Heavy snow is in the forecast, so if you want to get out of town for the weekend, you may want to head south to a warmer locale. It’s certainly a reasonable thought if you’re not working and have the means.
Unfortunately, if you live in Massachusetts, you no longer have that option. Gov. Deval Patrick has made the decision for you, according to WBZ-TV Boston.
Patrick declared a state of emergency Friday afternoon ahead of the blizzard that’s expected to bring up to three feet of snow, and he’s signed an executive order banning travel on all roads in the state starting at 4 p.m. Friday.
Emergency workers, those who work in hospitals and the media, and others required to be at their jobs are exempt from the ban. Otherwise, you face a fine of up to $500 or a year in jail if you’re caught on the road.
One year in jail?
Often accused of having an obsession with global warming, Patrick said the blizzard is “a profoundly different kind of storm than we have dealt with.”
As a Florida resident who has experienced a number of hurricanes, I can’t recall a time when travel was outlawed. Sure, there have been many advisories recommending residents stay off the roads, but not under the threat of jail.
Is this an overreach? A continuation of the “nanny state” mentality?
Have the American people forfeited liberty in exchange for temporary safety? Have we become a soceity that looks to government to protect us from ourselves, to tell us when and when not to act?
Or is this a perfectly reasonable function of government, in the name of public safety?
It’s not difficult to imagine how colonial Massachusetts resident Sam Adams would respond to such questions.