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Letter: Every business is essential

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Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record

Since the beginning of this pandemic, we have been hearing about “essential businesses” and “non-essential businesses.” Banks, hospitals, construction, utilities, grocery, public works are all deemed “essential.” However, since we started allowing only “essential businesses” to operate, our economy has tanked. It is the “non-essential businesses” that are the difference between the phenomenal prosperity we were experiencing and the complete economic collapse we seem hell-bent on achieving.

This arbitrary and fallacious designation is simply an end-around on our Constitution and a direct assault on the liberties it ensures. Benjamin Franklin said, “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” This pairs nicely with the attitude of our Founding Fathers: “I would rather die on my feet than live on my knees.”

It is up to the individual, not the state, to determine how much risk he or she is willing to take. Stay in place if you feel it is best for you and your family. But no one, simply by fiat or broad interpretation of decades-old law, has the right to prohibit another from exercising his or her God-given rights.

Yes, we should take precautions, wash our hands and avoid at-risk demographics or those with symptoms. We should avoid others if we exhibit symptoms. Those who want to shelter in place should shelter in place. But those of us who are willing to risk exposure in order to live our lives or run our “non-essential business” have the right to do so as guaranteed by our Constitution.

It is time for the government to stop abusing its power and exerting its will on the people who allow and who fund its very existence.

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Richard E. Bradfute

Roswell