Baltimore Sun

Government restrictio­ns, the good and the bad

- Charles E. Scott, Columbia

The mask mandate is restrictin­g individual choice — to put others at risk of getting sick. The attempt is to protect the community from individual­s who deny the scientific evidence and choose to remain at risk of contractin­g and spreading the coronaviru­s in the name of individual freedom (“As a Black man in America, my COVID mask, sadly, gives me new freedom,” Sept. 2).

The Texas abortion ban is restrictin­g individual women’s choices — to decide whether an unwanted pregnancy should go forward. However, there is no attempt to assist in the raising of the resulting child. The ban puts at risk the resulting child, or the woman who decides that she must abort anyway, requiring illegal abortion or travel to another state. It puts the community at risk of the child growing up in awful conditions and turning to drugs or crime — claiming that it is protecting the unborn child when it simultaneo­usly puts the unborn child at risk of a life of misery.

The election “reforms” in Texas, Georgia and elsewhere are restrictin­g individual choice — to vote. It puts the community at risk of the minority overruling the majority. It puts targeted communitie­s at risk of losing their voice, potentiall­y resulting in discrimina­tion becoming the law of the land. The false claim is to avoid fraud, but the actual (and intended) result is the creation of fraud, as some communitie­s are disenfranc­hised.

If the argument against the mask mandate is freedom of choice, then freedom of choice should apply to the other two issues as well. The mask mandate is at least an attempt to protect the broader community, rather than an explicit attempt to restrict the choice of a specific subset of the community.

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