Freedom Comes To NJ: The Trails of Atilis Gym

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Say what you want about that wacky COVID thingie I am trying hard to forget, but when it comes to local business people winning out over Draconian, self-serving state or Federal laws (sorry, did I reveal a prejudice/bias there?) I am down for the fight every time.

If you are from New Jersey, you might have heard of Ian Smith of Atilis Gym in Bellmawr, who went against our good governors’ VID lockdown orders by keeping his gym open during the pandemic…and incurring a slew of court summonses doing so. Police actually arrested some of the gym’s members as they left their workouts at Smith’s gym. (Yeah, read that sentence again and see if you don’t feel some douche chills!) Smith, with the gym’s co-owner Frank Trumbetti, faced more than eighty summonses, charging Atilis (at the time viewed as a non-essential business by the state) with as much “violating a governor’s orders,” “operating without a mercantile license,” and lastly, because of the controversy “creating a public nuisance and disturbing the peace.”

At one point our NJ Attorney General recommended Smith and Trumbetti be saddled with fines up to $10,000 a day…and imprisonment! Following an appeal in court ruling on state fines, Atilis was ordered to pay $165,000 in fines for violating NJ public health emergency rules.

Now we learn, all charges, state and municipal, against Atilis have been dropped.

As the fall-out from the COVID shutdown continues, and we learn daily about truths either not considered or kept from the public. As we all need to take a good hard long look at our responses during the past crisis of culture and how they dovetailed and were influenced by our political views more than they ever were by good science (if ever there was really good science applied during the pandemic); as we dissect just what complete and utter havoc social media brought to our lives during the shutdown, before and surely now as we amp up into a political circus; and how lastly, no matter what truth is unearthed, about any topic, be in the VID or aliens among us, once one’s opinion is set (and again set these days mainly because of political tribalism) one won’t soon change that opinion for fact, we can at least applaud freedom in a very small way with Atilis Gym’s latest victory.


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