Tasing Moms Who Refuse Masks Does Not Make the World a Healthier Place
A much-shared video of an Ohio mom getting tased and handcuffed at a middle-school football game should be a reminder that turning everything into a legal matter is just begging for violent conflict. Once a desire—or even a good idea—is turned into a mandate enforceable by the cops, violence is only one disagreement away.
In watching the video, it’s obvious that there was plenty of bad judgment going around in the open-air bleachers of Logan-Hocking School District that day. That goes for mask-resistant Alecia D. Kitts herself, rules-spewing school officials, and the Logan Police Department cops who escalated assertions of their authority over a minor dispute into a lightning ride.
Let’s start with Kitts. Video of the incident starts after the cops grab her, but apparently that came after a prolonged argument over her refusal to wear a mask while watching the game. She claimed to have asthma and so be exempted, but that didn’t satisfy the folks running the event who asked her to leave.
Here’s the thing: while there’s debate over the effectiveness of masks—the CDC is for them, while the World Health Organization remains lukewarm—that’s irrelevant when you’re in somebody else’s domain. It’s their property so they make the rules. If they want you to wear a face mask, or a propeller beanie, or to take off your shoes, you should comply or leave. That’s just good manners. Throwing a hissy fit because a host asks you to do something you don’t want to do in their facility isn’t an option.
Second in the bad-judgment parade are the school officials, who must know that there are huge tensions over mask-wearing, which has become a point of contention and a partisan divide. Should it be that big a deal? That doesn’t matter—it is. But there are constructive approaches for addressing controversial issues.
Cottonwood, Arizona—the town nearest me—settled on a workable compromise. The town has a mask mandate, which carries no enforcement provisions or penalties. Most stores post signs which are respected by the majority of patrons but ignored by a minority. There’s a measure of protection for mask-wearers and a measure of independence for mask-refusers. Nobody gets hot and bothered because face masks aren’t
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