Mask requirements are controversial, to say the least. Many argue that requiring the face coverings interferes with their personal freedom. Others thing it’s a common-sense requirement and anyone who doesn’t want to wear one is a selfish jerk who just wants to kill grandma.
No, honestly, those are the arguments I’ve seen.
Wherever you fall on the spectrum when it comes to masks, though, let’s understand that mask requirements don’t come without problems that have nothing to do with personal freedom or COVID-19. No, there are potentially bigger issues.
Shocking surveillance footage shows a gunman fire at point blank range at a crawling 17-year-old teen, fatally blasting him in the head during a running gun battle in the Bronx.
Footage released by the NYPD shows civilians standing unaware Thursday afternoon outside 1705 Hoe Avenue in Crotona as two men in black hoodies engage with a group of teens across the street.
As some of those involved start to cross the street, they are shown darting away at the apparent start of gunfire — with some of those fleeing also holding weapons.
Kether Werts, 17, was shown trying to race away — but falling to the ground after getting shot in the foot, police said.
His killer then ran up and held his gun right up to his head as he fired the fatal shot as the teen tried to crawl away.
You’d think that if there’s video, IDing the suspect should be fairly easy, but you’d be wrong. See, they’re wearing masks in compliance with COVID-inspired rules.
The suspect and an accomplice wore masks, which obscures their identity.
That requirement also makes it so any video of the neighborhood shows people still wearing masks as they leave the scene of the crime. There’s not going to be any video of them without the mask because they don’t have to remove it to avoid suspicion. Instead, the mask-wearers look like law-abiding citizens to the police.
And that made to wonder just how much of the spike in violent crime is because of anti-police sentiment and just how much may be tied to the requirement in many places for people to wear masks.
Here in Georgia, we have a law banning the wearing of masks. It’s an anti-Klan law designed to make it so people couldn’t obscure their identity, but now that’s gone out the window with COVID. The same is true many other places.
Even those where masks aren’t required tend to encourage them.
As a result, those who are looking to settle some scores have to believe that, to some extent, they can hide their faces and potentially avoid repercussions. The police aren’t going to stop people wearing masks anymore, so why not? Because of the masks, the risks are mitigated in ways that wouldn’t have been permissible prior to the coronavirus arriving on American shores. Now, you can wear a mask and not have to fear arrest anymore.
My personal thoughts are that while this isn’t likely the sole driver of the violence, it likely is a contributing factor, one we would do well to at least acknowledge.
At that point, the discussion needs to be whether more lives are saved or cost due to the masks and go from there.
Unfortunately, masks are bordering on the sacred for many right now and so they’re not interested in having that discussion. That’s a shame, too, because I can’t help but believe that violent crime is at least somewhat tied to those requirements.