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Why is the barber the criminal?

Concerning the criminal citation of a Quincy/Portola barber for opening too soon, I’d like to admit that I too am wondering how quickly I can get an appointment. My sympathy extends to Plumas County and all the other rural counties who appear to be the victims of the one-size-fits-all straight jacket our legislature has crafted for California communities. I and others have doubts about the wisdom of these restrictions, and I blame the lack of categorical communication coming from our leaders as to the reasons for and wisdom of their policy towards all the counties alike. If the argument “for” is replete with unassailable logic, wouldn’t we all abide?

Given our inability to ever instantaneously identify Covid-19 spreaders and our undeniable need to restart our economy before we are utterly free of Covid-19, shouldn’t we begin accommodating communities who have proven themselves as vigilant and as virus-free as Plumas County is?

The same legislative bodies crafted the rules against both barbering in a time of Covid-19 and prostitution, and CA. penal code 647(b) states that both a prostitute and their customer (John) are guilty of the crime of prostitution. So why is it that the crime of barbering under Covid-19 restrictions doesn’t apply to the customer as well? Is a barber breaking the law if no customer participates? I guess he is guilty of solicitation, but why would the legislature exempt his customer from the crime except in a fit of self-interest, since every one of them is eager to get a haircut at their usual salon before this is over?

In my opinion, any customer who “solicits” his or her hair stylist during this quarantine is equally guilty of the crime of “barbering” and should share in the fine. And the fine-share should be doubled if the customer swore an oath of office to uphold the laws of the land.

Richard Arnold


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