Editorial by Chad Hobbs
It is only human to be circling around a busy parking lot, such as Kroger’s, in search of a parking spot and look upon an empty handicap parking spot briefly with envious eyes. It is something much different, however, to pull in one of those spots, knowing they are not for you. Unfortunately, that is exactly what is happening.
A gentleman recently reached out in frustration to me about this very thing, and sadly, he is not the first person I have heard this complaint from. A disabled veteran forced to park in the back row at Kroger’s because the handicap spaces were full. One with a company truck full of construction tools, obviously not disabled and another car with no handicap tag or plate, too lazy to walk from the back like the disabled veteran was forced to do because of the inconsiderate and unlawful actions of others.
The next day, I decided to drive by the Kroger lot to do a little investigating of my own. Low and behold, two of the spots had vehicles without handicap tags or plates, and one of the vehicles was illegally parked in the closest spot to the building.
I returned Thursday, performing a quick drive by during my lunch break. Once again there was a vehicle illegally parked in once of these spots. Even more disheartening was the fact the lot wasn’t even that full. There were plenty of spots available that were almost as close that the person could have picked without breaking the law and disrespecting our elderly and disabled that truly need those spots.
It is truly unbelievable that, for those of us without a disability tag qualifier, we will go into a store such as Kroger and walk the equivalent length of the whole parking lot in that plaza multiple times once we go up and down every aisle in the store, yet some of us will not only fight for the closest parking spot but will break the law just to save a few steps getting in the store at the detriment of those in our society who truly need those spots the most.
I was able to approach one of these individuals as they exited the store with a cart full and two legs that carried them with the ease of a teenager, making his way to his illegally parked vehicle. When asked why he had done this, he told me to mind my own business and offered me a makeover in much more colorful language than this paper allows to be repeated.
Well, actually, it is my business. My number one goal at this paper has always been to make a difference in our community when I can. Also, I have many friends, family and loved ones who need those spots, and I try to care about everyone, even complete strangers such as the gentleman who reached out to me. Whether it be from age, health issues, disabilities from birth, accidents or serving in our military, or whatever else the reason may be, no one ever hoped for an diagnosis that would qualify them for a handicap parking spot versus having two good legs that would allow them to park anywhere like many of the rest of us are blessed with.
I hope that karma and our good friends at the Brandenburg Police Department and Meade County Sheriff’s Office soon catch these individuals in the act. I have no time for a thief. If you would stea l a parking from our elderly and veterans, are you any different than the person who breaks in a house and steals a TV?