“Fear is a reaction. Courage is a decision.” – Sir Winston Churchill
Greetings, y’all. Here in Dallas County, Texas we are in week two of a mandated stay-at-home directive.
This order was issued by the County Judge (head of the County Commission) Clay Jenkins, unilaterally. There was no discussion with other commission members, and we have come to learn that Jenkins’ decision was based upon a flawed study, model, on the COVID-19 virus.
But what has transpired over the past week has been a very interesting debate over a simple word, “essential.”
Speaking of the word essential, I am still trying to discern, what is so essential about toilet paper currently? Ok, lest I digress.
County Judge Jenkins made the determination that gun stores and gun ranges were not essential retailers. He is not alone with that faulty assertion. We have seen countless mayors and elected officials across the country make the same judgement.
In Los Angeles, Mayor Garcetti even went so far as to order the shutdown of utilities to businesses he deemed non-essential. Mayors in Champaign, Illinois and New Orleans took similar steps by emergency declaration.
Now, believe as you wish, ideologically, but constitutionally, we Americans have a right to keep and bear arms. We have a right to defend ourselves, family, and personal property. That right is enshrined in our rule of law, our Constitution, as the Second Amendment--a right that shall not be infringed.
In Texas we had a letter written from a State Representative, Dustin Burrows, to our Attorney General, Ken Paxton, seeking clarification on the word “essential” as it pertains to gun stores and ranges. AG Paxton responded that these businesses were indeed “essential” retailers and must be allowed to stay open.
Yes, Dallas County Judge Jenkins had to amend his order, declaration, mandate to comply, and remove any doubt, as to what the word essential means when it comes to our Second Amendment right.
However, also in Texas, a lawsuit has been filed against Governor Greg Abbott and the State of Texas. The lawsuit is being filed by none other than Planned Parenthood. Their argument is against Gov. Abbott for not declaring the murder of pre-born babies as “essential.”
Yes, during this time, Planned Parenthood clinics are mandated to be closed. It must now be clearly apparent to us all that Planned Parenthood, an organization founded by a white supremacist and racist, deems the killing, dismemberment, of pre-born babies as essential.
I find this quite disconcerting, odd, that at a time when we are fighting to save lives in America, Planned Parenthood is suing because they believe it is essential to take lives. What type of absurd hypocrisy, delusion, can this be?
In Virginia, Gov. Ralph “Blackface” Northam has mandated that there will be no assembly of persons more than ten individuals. He has stated that this is punishable as a Misdemeanor 1 offense, which carries a $2,500 fine/one-year jail sentence in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Many see this as a direct affront upon our First Amendment right to freedom of religion, as well as our right to peaceably assemble. We find that places of faith, worship, our churches are not essential, and their doors are being shut.
Funny, in Paul’s letter to the Hebrews 10:25 (NIV) it states, “not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another--and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” The King James Bible translation states, “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”
It seems that Gov. Northam has come to regard himself as greater than our Judeo-Christian God, and our faith. Why aren’t churches, where people need to be in such a time, allowed to discern how best to accommodate their congregants, and ensure their safety?
Then again, Paul’s letter to the Romans can offer us some strength…Romans 8:37-39 (NIV), “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[a] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
If there is anything essential in these times, it is our seeking out God’s blessings, His will, and our salvation from this pestilence. That ain’t gonna happen if we forsake the assembly of ourselves in His name, and cower away, not as victors, but as victims.
In these times, it is essential that we do not fall prey to fear, panic, paranoia, and hysteria. We should not take counsel of, or lend credence to, erroneous studies and false data. Yes, this is a deadly virus, then again, so was the H1N1 virus which affected 61 million Americans, resulting in 12,469 deaths. The common flu, this year, has affected some 40 million Americans, resulting in over 600,000 hospitalizations, and sadly, nearly 40,000 deaths.
At this point, the COVID-19 has affected 143,055 Americans and we have sadly lost some 2,500 to death. With the COVID-19 virus, we are looking at a 1.75% fatality rate, yet we have imposed such drastic measures, which we did not for the H1N1 and do not do annually for the common flu season.
It is essential that we do not create a greater crisis than the one we face.
Last week some 2.5-3 million Americans filed jobless claims. Let’s put that in perspective. We have millions of Americans facing dire consequences, Americans who have lost their essential means of support for themselves and their families. This because we succumbed to fear, not summoning our courage in order to be laser focused and have a targeted response to COVID-19 as opposed to one of carpet bombing the problem…causing collateral damage.
This happened previously, when after 9-11 we implemented the Patriot Act, and FISA courts. Instead of being laser focused on Islamic jihadism on our shores, we treated everyone the same. And now, look at the abuse emanating from the FISA court system.
Benjamin Franklin gave us the best means to understand the word “essential” in times of crisis. He stated, “Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
What is essential in these United States of America--individual liberty.
(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.)