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Knapp: Government should give us all a break. A bathroom break, that is

Apparently government solved all of society’s real problems while I wasn’t looking. Woo hoo!

Violent crime has been eradicated. The Islamist terror threat is no more. Poverty? Everyone’s a millionaire with a Rolls in the driveway. Heck, the Cubs may even win the pennant this year. At least I have to assume all that’s been taken care of. Otherwise the politicians wouldn’t have time to argue over who gets to use which bathroom. And that’s what they’re doing, soooo …

Charlotte, North Carolina’s city council passed an anti-discrimination ordinance requiring both public venues (e.g. government schools) and private businesses to allow transgender people to use the bathrooms matching their gender identities.

Then the North Carolina state legislature passed a bill overruling Charlotte’s and FORBIDDING both public venues and private businesses to allow transgender people to use the bathrooms matching their gender identities.

Even though the North Carolina bill seems to be economically suicidal — it’s already cost the state money and jobs, including 400 new jobs at a PayPal operations center that was going to be built in Charlotte and now won’t be — lawmakers in South Carolina and Tennessee are taking up similar legislation.

Because, you know, this has been such a burning social problem in the past.

Except that it hasn’t.

For all the hobgoblin talk about men in dresses sexually molesting our daughters at rest stops, I’ve been unable to find any public mention of that happening. If it has, it’s either been very rare or kept under wraps. And the latter seems unlikely given the paranoia even talking about it seems to bring out in people.

If you don’t think you’ve ever shared a bathroom with a transgender person before, consider this: Depending on which study you believe, somewhere between 1 in 100 and in in 300 Americans are trans people. Now, think back over your life. All the school restrooms, highway rest stops, store bathrooms, concerts, ball games, and so on. Do you honestly think that over your life you’ve shared bathrooms with fewer than 300 people in all?

You’ve been sharing bathrooms with trans people your whole life, and you never noticed until some idiot fearmongering political hack brought it up because he thought he could scare you with it. Did it work?

This isn’t that complicated.

In venues like government schools, politicians and their lackeys shouldn’t be allowed to peer up skirts and inside zippers like a bunch of pervs. Does your gender identity match the “M” or “F” on your birth certificate ? None of their business.

Businesses should be free to set whatever policies they like. If they want to keep their customers, they probably won’t get too nosy.

And as cultural changes do, this will all work itself out.

Thomas L. Knapp (Twitter: @thomaslknapp) is director and senior news analyst at the William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism (thegarrisoncenter.org). He lives and works in north central Florida.

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