I get it, wearing a mask while shopping is not a lot of fun. Wearing a mask while doing anything is not a lot of fun. But when you are shopping and the store says masks are mandatory, you wear a mask or you shop elsewhere.

A handful of folks who dislike wearing masks stormed a Target store in Fort Lauderdale this week, encouraging shoppers to join them in removing their face coverings. Some felt liberated and took off their masks. Others ran for safety in the knitting needles aisle. The liberators blasted the Twisted Sister song "We're Not Gonna Take It" from a cell phone as they marched.

Breitbart reported that organizer Chris Nelson shouted, "Alright. We’re tired of shopping with masks on,” as Twisted Sister blared from his phone.

Some of you wear masks because you believe they protect you from COVID-19 germs. Some folks wear them to prevent whatever germs they may have from infecting others. I am not quite sure just how effective the masks are, but I appreciate both sides of the debate and try to respect the concerns of others as much as possible. When in doubt, it's best to err on the side of caution and wear a mask.

Whatever my personal views on masks may be, the rules are the rules. I don't believe the government has a right to mandate mask usage. Show me in the Constitution where it does, and you'll convert me.

I do, however, believe that privately owned businesses such as department stores have a right to require them. Do you agree? I don't wear a mask in public, but when I enter a restaurant or store that requires them, I quickly strap on my face covering.

I admire the intent of the free-spirited maskless folks who burst into Target this week, but I believe their actions may have put others at risk. Unmasked protesters, especially when in large numbers, endanger the public and should mask up.

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 barry@wbsm.com and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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