RALEIGH – A grassroots group called Reopen NC is growing faster than the coronavirus. Started last week to publicly advocate for the end of COVID-19 inspired shutdown policies, which the group founders argue are unconstitutional in addition to economically ruinous, the group has grown into the tens of thousands of members in just several days.
The tension has been palpable for a couple weeks yet. The state government response to the threat of the coronavirus was informed by public health policy experts and computer models that showed a massive contagion and an overwhelmed hospital systems if something was not done. That ‘something’ was the mist brutish option; shutdown commerce and regulate freedom of movement and assembly. Constitution and livelihoods be damned.
This not only ‘rubbed people the wrong way,’ it is destroying lives as the government decrees sink small-business owners, and flood the unemployment offices. All while the projected surge in coronavirus carnage is orders of magnitude less than the figures used to justify the shutdowns in the first place.
Reopen NC is calling on local sheriffs, commissions, and the state government to rescind the shutdown policies and restore constitutional government and economic liberty. The group issued the following press release this week:
“Reopen NC is a grassroots movement comprised of NC residents. Started as a Facebook group, we have 22 thousand members to date and are growing rapidly! We are Moms and Dads, employees and business owners, doctors and nurses, plumbers and electricians; people from all walks of life. We are an action group working towards a mutual goal to Reopen NC by no later than May 1, 2020. Our resounding message to Governor Cooper and our elected officials is clear: End the Shutdown. We demand our rights be restored in full.
All across our great state, from small towns to big cities, you don’t have to look far to see closed businesses and frustrated, concerned citizens. These hard working North Carolina business owners and their employees have built prosperity and stability for themselves and positively affected their communities in a way that only “small Mom & Pop” businesses can. Their right to work and to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” is being infringed upon every single day that Governor Cooper keeps our state shuttered. Their stories are heart wrenching. Our economy cannot sustain this.
The scientific data being released does not support a continued shutdown of our state. A vast majority of NC hospitals are nowhere near capacity and many are furloughing their healthcare staff. States that have not enforced such draconian Shutdowns as Cooper has with his Executive Orders have not had worse outcomes than NC. Residents are smart enough, and more importantly, have the right to decide their own comfort level with any and all pathogens and viruses, just like we have done for every other illness that has come through our state and nation. Cooper is not a King and we are not his subjects. He is an elected official granted his power only by the vote of the people. WE THE PEOPLE will be heard, Reopen NC!”
Reopen NC founder Ashley Smith asks, “How many holidays are going to go by that we are just going to continue not to worship? How many Sundays are going to pass that we are going to forfeit our right to worship? We have a constitution that is in place to recognize our inalienable, God-given rights. These rights are not granted by the government and they are not taken away by the government.”
If you happen to think the government’s response to this crisis has only worked to create new crises; if you lost your job or your business because of the shutdown policies; if you believe that the general welfare of ‘We the People’ doesn’t equate government edicts that strip us of our rights; or if you believe we should, at least, be having the conversation about how to reclaim our livelihoods; then, join Reopen NC and call on our elected officials to end the forced impoverishment of our state and return to reasonable, constitutional policy measures that are honest about what we do and do not know about this threat.