Weather Forecast


Letter: Against smoke-free legislation

Dear Editor,

Why is it that people are missing the point entirely? Last week's editorial, "Smoking ban has pros, cons, "but is generally best for all" shows the ignorance of people today.

Why is it OK with people to let the government take away our basic rights? Quoting Carl Shurz, "If you want to be free, there is but one way; it is to guarantee an equally full measure of liberty to all your neighbors. There is no other."

You shouldn't have to be a smoker to be outraged. It isn't even about smoking.

The Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution provides protection to "life, liberty, or property." The smoking ban violates the 14th Amendment. Businesses, although open to the public, are private property, and a private business should have the right to run that business as they wish: smoking, non-smoking or some combination thereof.

Most people who support a smoking ban fall back on the argument that non-smokers shouldn't be subject to second-hand smoke. To that I say, "Don't go to an establishment that allows smoking - it's as simple as that."

The other argument offered in last week's editorial to allow our rights to be taken away was "many workers in establishments that allow smoking who are forced to inhale second-hand smoke."

I work as a server in a sports bar that allows smoking. I choose to work in a smoking bar; I was not forced to work there. Please let me decide for myself what is a threat to my health and what is not. I choose everyday what to eat, how much to eat and what beverages to consume that will affect my health. Is it alright for the government to tell me I can't have a doughnut, red meat, soda or alcohol (I am over 21)? When does it stop? How much is enough?

I suspect that the true reason for most people to support a smoking ban in all private businesses is that they just don't like it. And since they don't smoke, who cares if others' rights are taken away. It doesn't affect them.

I wonder what people will do when the government decides soda has no health benefits and therefore should be illegal to consume. Or you are overweight and by some new law only allowed to get half as much ice cream. Or fast food, or doughnuts? After all, it "is generally best for all" and our health if these items are illegal. Think of the savings in health care!

Please, please stop protecting me from my own stupidity -- I still have a right to be stupid, right?