DEAR EDITOR:

We the People are the first words of the preamble of the United States Constitution. While the preamble has no power of law such as the Constitution, it does declare the most important part of the document. We The People were intended to be the driving force behind securing our Constitutional form of government.

During the ratification of the Constitution, a number of states wanted the Constitution to include a Bill of Rights. By what might be called a handshake agreement, it was agreed that the Bill of Rights would be included as amendments in the final document. Thomas Jefferson was an advocate of including a Bill of Rights to provide clear and concise limitations on the government. When his close friend, James Madison, crafted the final version, the first Amendment read as follows:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

Of special note today are the final words concerning “peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” Today, we are seeing this right dramatically curtailed in many locations. This is a direct attack on the first amendment.

We have two options. (1) Express your concern on limiting the infringement of our rights or, (2) we can just simply comply with the limitations that are placed on your freedoms.

Should we accept actions that do not contribute to fighting the virus such as the release of duly convicted felons, stop the use of public beaches, forbid compliant gatherings, restrict golf course association, close small businesses and forbid compliant religious services. Elected officials then go one step further and enforce these government created mandates with police force? Possibly we should place all the most susceptible innocents in internment camps for their own protection until such time as the government decides it is safe. Trust me, when you turn 60 years of age you have the ability to evaluate danger and avoid it and nothing can make you do it ... nothing. However, it is understood some will not comply.

No one wants to prematurely dispense with those protocols which have proven successful in “Flattening the Mortality Curve” of the ongoing pandemic. Note that I said “those protocols which have proven successful.” However, common sense knows that every state, even every municipality is not the same. When common sense practices do not conform to draconian restrictions it is time for the citizens to resist and when the cure appears to be worse than the threat, it is time to peaceably assemble and petition the Government.

Quentin M. Thomas

Woodstock

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