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Douglas Roosa: Family fleeing America should have refused help at sea

To the editor:

Note to the Gastonguay family: So you decide to leave America on a small boat and sail to some remote island in the Pacific with “zero knowledge and experience in navigation,” according to an article in the Aug. 12 Gazette, because you grew tired of paying taxes for things you don’t agree with, and feel that the United States is interfering with your religious freedom. (The Arizona family was featured in an Associated Press story about their rescue at sea by a Venezuelan fishing boat captain.)

But then you get lost at sea, see your boat heavily damaged, run out of supplies, and likely would have sunk or starved were it not for a Venezuelan helicopter that spotted you, a Japanese cargo ship that took you in and deposited you in Chile, and the U.S. Embassy that arranged your flight back to the United States.

I, too, have a problem with some taxes I have to pay, among them money that goes to rescuing fools like yourself who attempt something extraordinarily stupid to avoid paying taxes and then must rely on — or, worse yet, feel entitled to — the very services those taxes provide.

If freedom from taxation and freedom to worship are your goals, then you have every right to pick up and leave for kinder shores, but next time please do it in a way that doesn’t require a multinational rescue operation.

Douglas Roosa



Religious family encounters rough seas in bid to leave US

Sunday, August 11, 2013

PHOENIX — A northern Arizona family has survived being lost at sea for weeks after an ill-fated attempt to leave the U.S. over what they consider government interference in religion. Hannah Gastonguay and her family were set to fly back home Sunday after taking their two small children and her father-in-law and setting sail from San Diego for the tiny …

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