Shut Up, Mask Up or Pay Up in Massachusetts [OPINION]
Governor Charlie Baker's tyranny continues with a new executive order which takes effect tomorrow ordering all folks within the confines of the People's Republic of Massachusetts to shut up, mask up or pay up.
Baker's order states that a mask or face covering is now required when in public when social distancing guidelines cannot be met as well as in grocery stores, pharmacies, and "essential" retail stores as well as ride-sharing, mass public transit, and waiting areas. Businesses can decline entry to those not wearing a mask or face covering. Non-compliance with Baker's order can net you a civil fine of up to $300 per violation.
Like many other governors, Baker's disregard and disrespect for the Constitution are appalling. Baker has prevented the faithful from freely worshiping in a manner of their choosing which is protected by the First Amendment. He has denied free movement and interfered with commerce while restricting the ability of Massachusets citizens to gather as they see fit.
Baker is not the first governor to order the citizens of his state to wear masks or face coverings. Governor Mike DeWine of Ohio did as well, and then after thinking about it repealed the order, feeling it to be "a bridge too far."
Baker's order will remain in place until he alone feels it should be lifted – or until enough residents have had enough and decide to shun the masks. The order forces local police into a position of having to harass and possibly issue citations to their neighbors who might look upon Baker's law as an overreach and perhaps unconstitutional.
These are troublesome times for our Republic.
Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.