It’s rare that I agree with Michael D. over at Balloon Juice, but today he hit one out of the park.
I’m extremely happy to walk into a bar or restaurant and not have smoke blown in my face. And as happy as I am not to come home stinking of smoke, I’m even happier when I know that people – including the people that own bars, restaurants, shopping centers, office buildings and bowling alleys – are allowed to exercise their right to cater to whomever they wish. Yes, governments have banned smoking in these private places. That does not mean they have a right to.
Commenter capelza also gets an inside the park home run.
And as someone mentioned above, the figures cited for deaths related to obesity have now equaled or surpassed those for smoking. So as a public health issue, again, there has to be an honest recognition of what’s going on in this country.
You go girl.
Read the comment thread for that post. It’s amusing (and frightening) how unhinged zero-tolerance anti-smoking zealots can be. These are the militant leftists. These are the nanny statists. These are the real fascists. Smokers are an easy target, a scapegoat for all the evil in the millitant non-smoker’s illusory utopia. If only the evil, nasty smokers would go away, the world would be perfect.
First they came for smokers in workplaces and restaurants, then bars, then all “public places” (including private businesses). 25 feet from building entrances, soon to be a mile. Now they’re going after smoking in private residences. Since smokers are an easy target, they are routinely discriminated against by employers: quit or be fired. Where will it end?
Watch out for your alcohol, drinkers, that’s next. Temperance movements are back in style. Watch out for the next Carrie A. Nation. She’s got a hatchet with your particular vice’s name on it. Freeze! Drop that cheeseburger fatty!
I’m in favor of universal alcohol bans. Drunks are public nuisances and it does nothing but kill your liver anyway.
I’m also in favor of universal driving bans. Car emissions are smelly and turn inner cities into smog-havens.
On top of that, I’m in favor of universal fat bans. You’re killing yourself by overeating and creating a drain on our public health resources, so its off to the government fat farm for you, tubby!
Surrender rights of others you don’t like and you’ll soon see your own precious freedoms evaporate before your eyes. You don’t like some guy smoking? I’m sure he can find something that you enjoy that he hates. He’s on to you, buddy, if you want to play that game. Back and forth you go, round and round, until there’s nothing left. So much for liberty. It’s passe these days.
Enjoy your chains.
Update: Perry Como (who I thought was dead) comes back from the grave with some pearls of logic:
Smokers are a hated minority so they are an easy target to pile on. But don’t worry if you are a non-smoker. Once the zealots have enacted a de facto ban on smoking, they will find some vice of yours and come after you next.
Update 2: Think I’m exaggerating? Meet the neo-prohibitionists: Prohibition Returns!