This column first appeared on Facebook, April 15, 2020.
We are quickly reaching, if we haven’t already the “Or What?” portion of the forced business shut-down in Lubbock.
When people have their ability to provide for their family taken from them by local government, when people have the ability to take care of their employees taken from them, capriciously and without solid legal justification by a local government; they become desperate and they become harder to govern.
When they are told they must submit to a local government that bases their actions on sand and not concrete, many individual will begin to ask, “or what?”.
In the coming days, expect many business owners and many folks in Lubbock to ask the Mayor and the City Council “Or What” when it comes to their decision to close their business down but not larger stores or “essential-businesses”.
When faced with losing your business, losing your ability to pay your employees and maybe losing your home and going bankrupt, a citation and and fine and yes, jail-time; doesn’t look that bad compared to the alternative.
If you own a business in Lubbock and you’re currently “shut-down” by the Mayor, I say you should consult a lawyer, create a plan to open your doors doing business the way Amarillo businesses are operating and dare the Mayor to shut you down. If enough businesses do this, the right way and the smart way, there is no way they can imprison you all.
Or is there?
Lubbock “leaders” will have to ask themselves if they’re willing to put these people in jail if they violate their “orders”. Lubbock “leaders” will have to be willing to punish their fellow community members with fines and jail for not following their edict, that may or may not have legal or moral standing.
The Lubbock Fire Marshal will have to answer for punishing citizens. The Lubbock Police Department will have to be willing to say we “were just following orders” in enforcing these orders on citizens trying to do business the right way, the smart way and the safe way. . .
The Lubbock City Attorney will have to go to sleep each night, knowing he prosecuted fellow friends and business leaders.
And if it comes to it, the County District Attorney will have to look fellow citizens in the eye and say they put you in jail for trying to save your business, your family and your employees by doing business the right way, the way that’s outlined by Governor Abbott, not Mayor Dan Pope and the city council.
A lot of folks have a lot of choices to make in the coming days.
I pray they chose wisely. I pray they don’t just follow “orders”.
The United States of America has a great history of not tolerating folks who used the excuse that they were “just following orders….”
We should not tolerate that in Lubbock in 2020.
The data does not support a full shut-down of Lubbock business. The data shows little to no community spread of the Wuhan virus. This is a Nursing Home/Health Care provider issue right now. Shut down the nursing homes, quarantine health care workers and allow the rest of Lubbock to go to work on April 20, 2020.
You don’t need a task-force to figure this out.
You just need Leaders.