Like the falling of the Berlin Wall, masks and mandates are falling all around us. Rejoice!
Not so fast. The next public safety restriction could be the banning of kissing in public – just in time for Valentine’s Day! What would happen if some state, city, or federal politico decided to ban kissing at all costs? Impossible? Think again.
Lest we forget, during Thanksgiving 2020, when Andrew Cuomo was governor of New York, he issued an executive order saying holiday gatherings could be no larger than 10 people for the expressed purpose of quelling a surge in COVID-19 cases. He met with resistance from police officers who not only did not want to micromanage people’s lives but felt the order from Cuomo was illegal because the legislature never codified that restriction into law. Cuomo said these officers were violating their constitutional pledge to maintain the law.
Cuomo said at the time, “I’m a law enforcement officer; I enforce the laws. I don’t get to pick and choose,” adding, “Well, I’m not going to enforce domestic violence laws because that’s a family affair? No. There’s a law, and you have to enforce the law, or don’t call yourself a law enforcement officer.”
I, too, Gov. Cuomo, am a law enforcement officer. I am a police officer, a firefighter and a first responder to the 9/11 attacks.
Well, today, he’s neither a governor nor a law enforcement officer.
Now, as we head toward Valentine’s Day, will any politician or law enforcement officer dare enforce no-kissing zones? Considering the difficulty of kissing mask-to-mask, would police officers have to arrest anyone who dares lower the mask to lip-lock?
And what if the anti-kissing laws were only for French kissing? Would the police officer stand by and enforce the no tongue rule? Awkward? You think? But we are talking about public safety. I know it’s a tough job, but someone’s got to do it.
Mind you, police do have some leeway in whether to make an arrest or take other action. The most obvious example is when a police officer pulls over a driver for speeding. The officer doesn’t have to arrest the driver or issue a ticket. Instead, he can give the driver a warning. Thus, speeding laws are constitutional and have passed through the proper legislative channels.
The problem police find themselves facing more and more is that they are being told not to enforce specific laws or pressured to enforce laws that a state legislature or Congress did not pass.
Seriously, what if a city banned kissing? Could they, should they, would they enforce it? And if only deep kissing was banned but simple pecks on the cheeks or lips were authorized, what about the close calls? You know, like maybe the tip of a taster accidentally touches another tip? And how would a police officer monitor if that threshold had been breached?
If you think this sounds ridiculous, think about what you were thinking when the Comrade COVID Mandates were first put in place. Would you ever have believed it? I wouldn’t have. I still can’t believe it. Not just here, but nearly worldwide – even in normally-jovial Australia!
Cities like Chicago and Portland passed laws in recent years that forbade police officers in those cities from aiding Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), in violation of federal law. The same thing happens in other jurisdictions that have declared themselves “sanctuary cities.” These cities have declared that they won’t enforce federal laws, whether it has to do with immigration, guns, or some other political issue.
What are police officers to do? Should they leave a legacy of breaking up Thanksgiving gatherings? Should they give a police escort to send Grandma to the airport early? Or send Uncle Fred packing because he refuses to wear a mask while eating his niece’s homemade stuffing?
What will we see next, sanctuary cities for kissing? In the nick of time, the scofflaws could flee the police on foot and dive across the city boundary.
At its simplest, police should kiss unconstitutional laws goodbye. If an executive wants a law enforced, it should be debated and voted on properly – including kissing laws. Then if any politicians are dumb enough to attach their names to an anti-Valentine’s Day bill, they will be run out of town on a rail, no matter how many babies they kissed in their career.
However, where the police are concerned, things are rarely simple. If a police officer follows a constitutional law and something terrible happens, he or she faces the consequences. But if police enforce an unconstitutional whim from a despot, they face the people, particularly the couples they pried apart … for the greater good, of course.
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