the right of drug dealers to provide a demanded public service. Note: It is not my intention to go beyond the saggy, baggy pants problem here, but if anyone has a problem with drug dealers, I recommend they read Walter Block’s brilliant book, Defending the Undefendable, which not only defends drug dealers but male chauvinist pigs and a multitude of others scorned by society. Block’s book received high praise from F.A. Hayek, Murray Rothbard, Henry Hazlitt, Dr. Thomas S. Szasz and Robert Nozick.
November 1, 2007