- The Washington Times
Tuesday, August 4, 2020


The Declaration of Independence promises citizens life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and that’s pretty much what many in America are doing each day as they head to work — exercising their rights to provide for self and family, for both needs and wants, absent the heavy-handed nanny-like help of government.

Then came the coronavirus pandemic.

Then came this, a headline from The Daily Caller: “New Jersey Threatens Gym’s Business License. Owners Respond By Kicking In Their Front Door To Reopen.”

America’s businesses — America’s small businesses, especially — are in a fight for their lives to stay open. And they’re losing. America’s small business owners, the bread and butter of America’s national economy, are losing the battle to provide for self and family. Government is steadily, stealthily, steadfastly stripping U.S. citizens of the dignity of work, and in place, setting up a system where once-proud business owners and independent-minded employees and staffers have to stay at home and wait for the government stimulus check to come.

It’s forced charity; it’s taxpayer theft, by government command.

It’s a wicked attempt to cripple the free.

” ‘I Can’t Keep Doing This’: Small-Business Owners Are Giving Up,” The New York Times wrote just a few weeks ago. “More owners are permanently shutting their doors after new lockdown orders, realizing that there may be no end in sight to the crisis.”

It’s one thing if government calls on businesses to shut for a true national health emergency.

But this coronavirus is seeing Democratic governors and Democratic-controlled jurisdictions sit back and stay quiet as non-social distancing Black Lives Matter protesters and anarchists gather in the streets to rail against the cause of the day — while simultaneously issuing shutdown orders to this business, to that business, to this school, to that church. It’s random. It’s maddening. It’s unconstitutional. It’s unequally applied government-on-steroid dictates.

And those who do fight back are targeted for greater government harassment.

The latest in an ongoing battle between Atilis Gym owners Ian Smith and Frank Trumbetti and their local governing tyrants is the issuance of a letter from the Borough of Bellmawr in New Jersey that yanks their business license. Why? Because they dared defy the closure order.

“No mercantile license shall be issued to any person or entity which has not complied with the laws —” yada, yada, yada, the letter read. And it is yada because there is no sense or rhyme and reason for the local government tyrants to pull the gym’s business license because the owners — and customers, for that matter — are quite capable of protecting themselves from a virus, based on best-practice medical guidance.

But this isn’t about a virus.

This isn’t about protection of the public’s health.

The government response to the coronavirus has been, and still is, about grabbing as much power as possible from the people, and putting it into the hands of the bureaucrats to decide who gets versus who gets nothing.

Atilis Gym owners, apparently, came up on the side of “who gets nothing” — and to their credit, to their hero-in-these-times-of-crazy-unconstitutional-coronavirus-crackdowns credit, they fought the law.

They kicked in the wood the local tyrants had nailed over their gym doors and windows.

They kicked down the government’s blockade on their own business, and said this: “It has to come to this. … We have to wake up early on a Saturday morning and kick our own doors in — just to be in business. Just to feed our families and just to do what is in the Constitution.”

Democrats don’t want Americans to feed their own families. Democrats want all the taxpayer dollars so they can control the feeding of Americans. And that’s why business owners must stay home.

But the Declaration of Independence doesn’t end with a listing of citizen rights — it goes on to confirm that when those rights are violated by the public servant classes who were elected or appointed to protect them, that it is the “right” of the citizens, nay “their duty, to throw off such government and to provide new guards for their future security.”

With each kick to the walls that government dared affix to their own business doors, that’s all Smith and Trumbetti were saying.

And they’re well within their American citizen rights to do so.

• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com or on Twitter, @ckchumley. Listen to her podcast “Bold and Blunt” by clicking HERE. And never miss her column; subscribe to her newsletter by clicking HERE.

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