I’ve never been one to shy away from tough and controversial topics of the day. This post is no exception. We once again find ourselves needing to confront dangers in society, and no matter how unpopular, address the elephant in the room. Especially when that elephant can needlessly injure people; in this case the first responders of this nation.

On Saturday, July, 2nd, police in St. Petersburg, Florida confronted a street vendor they said was selling hot dogs illegally in the city. He ignored repeated warnings, continuing to ply his trade well after a “street closure permit” had expired. The source article does not define this, but we must assume some event such as a street fair or farmers market had been held, and this man just continued on with his commerce long after everyone else had packed up and headed home.

The confrontation with the man escalated, to the point where he was advised by one officer to “drop the hot dog.” The man chose to ignore those instructions, and instead threw the hot dog at the officer, striking him. Fortunately, the officer was not injured. It appears he was wearing his wiener-proof vest.

The man was arrested and has been charged with felony battery for allegedly striking a cop with a thrown hot dog.

Let me be frank, as I realize we are playing catch-up here and do not relish the thought, but we have mustered the strength to defy popular opinion and say that it is high time we ban assault hot dogs. 

And try as I might, I just couldn’t work the word “onion” into the previous condiment-associated sentence. Although the word opinion was pretty darn close.

There have been 136 police officers killed on the job so far this year, with 34 of them by gunfire. Additionally, mass-casualty events are in the news every week. In a society seemingly no longer capable of having its conscience shocked by man’s constant display of inhumanity to man, the unprovoked use of an assault hot dog is just too much to bear.

It is not a societal issue. It is not a neglect of mental health issues. It is not the degradation of human interaction by technology or even the lessening of social mores and inhibition through social media. No, it’s the damn hot dog, and we should take steps to make certain they are never put in the hands of someone who could wreak such havoc again.

It does seem true that something has changed over the years. When I was a kid in school, we all had hot dogs. We just didn’t throw them at each other. Most of us never would have thought to confront an officer of the law with a hot dog. We know people are behaving differently today, but it’s not their fault. Clearly, it is the hot dog that is at the root of the issue.

Congress should act now. We need better background checks and age limits when it comes to handling these potential bun missiles. And while they’re at it, street vendors should be required to wash their hands once in a while – at least once during the day. And Congress should force manufacturers of buns and wieners to package the same number of items in their respective packaging. This would eliminate one of the greatest frustrations that likely leads to hot dog assault incidents today.

I realize this will be an unpopular opinion in many quarters. Members of the National Weiner Association (NWA) will vehemently object to this view. They will claim that banning hot dogs is merely treating a symptom of a greater issue and that mental health and the debasing of civil standards in society are more to blame. I say phooey on them.

We need to get these dangerous hot dogs out of the hands of people who have lost all sense of decorum and can no longer function properly in society. That will fix the issue, once and for all.

Ban assault hot dogs and do it now.

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