Implementing curfews seems all the rage these days in the United States. Last week a town in Arkansas ordered a 24-hour curfew for all residents in a neighbourhood struggling with high amounts of violence and drug dealing. Peaceable citizens passing through the neighbourhood in any form of transportation could be stopped and searched by officers under the mayor’s orders. Another recent curfew on teenagers was implemented in Hartford, Connecticut. Teenagers less than 18-years of age cannot be out and about past 9PM without a parent or guardian.
Sure, these curfews are set up to protect innocent bystanders from being caught up in the violence on the streets, but at the serious cost of their civil liberty to move about freely. It is not the government’s job to decide when people are allowed to traverse their own neighbourhood or if they are able to sit outside to enjoy the summer weather. People should be able so make the decision for themselves when to stay inside when the risk of straying past their doorstep is too high. The government should focus on the individual criminals and preventing their ability to commit crimes instead of forcing all citizens to sit under house arrest.