It doesn’t matter what kind of store, restaurant, or office you go to, handicapped parking is ubiquitous. The larger the parking lot, the more handicapped parking spaces there are—even at places of business rarely patronized by the handicapped.
I think the largest number of handicapped parking spaces I have ever seen are at home improvement stores like Lowe’s or Home Depot. I guess this is because of all the people in wheelchairs who need to park close to the store so they can go in and get sheets of plywood or drywall.
I live less than a mile from both a Lowe’s and a Home Depot. I have sat in my car in the parking lots of both stores and observed the use of the handicapped parking spaces. I have never seen anyone in a wheelchair park in one of these spaces. I have rarely seen anyone who did park in one of these spaces who actually looked handicapped in some way. I think a lot of people are hanging grandma’s handicapped parking permit from their rear view mirror so they can use a premium parking space.
As I have pointed out, the problem with handicapped parking is not that it is parking reserved for the handicapped, but that it is government-mandated parking reserved for the handicapped. Every place of business should be free to have as few or as many handicapped parking spaces as it wishes.
Since I believe in a free society, I am always pleased when I see businesses (voluntarily, not due to government coercion) designate special parking spaces for senior citizens, visitors, pregnant women, parents with young children, employee of the month, and yes, even veterans, although I have mixed feelings about reserved parking for that group.
At my local Lowe’s, there are some special parking spaces for veterans. They are indicated by signs reading:
Limiting who parks in these spaces is certainly not enforced. I actually parked in one of them and did not notice the “Veteran Parking Only” sign until I had already gotten out of my car. And no, I did not move my car. No employee asked me if I was a veteran or requested that I show a military ID.
Businesses that offer special veteran parking spaces may not be doing so because they actually care about veterans. They may offer them for purely economic reasons—to sucker veterans or people who have a soft heart for veterans into giving them their business.
But regardless of why businesses have reserved parking for veterans, the fact remains that veterans deserve no special parking spaces. Why should anyone honor those who bombed, maimed, and killed for the government in countries where they had no business going? Why not have reserved parking for people who do something productive instead of destructive? Why not have special parking spaces for plumbers, electricians, clergymen, cooks, roofers, teachers, cab drivers, computer programmers, nurses, and mechanics?
Although I disagree with the policy of businesses having reserved parking for veterans, I still like to see it. Because I believe in a free society, I support the right of businesses to provide special parking for any group they choose: veterans, handicapped, pregnant women, blacks, whites, Democrats, Republicans, Trump lovers, Trump haters, Chevy drivers, Ford drivers, Catholics, Protestants, Jews, Muslims, heterosexuals, homosexuals, transsexuals, or gender-fluid individuals.
I would even go so far as to say that the ability of businesses to offer or sell special parking spaces to select groups is essential to a free society. As much as I oppose honoring veterans—which is almost a national religion—I can still cheer the presence of veteran parking spaces and any other reserved parking that businesses are allowed to provide.