This is an opinion editorial. It is not news, rather it reflects the editor’s opinion on a topic. If anyone who follows the rules set forth on the OPINION page of The Ledger would like to submit a written opinion, even if you strongly disagree with what follows, we will be glad to publish your opinion too.
Lexington County, SC (Paul Kirby) – Are you an adult that does what’s best for you and your family, or are you a child that needs to be made to do what’s safe? Only you can answer that question.
South Carolina's Governor Henry McMaster has shown the real spirit of a South Carolinian since the COVID-19 crisis has started. Since the founding of our state and country, SC has been ferociously independent and resistant to anyone telling us what we MUST do. During the pandemic, the governor slowly and methodically, with much restraint, has issued orders to cover just the unsafe things we as South Carolinians were doing to make ourselves and others sick. It would have been nice if we’d all acted like adults and had done what’s best for all of us quickly. Instead, some of us acted like children who had to be TOLD to do what’s best for us.
You see last week I wrote an op-ed in The Ledger. In it I expressed my opinion that you should stay home if you don’t have to be out. One thing I included in that was recreation on Lake Murray. After so many people commented, I changed my mind. One fellow said he has his own ramp and dock. He’s an essential worker and when he does get a break, he likes to load his immediate family in the boat and cruise the lake a bit to unwind. That made sense and it really changed my mind.
That’s what courteous debates sometimes do. I couldn't really see a problem with him doing that. Then, the weekend came. During their patrols, SCDNR officers said they found some boats with 10, 12, or more 20 somethings kids out having a blast on the lake against the governor’s order, like it was just a suggestion. Some said they hadn’t heard about it. Where have you been, under a rock! Two days later, another order with some bite was issued if you don’t follow it. The new one, work or home, nowhere else. See the few that misbehaved ruined it for the man that wanted to unwind and the many who were doing the right thing.
Mind you, many of us have listened and have observed social distancing, washed the skin off our hands, and covered our coughs. We haven’t congregated in groups and stayed at home if possible, especially when we are prone to illnesses. Others, well not so much. Some have been the adults doing what’s best, others have acted in ways that have forced the government to limit our rights.
This is much like the responsibility of a parent. I carry a pistol every day and when I get home, I put it in my nightstand. I don’t lock it up because I want it accessible should I need it quickly to protect my family. I don’t want it in a safe where I have to ask, “Excuse me Mr. Methhead, could you hold on a minute while I open the safe, load my gun, and shoot you at 2 a.m. in my freaking home?”
I’ve let my children shoot my pistol so it’s not such a mystery. They know where it is and how it’s used. They know it’s deadly, not a toy, and it’s off limits unless I take them shooting. I learned that from my CWP instructor. None has ever been caught handling it but if they did, I promise I’d make the impression on them that this was a bad idea! I might even have to make some new order for our 51st state, the state of Paul Kirby. I’m still working on the flag by the way.
The same thing has been going on in South Carolina. The governor has asked nicely that we all do what's best for us to stop this deadly pandemic so we could get back to working for a living. Then, we could have all our fun again too. The more boatloads of teens on the lake and packed shoe stores they’ve found, the more the governor had to think, these children and adults acting like children just aren’t very responsible; they aren’t listening. Poppa Henry must have thought, “I guess I’ll have to make the government be the parent and make an impression that might leave a mark on whomever doesn’t listen!” Now we have the new Work or Home ORDER from Poppa McMasters!
Do I think some of our constitutional rights are being trampled on, yep! After this is all over, I expect some lawyers to get even richer arguing the cases. “You made me work and I caught the virus interacting with the public,” some could claim. Others will say, “Your order ruined my small business for no reason, and it will NEVER be the same.” How about this one? “The government’s anxiety became my anxiety and it made me hoard food, drink too much, and smoke another pack of cigarettes a day. Now, I’ve eaten all the food, become an alcoholic, and have emphysema. I’m a fat drunk that smokes way too much and it’s all the government’s fault!” Boy, I think a lot of people could sue for that one. With all that extra eating from your stockpile, not exercising, and on and on, Jake will argue so many cases he’ll be able to buy that third vacation house, this time in Aspen.
Don’t even get me started about the governors that have fined pastors in other states for holding church. There’s got to be some constitutional laws bent or broken here! I think it’s a bad idea to congregate at church but it’s also constitutionally wrong to arrest or fine the pastor who opened the door to let the faithful in. Yes, people are getting sick or infected there, but like I was once told by the SC State Fire Marshal Dick Campbell, “Don’t ever pick a fight with a church boy, you’ll never win.”
Here’s the deal and the point. If we could just get everyone to take this seriously and act like adults, this would all be over sooner. Now, President Trump’s expert is saying this could be a seasonal thing like the flu. I get the vaccine for that annually and so far, no flu for me. It could happen, but I’ve at least tried to do something most consider smart. I hope by next year, I’ll be casually getting a COVID-19 vaccine just like the flu shot and before you start, I know these don't always work but at least I tried.
Yes, we are giving up some of our rights as Americans and we’ve surrendered those without firing a shot. We just laid down our weapons and surrendered.
Some of us also just didn’t listen and use some common sense. We ignored all those smart doctors, shopped till we dropped, hung around in crowds, and some bars and other fun places had to be forced to close by the po-po. A few acted dumb and a new rule or order was made that restricted us all from something else.
The bottom-line people is, just use the brain God gave you please. Let’s get this thing behind us so we can have some spring workouts for next fall’s NCAA games. Let’s do all this voluntarily so we can even have those games and I can watch Clemson play early and Carolina play late. I enjoy making a day of it.
Not pointing any fingers, but let’s act with more common sense than other states a little further north. We won’t have to hold daily press briefings like those states to talk about bodies in refrigerated trucks or temporarily burying folks in a park. We won’t have to grovel for respirators from CHINA or spend trillions we don’t really have. The faster we just listen and think, the faster this will all be over.
Yes, this is just my opinion. Be nice and agree with parts, the whole thing, or none of this at all. Just express your opinion without calling names, getting all mad, or attacking the person who disagrees with you. If you have to be that someone and act that way, maybe you should blast away on your Twitter account and run for congress!