By Tom Jones, guest columnist
Tom Jones is a former Park County legislator who served as the Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee
I understand some people are upset about mask mandates. They don’t like government telling them what to do. But we live everyday with government mandates. Among them we:
Pay city, county, special district, state and federal taxes.
Go on green lights and stop on red lights.
Educate ourselves, take tests, pay a fee and get a license to practice many professions.
Don’t kill people.
Don’t rob people.
Pay a fee and get a license to get married.
Don’t exceed the speed limit, by much.
Don’t go on our neighbors’ property without their permission.
Register our firearms.
Pay a fee and get a license to hunt game.
Use only the amount of water the ditch rider allows.
Don’t unnecessarily shout “fire” in crowded theater.
Sit in our designated seat at UW football games.
Drive on the right side of the road.
Park at our designated camp site in the park.
Build our homes and other buildings according to code.
Don’t build a slaughterhouse in a residential area.
Make sure airplanes are safe to fly.
Make sure our employees are safe on the job.
Obviously there are dozens if not hundreds of other mandates, many of which are so innocuous we don’t even think about them.
Remember, each of these mandates is based on laws and ordinances that were adopted in a democratic way by a legislative body composed of democratically elected officials that you had an opportunity to vote for.
Virtually all were originally requested by the people in response to a perceived need.
In spite of these mandates, I believe we live in the freest country in the world and arguably the freest state in our country.
So when someone asks you to wear a mask, or even tells you to wear one, put it in context. Why refuse to obey this mandate? It costs little to nothing. It helps protect you, me, our friends, family and our neighbors.
As we have seen, an economic shut is far more damaging to our country. If we can avoid that by wearing a mask, let’s do it.
Happy Thanksgiving. 😷