BIG BROTHER RUN AMOK – AGAIN
Posted by pzguru on Wednesday, May 9, 2007
So I was watching TV this evening and sy the glorious press coverage of the Howard County smoking ban, and it dawned on me that what I was watching was historic. Not in the sense of something that should be remembered, but in the sense of how out of control BIG BROTHER has gotten in the last few years with no signs of improving.
The owner of the Mi Casa restaurant spoke and indicated that he had already banned smoking in his restaurant, before the County law took effect. No issue with him taking that action. If he felt that was the right thing for his business and his clientele, then he has every right to do so.
However, my issue with the “ban smoking everywhere band wagon” is that there are already many other establishments that have VOLUNTARILY banned smoking in their buildings. That being the case, why is there a need for total abloishment? It seems that the pro-smoker to anti-smoker status is about 40-60. If all of the anti-smoker owned establishments banned smoking, and the pro-smoker establishments allowed smoking, wouldn’t that be a fair result? Doesn’t that leave the choice to the business owner, as should be the case in a free-market society? I understand the health concerns – employees who don’t to work in an establishment wouldn’t have to. They’d have a choice. Smokers wouldn’t be left out in the cold (literally), they’d have a choice. SIDE NOTE: the cardiologist who performed my heart scan informed me that the are minimal health concerns for someone who smokes less that 1 pack a day. He said that amount is essentially no more risky than breathing the air outside because the body can process and counter the effects. It’s only when people smoke more than their body can handle, that serious health impacts come into play. I don’t know exactly how much second hand smoke equates to 1 pack a day, but it would be interesting to know. Anyway – the employee choice factor over-rides the second hand smoke argument.
The other oddity with the smoking/anti-smoking push and pull is that if it really came down to a pure health issue, then what other aspects of our lives and businesses will be intruded on next? There are already several cities that are pushing to ban trans fats. What’s next? Ban all fast food establishments? Mandate serving raw vegetables at movie theaters instead of popcorn? Outlaw Halloween, Valentine’s Day, and Easter since those are candy infested events? Why not abolish alcohol (oops – tried that already)?
I realize that the people who support the smoking ban think they are doing the right thing. But taking away freedoms and choices given to the people by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights is not the right thing to do. It’s a slippery slope that should be avoided.