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Nashville councilwoman: No mask should earn you an attempted murder charge

In addition to its myriad adverse health effects, COVID-19 also has caused fevered political outbreaks, sometimes leading to violence.

Masks often drive these arguments.

The most atrocious of these cases occurred in Flint, Michigan, back in May. Then, three people were charged with first-degree murder after a security guard at a Family Dollar was shot and killed following an altercation with them as he tried to enforce the state’s mask mandate for retail stores.

The pro-maskers, though, are also prone to violence, in playing the enforcer. In Utah, for example, after a man assaulted a woman in a Walmart when she was not wearing a mask, the local sheriff’s department had to issue a warning: “It’s not people’s responsibility to be the mask police.”

Well, a public official in Tennessee wanted to ratchet things up a notch or two.

During a special session of the Nashville Metro Council last week, Councilwoman Sharon Hurt posed a question of penalties for people who refuse to wear masks. The city’s mandatory mask ordinance took effect in early July. Violators can be charged with a misdemeanor.

Hurt thought that was insufficient.

“My question goes back to legislation. I don’t know if Mike Jameson (a senior adviser to the mayor) could be the one to answer the question, but my concern is — you know I work for an organization, that if they pass a virus, then they are tried for murder or attempted murder, if they are not told … and this person who may very well pass this virus that’s out in the air because they’re not wearing a mask is basically doing the same thing to someone who contracts it and dies from it,” Hurt said.

Hurt, according to local media, serves as executive director of Street Works, which among other things provides testing and education services to those with AIDS and HIV.

At the meeting, Hurt added, “It seems to me that we have been more reactive, as opposed to proactive, and a little too late, too little. So, my thing is, maybe there should be legislation, stronger legislation, I don’t know if Mike Jameson is… can speak to it, but maybe there needs to be stronger legislation to say that if you do not wear a mask and you subject exposure of this virus to someone else then there will be some stronger penalty as it is in other viruses that are exposed.”

Jameson responded that only the legislature could make criminal laws.

To which Hurt replied, “I was afraid that was going to be the answer, but I guess that’s the whole point of asking for something to be done as early as the council was pushing you know, it was not – it seems – that it wasn’t taken as seriously as it should have been, and thus we are in the situation that we’re in right now.”

PHOTO: Metro Police

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