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Letter: What happened to personal responsibility?

The letter written by Jim Jirele in the Tribune of May 1 resonated with me and I had to respond. I am not a personal friend of Lisa Hanson; I know her only slightly from being a customer at her husband’s business. In addition, I agree that she did break what was a state law, be it a necessary law or an exercise in government tactics to control people.  But Mr. Jirele’s statement that Mrs. Hanson was “promoting the spread of a deadly disease” makes me wonder what has happened to personal responsibility in our society. A business can have an open door, the lights are on, the music is playing, the food is ready to be served, but if no one comes through that door, it changes the entire scenario. In the midst of a pandemic, any reasonable person who felt uncomfortable around other people not in their families would simply not patronize any business that might lead to him or her becoming ill. The mere reason that a location is open for business in no way pressures people to enter that business. We all have the freedom of choice; it’s one of the great blessings of living in America that many other countries do not enjoy. That means that any choice a person makes will have consequences, either positive or negative. And, we are all responsible for the choices we make. Unless Mrs. Hanson employed people in front of her building who strong-armed others to enter the bistro, those who did were responsible for their actions.  Yes, if the business was shuttered and locked no one would be tempted, but we are all tempted on a daily basis to do things that might not be in our best interest, and it’s our responsibility to do what is right for us as well as what might be right for others. I’m definitely not a constitutional scholar, so I can’t argue whether anyone’s rights were violated but I do know that when I make any decision that affects my well-being, I will take responsibility for that decision and I expect others to do the same.

Sandy Olson