A few years ago when my youngest son was about to enter seventh grade at Warren County Middle School, we received a letter from the Health Department.
The letter informed us our son was behind on his vaccinations and needed two shots in order to enter seventh grade. We read the letter, let it sit on the kitchen counter for a couple days as we seem to do with most things, and then called the Health Department for an appointment.
That was four short years ago.
When we received the letter, I didn’t give a single thought to the vaccinations jeopardizing my son’s freedoms as a U.S. citizen. It never occurred to me the state might be trampling his constitutional rights. I didn't see the shots as un-American.
It’s odd how things have changed in just a few years. There's now a groundswell of political opposition to vaccines despite their tremendous success in eradicating disease.
Thanks to vaccinations, cases of smallpox, diphtheria, measles, mumps, rubella and polio have all decreased by 99.7% or higher over the past 100 years, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
It seems like math is certainly on the side of vaccinations. I wish I had 99.7% odds of winning when playing the lottery. I’d own a large yacht and small island by now.
Yet lawmakers continue to rally against vaccinations. Our very own Tennessee Sen. Janice Bowling sent me an email Thursday publicizing a rally she helped lead earlier in the day at the State Capitol in Nashville.
Bowling is calling on lawmakers to convene a special session of the Tennessee General Assembly to address what she terms massive COVID-19 government overreach. The rally follows a letter requesting a special session submitted by Bowling and signed by several other senators.
“The people of Tennessee want the General Assembly to fulfill our oath,” said Sen. Bowling in the release. “They are concerned about the massive government overreach with unconstitutional mandates issued in response to COVID-19. We have received letters, emails and calls regarding the great concern our constituents have for job loss, discrimination in school, invasion of privacy, and coercion in the workplace. These are violations of their personal liberties and medical decisions. We must convene a special session to ensure that the God-given, constitutionally protected liberties of Tennesseans are secure.”
Bowling went on to say, “These calls for action have intensified as a result of the unconstitutional federal edicts and tyrannical threats issued from the Oval Office last week. There should be no mandate for an experimental prophylactic shot. There should also be no governmental overreach into parental authority over medical interventions for their children. ”
Sen. Bowling’s views are different from my own and I don’t mind giving her space for her opinions. I’m that nice of a guy.
My thoughts, however, are completely opposite. I would never want to discourage someone from taking a vaccine that could save their life.
Standard editor James Clark can be reached at 473-2191.