Freedom is under attack in states and counties across the country. Shockingly, various states and counties are requiring law-abiding people to wear masks, and some are threatening citizens with steep penalties for failure to comply. Government does not have the authority to implement such mandates.

The state of Louisiana, starting Monday, July 13, 2020, would require masks to be worn by all people, with certain exceptions. Governor Andy Beshear of Kentucky has also ordered a mask mandate, for “at least” 30 days. Whether or not the order would be extended, would be determined by “state leaders”.

In Michigan, Governor Gretchen Whitmer has also ordered a mask mandate, and has further ordered businesses to not allow customers to enter their establishments should they not wear a mask. Furthermore, in Michigan, failure to comply with the mandate would lead to a $500 misdemeanor penalty. Moreover, businesses that fail to comply with the governor’s order could face a suspension of their license.

In my home state of Wisconsin, the County of Dane, which houses the State Capitol, has also mandated masks. Failure to wear masks could result in citations of $376 in the city of Madison, and $263.50 in Dane County. Similar to Michigan, businesses that do not enforce the mandate could be cited.

In Milwaukee, Wisconsin’s largest city, the Common Council is expected to vote to decide whether or not a mask mandate would be implemented.

The government is free to recommend that people wear mask to stop the spread of COVID19 and to present public health guidelines. But government cannot force people to use a particular product, such as a mask, on their face. If people allow government to dictate what citizens must put on their faces and when, it would set a dangerous precedent and open the door to more mandates in the future.

A business, such as a retailer, may require customers to wear masks. Some would find this requirement reasonable and essential, while others would call it inconvenient and unnecessary. Based on their judgement, people can choose to visit that business, or avoid it. In any case, it would be a decision by a private entity and private individuals.

The government must never implement mandates such as the requirement to wear masks, especially with the added component of a monetary penalty. We are a nation of laws, but not government overreach.

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