NSJ: How much further can COVID-19 restrictions go?

RALEIGH – It’s more than inconvenience and adjustment; the shutdown policies of the Pandemic Panic have cut to the very core of the American idea of liberty. The mitigation regime creates a control framework, justified by collective public health, to criminalize anything local officials deem a threat.

The examples from across the country wreak of police state habits. The examples of government overreach here in North Carolina are an embarrassment to our heritage as the ‘First in Freedom’ State. The North State Journal‘s A.P. Dillon highlights the nonsense across North Carolina and wonders how much further such restrictions can go?

From NSJ:

The use of overnight curfews has been put into place in cities and towns like Fayetteville, Fairmont, Monroe and Gibson.

Mayor James Reid of Andrews had area law enforcement set up roadblocks and barricades to keep people out of his town.

The Wake County sheriff attempted to halt pistol permit purchases and related services. A few days later, the sheriff was forced to rescind that decision after a civil rights lawsuit was filed against him, bolstered by new guidance from the Trump Administration designating firearms as an essential industry.

In Guilford County, members of the pro-life group Love Life have been arrested multiple times while praying and providing pregnancy counseling in an abortion clinic parking lot. The men were accused of violating social distancing and stay-at-home orders.

In Surf City, officials are preventing property owners from staying on their properties if they are not year-round residents.

A similar situation to Surf City’s actions has arisen in Dare and Currituck counties, resulting in the filing of a federal lawsuit by six property owners whose permanent residences are in neighboring states.

Law-enforcement checkpoints have been set up on roads leading into various towns and counties.

The town of Beaufort has a chokepoint near I-70 to repel non-residents. One needs a valid form of government-issued ID with a Carteret County address, a COVID-19 Entry Pass issued by the town or documents proving you are an essential worker or are performing an essential service.

Ocracoke is also requiring documentation in order to gain entry to the town.

The public’s use of the Atlantic Ocean has been banned by Atlantic Beach, Salter Path, Indian Beach and Emerald Isle. In a joint press release, the towns said “swimming, surfing, kiting,” and “non-motorized recreational water access” are all prohibited.

Wrightsville Beach officials already closed beaches to the public but will now also be fining violators up to $500. If one includes court costs, the fine jumps to $650.

Officials in Wilkesboro and North Wilkesboro announced on April 8 that only one person per family will be allowed entry into any stores. Children can only accompany them if no other suitable person can watch them. […]

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Blockades and bans on swimming in the ocean. Denying property-owners access to their property and arresting Christians for praying outside an abortion clinic. The level of ridiculousness that the shutdown policies have reached is remarkable, but it is entirely predictable. Even warned about on a regular basis. These are the slippery slopes constitutionalists, conservatives, and civil libertarians are always warning about. The warnings are usually written off, yet we are experiencing countless examples of the slide toward blatant authoritarianism, in the name of the collective, every single day now.

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How far can it go? Use your imagination, and don’t rule out the seemingly preposterous.

Read more on what’s coming, here.

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