Monday, November 12, 2007

Air pollution...not on my watch!

During the election season last year, all of the folks in the newsroom were tossing around their opinions about a statewide smoking ban. There was one common reaction from just about every person to whom I talked and that was, "Ew...I hate smoke. I hope it gets banned in November".

Well I, too, hate the smell of cigarette smoke and the cancer causing ingredients in contains, and the fact that it is the only product on the market that when used as directed kills you. Please don't misunderstand that. However, I think a larger point has been missed here.

Government should have no right to tell a private business owner to whom he can or can't open his doors.

How is it that a "No Smoking" sign couldn't have been enough to tell smokers to go elsewhere to light up? How is it that a "smoking section" isn't enough of an indicator that if non-smokers don't want to smell smoke, then they should be seated in the non-smoking section? So what...because smokers and non-smokers alike couldn't follow the plainly written placards, the tyrannical majority felt it necessary to force a moral highground issue down citizen's throats?
How is that the American way?

Again don't get me wrong here, I hate it that people are addicted to this garbage. This habit is debilitating and kills too many moms, dads, and kids each year. But if you don't want to smell smoke, then don't frequent the establishments that have smoking sections; this includes the ones that are poorly ventilated. If you want to light up after a meal, don't expect a non-smoking restaurant to cater to you or like cliental. How is that hard to understand?

Now, in enclosed spaces where it is difficult or impossible to remove yourself from unwanted secondhand smoke (i.e. a train, subway, or work place) it is pretty universal that smoking is prohibited and only permitted outside of these facilities or in a designated smoking room with ventilation (i.e. large airports). Now that this sweeping ban has passed, smokers don't even have that choice anymore.

This smoking ban should have never made it to the ballot in the first place. It should have been left up to the free market system to handle. If there is a greater demand for non-smoking establishments, then more and more business owners will cater to that crowd. If there is a large smoking population nearby, locally owned, private business should be able to offer goods and services to them without the government's dissatisfaction.

Now that this precedent has been set, what civil liberty will voters take away next? Will they ban private gun ownership because, "I don't like knowing there are guns in my neighborhood"? Will they vote away your right to spend your money at wal-mart because "I don't like that they forced mom-n-pop shops out of business"?

New York is already banning the use of trans fats like there is no tomorrow and the wackos on Capitol Hill are trying to do the same all over the country. When are we finally going to look at the 400lbs. lady who cries that McDonald's made her fat and call her out for her lack of personal responsibility?

I don't need Uncle Sam to save me from myself, thank you, and I don't need the voter to do that either. What if I want trans fats in my hamburger every once in a while? Am I gonna have to go to Canada to get it (did anyone else shutter when they read that)? Come on, people!

Dave Hudson said it best,
"Just pave my road and kill those who are trying to kill me. I'll take care of
the rest".
I wish that was true.



Glad to see you back. Like the new look.

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