The horrifying viral video in which an Ohio mother is tasered and hauled away in handcuffs for sitting alone without a facemask is worse than you think. It’s worse because the issue isn’t that a woman was hauled away in chains for sitting by herself, harming no one, in the outdoor air. The issue, instead, is that the overwhelming majority of the people sitting and watching this happen simply sat there and watched it happen, knowing that countless other Americans have gotten away with much worse.
There is no decency in a world where people are clapped in irons for sitting outdoors without a piece of cloth over their faces. I say this, not because I don’t believe masks are useful during a time of pandemic. (I adopted masks while the idiots in our CDC were still lying and saying we shouldn’t. I was one of the first people I know of, in fact, who started wearing a mask in public while grocery shopping just before the lockdowns.) No, I say this because if the stakes for sitting outside in public are going to be physical assault and imprisonment, the double standard under which we currently live is INTOLERABLE.
Remember, the arrest of this woman in Ohio comes on the heels of MONTHS of our public officials looking the other way for, and even participating in, mass gatherings of thousands of people during a pandemic. The overwhelming majority of the participants in these gatherings were NOT wearing masks. Yet the same authorities who are more than happy to send people to jail for hosting parties during “lockdown”, the same authorities who dropped charges against rioters and arsonists because their cause was far enough left, the same people who condemn Trump rallies, Sturgis, and anti-lockdown protests as “irresponsible” super-spreader events, expect us not to notice the double standard.
Shall we all take a moment to remember that the term “lockdown” is a term associated with prisons? It’s a term for when all the inmates are forced to remain in their cells so those in charge can assert control over the facility. Nothing could be more appropriate as, for the first time, we forced the majority of people who weren’t sick to live under house arrest for “15 days” that inexorably, inevitably, interminably became month after grinding month.
The initial lockdowns made sense. Preventing our hospitals from becoming overwhelmed made sense. But treating all Americans as prisoners, forcing them not to make a living, imprisoning them for daring to breathe the air outside, arresting them for singing hymns and attending church… these are the tactics of a police state. This is how prisons are run. These are the types of arbitrary, selectively enforced rules that we always associate with totalitarian police states… as long as some groups of citizens are permitted to behave as if these rules don’t apply to them.
It is utterly absurd that any of us are still engaging in the folly of lockdowns if thousands of Americans are allowed to break “quarantine” with impunity. We’ve set the precedent that you can’t go to church because you’ll be infected with coronavirus… but you CAN attend protests in which thousands of people crowd into the same space and destroy public property. You can’t open your business because your government says you can’t… but you CAN gather in large groups to paint race-baiting graffiti on a public street, all while the Democrat politicians in charge completely ignore the legal procedure for installing “murals” of this type.
Any control we had over the spread of infections, any hope we had of “contact tracing,” any semblance of orderly compliance with public health dictates, ended with the first Black Lives Matter protests this summer. That was it. That was the end of the lockdown. The weeks and months that followed have been a farce in which all animals are supposedly equal, but some animals are definitely more equal than others.
If the lockdown rules don’t apply equally — which they clearly do not — then it’s time to stop indulging this fantasy. To hell with it. Open it all. Anyone who is at risk should be allowed to avoid people, work from home, continue to isolate, without fear of social sanction or employment repercussions. I would welcome any and all executive orders that encouraged this. But treating our population like so many prison inmates, all while the real criminals are allowed to hoot and screech and grunt and burn and murder and wild, has to stop.
No free society can permit two sets of rules. If an asthmatic woman can be tased and hauled away in chains for refusing to wear a mask — because she was “trespassing” in a public place, outdoors, seated away from other people — then there can be no exceptions for thousands of “protesters.” If Fauci can sit with his mask around his chin at a baseball game but the little people get electrical shocks and criminal records, it’s time to put our feet down. If a man can be arrested for surfing alone during “lockdown” but hundreds of arsonists are freed to go their merry ways, our system is broken.
If our civil rights can be suspended to protect us from ourselves, then our civil rights do not exist.