Should Bad Make Up Be A Crime?

JokerSuspect_1490401621103_2935399_ver1.0_640_360Various charges might come to mind for Jeremy Putman who was walking around in this make up with a sword, but he was actually charged with . . . .

wearing a mask in public.

imgresIt is a crime to where a mask in public, a law that I have raised concerns about in the past due to first amendment issues and the danger of arbitrary enforcement.  What is interesting is that this is not a mask but make up.

Virginia Code 18.2-422 states:

“It shall be unlawful for any person over 16 years of age, with the intent to conceal his identity, wear any mask, hood, or other device, whereby a substantial portion of the face is hidden or covered, so as to conceal the identity of the wearer, to be or appear in any public place, or upon any private property in this Commonwealth, without first having obtained from the owner or tenant thereof consent to do so in writing. However, the provisions of this section shall not apply to persons (i) wearing traditional holiday costumes; (ii) engaged in professions, trades, employment, or other activities, and wearing protective masks which are deemed necessary for the physical safety of the wearer or other persons; (iii) engaged in any bona fide theatrical production or masquerade ball; or (iv) wearing a mask, hood, or other device for bona fide medical reasons upon (a) the advice of a licensed physician or osteopath, and carrying on his person an affidavit from the physician or osteopath specifying the medical necessity for wearing the device, and the date on which the wearing of the device will no longer be necessary, and providing a brief description of the device, or (b) the declaration of a disaster or state of emergency by the Governor in response to a public health emergency, where the emergency declaration expressly waives this section, defines the mask appropriate for the emergency, and provides for the duration of the waiver. The violation of any provisions of this section is a Class 6 felony.”

This is not a person who is wearing “mask, hood, or other device.”  Indeed, this would seem closer to a “traditional holiday costume.”  The law strikes me as dangerously vague to now be enforced against scary make up.

If that were the case, there would be a lot of folks being frog marched to the big house . . . led by Courtney Love and a host of cosmetically challenged celebrities.

For the offense, Putnam could serve five years.

What do you think?

 

41 thoughts on “Should Bad Make Up Be A Crime?

  1. Darren…

    Why is my latest comment not posting?

    I though this blog promoted free speech and what comes with such “privilege”

    • It might have something to do with you choosing to put profanity in your post and as a result, the software kicked out the offending comment.

      But if you want to declare The Turley Household as being “a threat to the human species” as you did in that comment, it might be helpful to not include profanity in your insult.

      Nevertheless thank you for your public service in alerting the world of this existential threat to humanity. When I was at they Turley household last time, I was lucky to make it out alive. If the iron maiden and the leaky cylinders of phosgene gas weren’t enough, the thought of his youngest child holding that knife to my throat is something that to this day keeps me up all night. Oh, and his dog, who was once featured in the Resident Evil films, breathes fire and takes candy from babies.

  2. First, I believe the charge will get thrown out.

    Second, when guys try so desperately to look tough, with the tattoos on his throat, pale contacts, makeup, and greasy green hair, one wonders if they are over compensating for a lack of confidence. They clearly do not feel confident striding into a room based on natural charisma. I’ll bet a girl could make this guy run for a mile with an eyelash curler.

  3. Sounds like a cop wanted to arrest the man for the sword and his behaviour and grabbed the only law that would work. A law that I hope is some sort of archaic law that is still on the books

  4. > Sounds like a cop wanted to arrest the man for the sword and his behaviour and grabbed the only law that would work.

    If the behavior considered undesirable isn’t illegal, then the man should be left in peace and the officer should move on. Your premise (true though it may be, and I suspect you’re right) illustrates the problem with so many things being illegal: it allows the officer on the scene discretion to punish those who are creative, or different, or not a member of the dominant social group, or not especially prosperous, or not happily whistling while they work, or not conforming to the officer’s subjective ideas of how one should live.

  5. This is a matter of individual taste. That it should even be considered a breach of the law is absurd.

    Let the man enjoy himself.

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