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Published in the Washington Post, a local professor talks civil liberties during coronavirus

Posted at 7:06 AM, May 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-08 08:06:43-04

KILLEEN, TX — Published in the Washington Post for his ideas on civil liberties during the pandemic, Dr. Timothy Hemmis of A&M Central Texas is gaining attention.

“We’re seeing that in these protests, people are upset, and some are rightfully so, some have lost their jobs, they are hurting“ exclaimed Hemmis.

In an article entitled 'The Founders drew a line between peaceful protest and armed insurrection' Hemmis, an Assistant Professor of History at A&M Central Texas makes comparisons between our current American climate to that of the Whiskey Rebellion of the 1790s.

"The COVID-19 pandemic and the protests are challenging our individual liberties, and our constitution, in new ways much like the Whiskey Rebellion did 226 years ago“ said Hemmis.

Hemmis noting the major difference is that people are bringing guns openly.

Explaining further its been centuries since the last notable occurrence of armed protests of this type.

“It’s going to raise a lot of these questions like our first amendment, is there going to be in importance between the first and the second amendment?" asked Hemmis.

He describes being inspired to write the Washington Post in regard to American civil liberties after seeing protests across the nation, but specifically in his home state, that had armed protesters in attendance.

He explains the pandemic and the subsequent shelter in place orders have people on edge, and the lines between the first and second amendments are graying even further.

“It’s going to challenge our ideas and notions about individual liberties...does public safety come first or does your first amendment?...So again this is challenging the framework of our Constitution“ said Hemmis.

Explaining the legislation create during this time mirrors that of historically trying times in US.

“The response for the pandemic has been almost like we’re going to war, and so you’ll see you know legislation that will be mirroring those kinds of activities,” said Hemmis.