Gone are the happy-go-lucky days of buying water and then going home as though it were no big deal.
Elizabeth Daly learned the hard way. As she and her roommates walked toward her car in a dark parking lot, she was accosted by a crew of Virginia state Alcohol Beverage Control agents. One jumped on her car, another drew a gun. They thought she was lugging beer instead of LaCroix sparkling water.
You must be 21 to buy alcohol in Virginia. Daly is 20.
“They were showing unidentifiable badges . . . but we became frightened, as they were not in anything close to a uniform,” she recalled. “I couldn’t put my windows down unless I started my car. . . . They began trying to break the windows. My roommates and I were . . . terrified.”
As they made their escape, the women dialed 911.
The ABC agents charged Daly with counts of assaulting and eluding enforcement officers. (“Assault” because the car brushed past agents as Daly drove away.) She had to spend a night in jail.
We hear so many stories of government-empowered bullies using the feeblest of excuses to terrify luckless innocents. Renegade T-shirt-wearers, estranged husbands of financial-aid scofflaws, barbers . . . and now water-buyers?
Glenn Reynolds, the Instapundit, says the ABC agents should be fired.
Yes. But when “law enforcement” thugs blatantly violate the rights of innocent persons they should be more than fired. They should be prosecuted. Let’s also shut down agencies that consistently threaten innocent people.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.