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Letter to the editor: Local officials are setting a dangerous precedent

OPINION

BY JOSHUA MEURER

The Alachua County Commissioners recently voted to mandate that its citizens wear masks while in public areas. This sets a dangerous precedent for the infringement of personal liberties guaranteed by the Constitution and negates the Oath of Office sworn by our elected leaders. Furthermore, it places those that are the enforcers of such a decree in a situation where it potentially violates their Oaths of Office.

For a government to infringe on a freedom, there needs to be a rationale for the infringement. Government needs to be persuasive in their rationale for taking such action. The argument must be overwhelmingly compelling and supported for the infringement(s) to be accepted, understood, supported, and applied. Here, Alachua County leadership has failed in their rationale, thus failing in their responsibilities.

If the government is going to force its citizenry to modify their actions, where does their authority stop? If their decrees are to “save lives,” then why do they not enforce a mandatory flu vaccination? Having the Flu and Covid-19 is deadly. Why doesn’t the commission mandate a set of physical fitness standards for its citizenry and open fitness centers? Studies have shown that obesity makes Covid-19 more deadly. Why doesn’t the commission mandate a ban on smoking? Bronchial issues make Covid-19 more deadly. Why wasn’t this mask-wearing decree enforced weeks ago during the peak of the virus spread?

The issue is not wearing a mask; many people voluntarily choose to wear a mask. The issue is being compelled by government to behave in a manner that they dictate. The issue is voluntarily giving government more and more power while the power is not being checked. The founders of our country sought to establish a government to protect our freedoms, not limit them in the name of “public safety.” The founders did not give our government the power to compel its citizenry to behave in a manner that it sees fit.

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The numbers do not match the rationale for the mask-wearing decree. Specifically, Alachua County numbers do not match the rationale for the decisions made by the County Commission. The commission modeled their decisions on South Florida’s response–an area that faces challenges different and unique from those we face here in Alachua County.

There must be a balance of power, whether it manifests in civil disobedience or voting for those that will understand the great responsibility of the office that they intend to fill. Our elected officials must display an understanding that their responsibility is to enhance, protect, and defend freedoms rather than seek to limit them. Giving power to an individual tends to reveal the real character of an individual. Sadly, our city and county commissioners continue to fail to be morally incorrupt, fail to truly protect their citizenry, fail to make logical/rational decisions, and fail their sacred oaths as representatives of their constituents. My only hope is that we pay attention and hold these “leaders” accountable.

“Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
– Benjamin Franklin

The opinions expressed in letters to the editor are those of the letter’s author and not of Alachua Chronicle. Letters may be sent to info@alachuachronicle.com. We reserve the right to determine which letters we run.

  • It’s not popularly known that 5 Republican state governors have chosen to opt-upt of declaring draconian lock-downs within their states (ND,SD,NEAIA,AR) but Florida’s RINO governor decided to join the tyranny.

    In his presentation on the day of his annuncement of phase one, DeSantis made a compelling case that Florida was not – and had never been – a victim of a pandemic and that a general lock-down of the entire state had been an error based on grossly incompetent forecasting. Instead of admitting the lockdown had been a tragic mistake by immediatly opening up the economy to full capacity, he continued many restrictions wihout just cause.

    DeSantis’ decision to indulge in continued tyranny emboldened political operatives and elected officials at county and city levels to double-down on more acts of tyranny because it would damage the governor in the eyes of his supporters.

    From my point of view DeSantis is virtually begging to be a one-term governor. Clich this link to see how 5 “real” conservative governors avoided government tyranny.
    https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/here-are-stay-home-orders-across-country-n1168736

  • Deprivation Of Rights Under Color Of Law

    Section 242 of Title 18 makes it a crime for a person acting under color of any law to willfully deprive a person of a right or privilege protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States.

    For the purpose of Section 242, acts under “color of law” include acts not only done by federal, state, or local officials within the their lawful authority, but also acts done beyond the bounds of that official’s lawful authority, if the acts are done while the official is purporting to or pretending to act in the performance of his/her official duties. Persons acting under color of law within the meaning of this statute include police officers, prisons guards and other law enforcement officials, as well as judges, care providers in public health facilities, and others who are acting as public officials. It is not necessary that the crime be motivated by animus toward the race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status or national origin of the victim.

    The offense is punishable by a range of imprisonment up to a life term, or the death penalty, depending upon the circumstances of the crime, and the resulting injury, if any.

    TITLE 18, U.S.C., SECTION 242

    Whoever, under color of any law, statute, ordinance, regulation, or custom, willfully subjects any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured or protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States, … shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both; and if bodily injury results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include the use, attempted use, or threatened use of a dangerous weapon, explosives, or fire, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and if death results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include kidnaping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill, shall be fined under this title, or imprisoned for any term of years or for life, or both, or may be sentenced to death.

    https://www.justice.gov/crt/deprivation-rights-under-color-law

  • Oath of Office? They all lie when they take it…how can
    We kick them out of office for violating their oath of office to
    Uphold the US constitution? Let’s get the process rolling.
    Every time I bring up Oath of Office, it goes nowhere.

  • We need to get all elected politicians to reaffirm their
    Oath of office to uphold the US constitution…
    And if they break the oath, they should be removed from
    Office and fined. This should be a priority.

  • The problem winds up being the placid, compliant populace. We have plenty of sheep in Gainesville and surrounding areas. When they bother to vote, they vote these clowns. They are cowardly. Nothing will change unless *that* changes.

  • The only rights we have are the rights we are willing to fight for. I have not worn a mask yet. And won’t. There is a provision in the order that allows anyone with a medical condition to not wear a mask. READ IT. And act accordingly. We should organize a march on City Hall.

  • I totally agree, I will not wear a mask and if I have to I will go where I don’t have to wear one and spend my money there. Also I agree there should be a protest on our constitutional rights, no one has a right to take them from us , not even Governor Desantes

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