, Newburyport, MA

February 14, 2013

Restricting personal movement just not right

Newburyport Daily News

---- — To the editor:

Under the precept of public safety, our governor issued an executive order restricting our movements Feb. 8. The language specifies motor vehicle travel.

However, there is a concern I share with many about the precedent here.

Restricting personal movement simply doesn’t feel right when declared by a government, even if it’s done for public safety issues.

I ask, therefore, what precedent have we established in “liberal” Massachusetts? Furthermore, how does the governor lift this ban safely? When the highways are cleared? With pent-up anxiety, curiosity factor and necessity, roadways can easily be clogged with motorists and certainly the snow dangers will not be eliminated in most places.

Common sense as a standard is never out of style. When a government attempts to legislate it, you create an equal number of dangers compared to the number you potentially eliminate.

I went out in the storm well dressed for the occasion Friday night. I relished in the experience, for walking daily is my mode of exercise and, in particular, coping with different conditions is too. This particular event also harkened back to my youthful days when playing outdoors in the snow was a rite of childhood. But when I saw several cars fleeting back and forth on Route 97 and scurring up side streets, it was simply surreal to know that I was in the company of those who were commiting civil disobedience.

Joe D’Amore