Philadelphia City Councilwoman Cindy Bass is pushing a controversial bill which would force business owners within the city to take down plexiglass from their establishments, Fox 29 reported. The bill is specifically designed to target convenience stores.
Bass said this bill is about giving her constituents "dignity."
According to Rich Kim, whose family has owned a deli in the area for the last 20 years, the plexiglass is about safety.
"The most important thing is safety and the public's safety," Kim told Fox 29. "If the glass comes down, the crime rate will rise and there will be lots of dead bodies."
The bulletproof glass was put up in Kim's store after a shooting. He says it saved his mother-in-law's life after she was almost attacked with a knife. If Bass' bill becomes a reality, his family would be forced to remove the barrier.
Bass sees things much differently.
“Nuisance establishments like stop-and-gos harm neighborhoods throughout Philadelphia in several ways,” Bass told Philly Magazine. “First, they contribute to increased crime. On any given day, you can find people in front of these businesses selling ‘loosies,’ or loose cigarettes, and engaging in other nuisance behaviors like loitering, public drunkenness, possible drug sales, and even public urination.”
The councilwoman also argues that there are plenty of other businesses without barriers between the employee and the customer.
“There are thousands, thousands of businesses in the city of Philadelphia that operate in those same neighborhoods that sell the same products and do not have plexiglass. For example, you have bars, which operate in those same neighborhoods, no plexiglass, and often sell food. You have beauty barber shops, beauty salons and supply stores, Rite Aids, CVS, all operate in those exact same neighborhoods and don’t have plexiglass," Bass said on The Dom Giordano Program on a local talk radio station. “There is a focus on the plexiglass but the bottom line is these are businesses that have been skirting along for a long time in terms of what they’re supposed to be doing and what they’re actually doing.”
Politicians like Bass are completely out of touch with reality. She's more worried about making her constituents feeling like important than she is about the health, safety and well-being of others.
If a business decides it's in their employee's best interest to have a bulletproof glass installed, why should government officials be allowed to step in and tell them they're not allowed to?
Clearly, the people who shop at places like Kim's aren't bothered by the plexiglass. They obviously have a sustainable business if they've been around for the last 20 years.
Ms. Bass, forcing these businesses to get rid of these barriers isn't going to keep your constituent safe. These barriers aren't going to suddenly make a shady neighborhood better. All it's going to do is put convenience store works' lives at risk. Are you hoping to end their lives or force the business to close its doors? Both options are lethal, in one way or another.