The Memorial Day murder of George Floyd while in police custody has sparked outrage across the country, among people of all races. But as peaceful protesters gather begging for justice and to “police the police,” the government is moving closer and closer to a police state.
Governors in 23 states have activated 17,000 National Guard troops to assist local police forces with rioting and looting, turning their streets into scenes from a movie.
Camouflage-clad military troops bearing rifles walk beside police officers in riot gear. Curfews have been implemented and states of emergency declared in counties, cities, and states from Florida to Arkansas to California.
For many, the curfews and states of emergency are nothing new; both have been used liberally during the Coronavirus shutdowns, which are still affecting most of the country. But what do curfews and states of emergency mean for you?
State of Emergency
By definition, a state of emergency allows a government to perform actions or impose policies that it would not normally be permitted to. This includes suspending Constitutional rights.
As some states learned during the long-term Coronavirus states of emergency, this includes the closure of businesses, churches, and government offices, ceasing to issue gun permits, and going so far as to stop motorists to determine if their reason for being out is pressing enough.
The number of people gathering, including families, can be limited by law and your neighbors are encouraged to turn you in for insubordination. Government officials were quick to allow large groups for peaceful protesters, but can take away the right just as quickly.
The President, Governors, Mayors, and Sheriff’s departments can all declare states of emergency.
As peaceful protests gave way to riots, mayors hastily imposed curfews, citing a need for roadways to be clear so that authorities can reach hotspots in a timely manner. A curfew dictates at what time citizens must return to and remain in their homes; exceptions typically include essential workers.
Businesses are also required to close before a curfew begins.
Again, curfews are nothing new in 2020, as some Mayors instituted curfews in the name of limiting the spread of Coronavirus.
For citizens, a curfew can create a reason to be ticketed or arrested just for exiting their home after or before specific times. In some places, this includes activities like walking your dog or going for a jog. Breaking a curfew can add to charges filed against protesters.
Our Rights are Being Limited
2020 is being proven to test the limits of our Republic, to determine if Americans favor perceived safety over rights.
Millions of Americans are out of work and prohibited from returning to their businesses, shuttered in their homes, told when they can emerge and where they can go at those times. Police forces are growing as they are being authorized to use increased force against an angry and frightened public.
With an election looming in November, America will have to decide which direction we are headed: a full nanny state, or freedom?