Current efforts of some on the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors to ban street panhandling are cruel and wrong-headed. Anyone can lawfully stand in the public right of way, and the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that panhandling is protected speech. Proponents evoke fear of fatal accidents, even as police say their incident data doesn’t reveal any problem in need of solving. If public safety is the argument, though, where were ban advocates in September when members of the county fire department stepped into local intersections for their “Fill the Boot” fundraiser? Ban advocates reveal their true, spiteful agenda when they suggest those panhandling should just get a job. There certainly are good programs and better, more responsible ways to help struggling and disadvantaged people than tossing them coins on the street. They have every right to ask for help in the legal manner they choose, however, and shouldn’t be the target of anyone’s judgment or hypocrisy, especially from those elected to lead.