Two online petitions not worth the paper they’re not written on

Online petitions are a relatively new phenomenon launched by private citizens in an attempt to right something they believe to be wrong in our world. Currently these petitions have no legal standing, and judging from two that were launched in the last couple of weeks, we’re glad they don’t.

One petition posted recently called for disarming police officers in Franklin County Juvenile Court in Columbus. This particular petition was launched in response to the Jan. 17 fatal shooting of Joseph Haynes outside a Franklin County Juvenile courtroom.

Haynes, 16 was appearing in court on a charge of aggravated menacing after he pointed a handgun at two people and threatened to shoot them. He was shot when a scuffle broke out which allegedly involved a deputy, Haynes and members of Haynes’ family. In the melee the deputy reportedly fired his gun as he was knocked to the floor and Haynes was shot in the stomach.

Armed police officers are necessary in courtrooms to secure the defendants, to protect court personnel, witnesses and jury members, and to provide for the safety of the officers themselves.

We believe armed police officers belong, not only in juvenile courts, but in every court where defendants have been accused of violent crimes.

Another online petition was launched calling for changes in the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to allow the purchase of pet food. SNAP was created as a safety net to help feed hungry, low-income people in our country.

People who rely on federal and state assistance to eat and feed their families obviously can’t afford to keep a pet. Having pets is a luxury, not a necessity that you should be able to receive government assistance to keep. Rather than asking taxpayers to subsidize their pets’ needs, pet owners should cut back a little on their own food consumption and share with their pet.

After all, some of those taxpayers would probably love to have a pet of their own but they know they can’t afford it. Why should they pay to feed someone else’s pet?

Let’s hope no one in power catches wind of these petitions and decides to take them seriously.

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