Cave City Takes a Stand?
Reason has a post about the defeat of a smoking ban in nearby Cave City, KY (better know as the home of Mammoth Cave).
Monday's vote against a proposed smoking ban by the Cave City Council benefits both local citizens and those across the commonwealth.Louisville is supposed to vote soon on similar ban. I don't smoke. I never have. But I don't really support it either. People ask me if I want to go to smoky places. I don't want to. So I don't go. It's as simple as that. I've left bars because they were too smoky. If I go to the local comedy club, I go to the non-smoking show (which they were smart enough to offer).
Mayor Bob Hunt, who cast the tie-breaking vote, made it clear that smoking bans threaten private-property rights and the choices available to consumers.
"I voted not to pass a ban because I don't feel like government should tell private business owners who help support the city with their taxes what to do about smoking," Hunt told the Bluegrass Institute. "I respect those people who see this as strictly a health issue, but I also respect the man who has invested in his business and is trying to make a living."
I think smoking should be banned in places I have to go (government buildings, etc.) but private businesses can make their own decisions. Then I can make mine about whether or not I patronize them.
This post strikes at the heart of the issue, not just the issue of smoking, but the deeper issue of where our society seems to be moving. While the issue typically brought up is one of second-hand smoke, the push for this type of regulation is much stronger than just protecting people who do not wish to smoke. Rather, this type of legistlation is one of our society's more recent attempts to answer how the law should protect people from their own choices.
Tobacco is controlled substance. By this I mean adults are able to purchase this item in the same manner they can purchase and use alcohol. Or pornographic materials for that matter. All are considered harmful, and some are proven to be bad for you in certain conditions. But all of these items are legal to own and use. Restricting our use of these items in private businesses bothersome. Not bothersome in a "irritant" manner, but bothersome in a "this goes against the principals for which we strive" manner.
I want my government to protect me "from enemies foreign and domestic," but I should not be restricted from making bad choices. I am happy to grant the government ability to protect others if I am a danger to them, but this is vastly different than protecting myself from making bad decisions. Rather, I want to be allowed—encouraged even—to make choices AND then learn how to deal with the consequences.
It is only be accepting responsibility for myself that I can grow and mature. Children who desperately need a caretaker do not make a positive impact on society but mature citizens can. Let’s start to pay attention to the what will help us grow rather than stilt us into thinking we need some big parent to tell us what we can and cannot do.