By now, the saga of Atilis Gym in Bellmawr, New Jersey has become almost laughable.

There’s a debate that rages on about whether the two owners who decided to defy executive orders and reopen their gym are either patriots or criminals, depending on whom you talk to. Gym's owners Ian Smith and Frank Trumbetti, apparently being harassed by Gov. Phil Murphy as a personal vendetta for not following his orders, are still fighting.

First mistake: They opened with fanfare, trying to prove a point. There are many underground gyms that are open in New Jersey that are a well-kept secret, just like the speakeasies during prohibition. These guys called too much attention to themselves and ruffled Murphy’s feathers and ego in the process. Apparently to spite them, Murphy decided to keep gyms closed longer than just about any other business in the state. They defied him over and over again, prompting Murphy to send out health separtment officials, police, any guns he could dig up from his arsenal to try to intimidate them into closing again. Finally, local officials doing the bidding of Gov. “My-Way-Or-The-Highway” Murphy just arrested them.

On principle, these guys had no other option but to bust through the barrier and kick through the doors that Murphy's New Jersey had sealed up tight. Do you blame them? Enough is enough. Not just for Atilis Gym, but for every business in the state. These guys have been harassed, maligned in the press, and had their incomes basically stolen from them. According to FoxNews.com, when they posted the barricade breach on their Instagram, they did so with this statement “You will not trample one [sic] our rights and you will not destroy our lives. We will not back down. Ever."

I’m surprised that more business owners don’t do the exact same thing and If it were my family suffering like this, I would urge them to do so.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco. Any opinions expressed are Judi's own.

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