Commentary

Observations on COVID-19, 245 Years After ‘The Shot Heard ‘Round the World’

By Allen West | April 20, 2020 | 4:19am EDT
A woman in a face mask walks by a sign posted on a boarded up restaurant in San Francisco, California on April, 1, 2020. (Photo by JOSH EDELSON/AFP via Getty Images)
A woman in a face mask walks by a sign posted on a boarded up restaurant in San Francisco, California on April, 1, 2020. (Photo by JOSH EDELSON/AFP via Getty Images)

Greetings, everyone, I pray y’all are safe and healthy. Here in the Dallas metroplex area, we are heading into week number four of the coronavirus shutdown, lockdown, forced isolation.

This past week, the Dallas County Commissioners Court voted down a measure, unilaterally proposed by County Judge Clay Jenkins to make wearing a mask in Dallas County mandatory, under penalty of a $1,000 fine. I find it interesting that at this time in Texas, when more than a million people have filed for unemployment, that elected officials, who are still being paid, are mandating what people must purchase, and imposing an unconstitutional fine against them if they do not.

All around the country, we are starting to see pushback against these draconian, ideological-driven decisions, mandates, edicts, and orders emanating from elected officials.

It should be disturbing to hear Governor Phil Murphy of New Jersey admit that he did not consider the Bill of Rights when imposing his mandates against the citizens of his state. It is further disconcerting when the media launches a full scale attack against Governor Kristi Noem of South Dakota who did consider the constitutional rights, freedoms, and liberties of her constituents in not taking a collectivist, “carpet bombing” approach to COVID-19.

Yesterday was April 19th, and chances are many Americans had no idea the importance of that date. It was 245 years ago that American men, the Sons of Liberty, made a stand at Lexington Green and Concord Bridge.

Those few brave men faced the greatest power the world knew at that time, Great Britain, and fired the shot that was heard “round the world.” They fired a shot for individual liberty. It was a shot that affirmed a truly American principle of “an armed individual is a citizen; an unarmed individual is a subject.”

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Two hundred forty-five years ago, they set the stage for our Second Amendment in the Bill of Rights. Our Founding Fathers knew that our First Amendment rights were passive rights, so there had to be something of substance, an active right, to sustain and protect them.

Two hundred and forty-five years ago, on April 19th, the British were marching to Concord, Massachusetts to destroy a weapons and armaments factory. The Brits knew that there would be no Sons of Liberty if they could not defend themselves against tyranny. The Brits were going to shut down a gun store.

How troubling that here we are, 245 years later, and some elected officials are mandating that gun stores and gun ranges are non-essential. Yet, these same progressive socialist elected officials will tell us that businesses that sell marijuana are essential. They have told us that required surgeries are now “elective,” such as hip replacements, and in some cases, cancer removal procedures. But as Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan asserted, murdering a preborn baby is an essential medical procedure.

We are being told our churches are non-essential and that we must surrender our right to peaceably assemble. These are individual rights and cornerstones enshrined in our First Amendment.

There are now 22.03 million Americans who have filed for unemployment, and yes, as of this writing, we have sadly lost 39,158 Americans. Of course, we lost an estimated 61,000 Americans in the 2017-2018 influenza season. In Texas, as of this writing, we have unfortunately lost 453 residents, but we have seen over one million Texans file for unemployment.

We are seeing increases in domestic and child abuse cases, suicides, and lines at food banks. And we are facing a critical decision: do we continue to stay in the ambush zone of COVID-19, or do we find our courage to seek out viable solutions in order to save our country in the long term? As Sir Winston Churchill stated, “Fear is a reaction. Courage is a decision.”

It was greatly appalling to read an article last week in Politico titled, “Economic meltdown gives Democrats new hope in Texas.” It is infuriating to know that on April 2nd, the chairman of the House Pandemic Oversight Committee, Rep. James Clyburn would say, “this pandemic gives Democrats a tremendous opportunity to restructure things to fit our vision.”

And just last week, in a Time magazine article titled, “Here’s How the Coronavirus Should Change US Elections – For Good,” former US Attorney General Eric Holder claimed, “Coronavirus gives us an opportunity to revamp our electoral system so that it permanently becomes more inclusive and becomes easier for the American people to access.”

I find it despicable that anyone would seek ideological and political opportunity in a health and economic crisis for the American people.

Is there any doubt as to why we have Americans starting to take to the streets? Can you blame Americans for a rising angst and anger when they see chummy media interviews by the Speaker of the House of Representatives showing off her collection of gourmet ice cream, while they are fretting over feeding their families? Talk about a Marie Antoinette moment. And what elected official has had their pay stopped?

Look at Americans being dragged off buses for not wearing a mask. Some Americans are so driven into panic, paranoia, and hysteria that they are “reporting” fellow Americans for showing their faces, an alarming development. In Savannah, Georgia, law enforcement is using drones to ensure people are maintaining proper the social distancing. Boy, am I tired of these soundbite policies! We are being forced into isolation, a reactionary policy.

We have a media that is using false narratives, and even footage, to drive and keep us in a state of panic. Examples include using footage from Italian hospitals to report on hospitals in America, or using old summer footage of beaches when some governors reopened beaches. One would at least hope the media would not be so politicized and ideological, in a time such as this.

On April 19 245 years ago, brave men took on the most powerful force in the world. They did so because they realized the greatest force in the world is the individual desire for freedom and liberty. But, as Benjamin Franklin warned us, “Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

(Allen West is a retired Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Army. During his 22-year career, he served in Operation Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom, receiving many honors including a Bronze Star. In 2010, West was elected as a member of the 112th Congress representing Florida’s 22nd District. He is a Fox News contributor and author of “Guardian of the Republic: An American Ronin’s Journey to Faith, Family and Freedom” and his latest book from Brown Books Publishing Group, “Hold Texas, Hold the Nation: Victory or Death.”  Mr. West writes daily commentary on his personal website theoldschoolpatriot.com and is a Senior Fellow at the Media Research Center to support its mission to expose and neutralize liberal media bias.)

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