Response to Brown-out

December 29, 2017

I’d like to respond to Mr. Brown’s Letter to the Editor published in the December 22nd edition of the Sentinel. Mr. Brown actually gets it right, it is about property rights. Unfortunately, Mr. Brown demonstrates that he not only doesn’t understand property rights, he obviously doesn’t understand tyranny either.
First of all, you absolutely have the right to light or not light your property. What you don’t have is a right to tell me how to light my property. You also don’t have the right to force me to live in darkness. You clearly believe that equal rights, property or otherwise entitles you to infringe as you please on my rights. Property rights dictate that the owner can do what he wants with his property. Your interpretation would be that since you have an equal right to my property, you can not only force some action on my part, but you can also use my property as you see fit. If dark skies were a right, like life, liberty and property, every person living in a city is deprived of that right. What are you doing about restoring those rights? Every decent size town or city proves that there isn’t some right to darkness that the residents enjoy except in such advanced areas as North Korea.
I would prefer to turn on a light rather than curse the darkness.
There is, of course the whole nonsensical paragraph where Mr. Brown talks about people who oppose the totalitarian mandate and makes wild assertions about their beliefs and practices. Just because I exercise my right to light my property as my needs dictate, doesn’t mean that I believe I can shine a spotlight into your house. And clearly Mr. Brown is unfamiliar with Custer County and our zoning. Custer County is zoned for density with an 80-acre zone, a 35-acre zone and a 5-acre zone. My putting up exterior lighting on a five-acre parcel does not infringe on another person’s ability to sit in complete darkness on their 5-acre parcel. And on the bigger lots the impact is even less.
As far as totalitarian or dictatorial and undemocratic, that would be Mr. Brown and his ilk. The very definition of totalitarian or dictatorial is telling others what they can and can’t do with their life and property. You, Mr. Brown are the totalitarian. And undemocratic? We don’t live in a democracy. Were we living in a democracy, slavery would still be legal since the majority voted for it, the Supreme Court upheld it and the Democratic Party has always championed it. And history is replete with examples of the Democratic Party enforcing totalitarian ideals.
It strikes me as amusing that there are so many who fear the light and want to live in darkness and ignorance.

Dan Bubis,
Rural Custer County