Reading Ludwig von Mises Institute President Jeff Deist’s Monday article “All Crises are Local,” I was struck by a mention that “some sheriffs too have stood bravely against impositions of soft martial law” in the name of countering coronavirus.

The link in that passage from Deist’s article is to a Megan Fox article at PJ Media concerning Franklin County Sheriff Scott Nichols announcing his decision to exercise restraint regarding enforcement of Maine Governor Janet T. Mills’ order, purportedly to fight coronavirus, imposing limitations on the exercise of individual rights.

The announcement at the sheriff department’s Facebook page is in regard to Mills’ March 31 stay-at-home order.

In the announcement, Nichols makes clear that he does think there is danger from coronavirus. He recommends that people follow “strict [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] guidelines and recommendations” and “use masks if needed, wash your hands frequently, disinfect, wear gloves and use common sense in all situations.”

However, Nichols also makes it clear that his office will employ discretion to protect people in the county from being subjected to some of the more restrictive implications of the governor’s coronavirus order. Nichols’ announcement begins as follows:

A message from the Sheriff regarding the latest Executive Order

We will not be setting up a Police State. PERIOD.

The Sheriff’s Office will not purposefully go out and stop vehicles because they are on the road or stop and ask why people are out and about. To do so puts our officers at risk. This is not Nazi Germany or Soviet Russia where you are asked for your papers!

What we will take action on, if needed – are those rare situations where there are a lot of people overtly hanging out in public – obviously in defiance of the Governor’s order. Even in that case – we will first educate and try to disperse the group. We will avoid arrests unless absolutely necessary.

Continue reading Nichols’ statement here.

It is refreshing to see a sheriff exercising some independence in the interest of liberty during this coronavirus crackdown. Yet, arresting, even as a last resort, people who insist on exercising their right to assemble is a police state action.

As discussed by hosts Ron Paul and Daniel McAdams in the Tuesday episode of the Ron Paul Liberty Report, there are growing signs across the country of resistance to authoritarian measures imposed by governments in the name of countering coronavirus. More power to the resisters.

Republished by permission of the Ron Paul Institute.

Picture by Paul VanDerWerf from Brunswick, Maine, USA – Saddleback Mountain View, CC BY 2.0, Link.

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