“THESE are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.”, so said Thomas Paine in 1776.
Today some feel as if we are in that same mind set with Master Paine. He was describing the tyranny of George the Third, King of England and the fight by the militia against the greatest army in the world at that time. However, the adversary today is not some red coated soldier but an invisible microbe without either allegiance or creed.
There are those who are protesting in the name of “their rights” and in the name of “freedom” but such bumper slogans are meaningless without context and commitment. Neither rights nor freedom are unconstrained conduct – quite the contrary. With greater freedom and rights comes greater responsibility. Either, without responsibility, is prone to chaos and anarchy. Doing only what one wants despite the consequences is deleterious to the country and to society as a whole. The compact we have made with each other is to abide by a set of rules enacted by those who we have elected from among us. These rules we call laws. Within the spectrum of our Constitution we agree to give up diverse rights and freedoms to ensure the well being of all and the orderly operation of society. When I was a young airman in basic training many decades ago, I had a training instructor state that, “Your rights end where my nose begins.” A catchy little phrase, very pithy and quite appropriate. In essence, it says that you do not have the right to do anything which injures me or invades my well-being. You, for example, are free to drink to excess – but not then to drive on a public roadway. You are free to express all manner of opinion – but not to incite riot. You are free to possess a firearm – but not if you are involved in federal prohibitions to such, for example you use medical marijauna. It is unfortunate that terms like “lockdown” and “quarantine” are bandied about in a fashion which creates a dystopian mental image. Rather, we should be looking at our situation of what are we doing to help the remedy to the current crisis. Patriotism is not a matter of flags and fireworks. Patriotism is about sweat and toil and sacrifice for the welfare and greater good of the nation. Much is made of the so-called “Greatest Generation”. That is actually just a book title. It is more important to understand what the moniker is saying and why. That generation endured much and sacrificed greatly to overcome a major global depression and a world war with three aligned enemies to vanquish. They endured rationing of foods, services and supplies. They were limited as to the amounts of things which they could purchase, including gasoline for their cars. But they did not pull out of those fights before they were over. They did not say after the defeat of the U.S. Army at the Kasserine Pass or the fall of Corregidor– we quit, this is too hard.
What the general public is experiencing is similar to what clients being prosecuted by the government always experience. There is uncertainty as to the outcome. There is concern as to the length of time a case takes. For some there is the pre-trial incarceration which they have no ability to change. It is always necessary to remember that those held in pretrial custody or detention are presumed innocent of the charges against them. Our law office is very experienced at handling these uncertainties and the fears which come with them. Just as I stated in the opening of this monologue, the question is what can we do to help. Whether it is a depression, a war, a pandemic or a federal prosecution – it will take sweat, toil, perseverance and sacrifice to obtain a successful outcome. Our job is to insure the government abides by its own rules and that you are treated above board and fairly. That we do not let the government run roughshod over you or your rights. We are your champion and defender. So I encourage everyone to practice safe distancing, stay home, stay healthy and if you are sick see a trained medical provider with a demonstrated commitment to a successful outcome. But if you have a federal legal matter then give us a call, and we will attend to your well being in that context. We are Your Federal Criminal Defender.