Many leftists accuse liberty-lovers of being “radical.” And to that, one can gladly plead “guilty,” because "radical," derived from Greek for “radish" or "root," simply means one who gets “to the root” of things.
Which leads us "radicals" to this new tale and how it allows us to see the root of the larger problem.
On first blush, it looks like a smart Arizona guy making a point.
According to Chloe Mar, of ABC15 in Arizona, a Prescott Valley resident named David Keller decided to demonstrate the overuse of “service” animals by registering a beehive as his service animal.
Think about the fun of seeing him board your plane or train with that on a leash.
'We go out and pretty much everywhere we go we see a fake service animal that's being passed off as a real one,' says Keller.
Mr. Keller didn’t go through the entire process. He merely found one of the myriad websites offering help to “register” an animal as a “service” or “therapy” pet and uploaded a photo and description of an enormous beehive.
After the free registration, branded harnesses, badges and more are available for purchase. Within five minutes, he says he successfully registered a beehive as a therapy animal.
Which is a darned funny way to make a point to those who might abuse “the system” so they can bring their pets anywhere they please, including into private businesses.
But Ms. Mar also interviewed Sey In, an attorney with the Arizona Center for Disability Law, and noted:
'If he were to go to a restaurant or a business and wanted to bring in the beehive and call it a service animal. By law, he can't do that,' says In.
Ahh… So, perhaps we’re getting closer to “the root” of the problem. Which is, the “law.”
Everything stems from a federal statute. Specifically, the 1992 “Americans With Disabilities Act,” or “ADA” as it is known, which was promoted and passed by George H. W. Bush with the aid of both wonderful, blind-to-their-constitutional-oaths political parties in that Congress, is the source of all the madness.
This is the law that took the statutory attack on private property established by the “Public Accommodations” portion of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and metastasized it. Which means we need to look at that 1964 federal "Civil Rights" statute.
In addition to the laudable action of assuring that black Americans would able to vote, the 1964 Civil Rights Act contained the “Public Accommodations” portion, which mandated that any privately owned business that was open for trade with others was no longer “private property,” but had become “public property” and could not be closed to others “based on race.”
The 1992 ADA took another step beyond the ’64 Civil Rights Act’s “Public Accommodations” mandates and included “disability” along with “race” in its mandates, resulting in all kinds of bizarre outcomes, from restaurants having to try multiple times to install “handicap ramps” because earlier attempts didn’t accord with the “angle” preferred by the feds, to the widely known contemporary dispute over “gender-neutral” bathrooms in stores.
And this pertains to “assistance animals” (not “therapy animals) because the feds mandate it. As legal website Nolo.org notes:
Under Arizona’s service animal law and the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), people with disabilities may bring their service animals to all "public accommodations," including restaurants, schools, grocery stores, theaters, businesses, motels, and more. Public accommodations in Arizona must comply with both state and federal law.
And, though the ADA stipulates that only dogs or miniature horses can be categorized as “service animals” (i.e., those animals able to help with physical tasks), it actually doesn’t require any kind of paper certificate to register them as such. In fact, asking for identification is considered discrimination and registration is not required. So a piece of paper isn't really necessary.
"There's no legal value to it but it might provide some sort of peace of mind," says In.
So Keller’s absurdist protest is a bit misplaced, but it makes a point to those who would take advantage of an already problematic set of federal and state mandates on private business owners. And it allows us to take away a lesson about the importance of respecting private property, and the principle that the rules for its operation should be left up to owners.
When that happens, we can see how owners and customers relate to one another and signal their preferences. Perhaps more people would like to see business owners accept “therapy” animals into their establishments.
If we let people be free, they can decide for themselves. What a novel concept.