Old Town Manassas has a lot of different shops where you can find old books, clothes, furniture and all sorts of wonderful things, all befitting a quaint historic town. So one local entrepreneur decided to add to that mix something we certainly don’t have. A place to buy sex toys.
Battle Street just got a whole lot more interesting.
No one is arguing that these folks don’t have a legal right to do this, and so far I haven’t heard any credible claims that some sort of review board should be established. Most of us don’t like that type of government interference, and even if such a review board was established with good intentions the ultimate result would be undeniably and inexorably bad. Still, the free market does occasionally provide us with examples of incomparably bad judgment that will annoy and enrage a broad swath of the public until it ultimately fails. That’s just what happens from time to time. The exercise of liberty isn’t always pleasant to everyone.
Still, this is a marketplace not only of goods and services, but of ideas. Pretty obviously there are lots of folks out there, including Councilmember Marc Aveni, who insist this is a horrible idea that dramatically degrades the quality of Old Town, and they’re free to market that idea in lots of ways. The right response to the bad exercise of liberty is to respond with a better exercise of liberty and make it clear to the business owners that if your business enrages the community, the community is going to do whatever they legally can to ensure your business fails and you lose a ton of money. Liberty provides its own self-correcting mechanisms.
I can already envision the prayer vigils out in front of this sex shop and the impact that will have on the profitability of this terribly ill-conceived idea. The folks planning this really, really ought to reconsider this before they start down this path of guaranteed financial ruin. It’s kind of like building a mosque at Ground Zero in Manhattan and expecting the construction costs will be recouped by soliciting donations from passersby, at least to the residents and business owners of Old Town.
This sure is one crazy summer.
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