Smoking ban could lead to tyranny

As of May 2010, no restaurant in Michigan will be able to sell cheeseburgers. Cheeseburgers are full of saturated fat and hormones from corporate farms, are unhealthy to the general public and therefore drive up the cost of health care.

Cheeseburgers will still be legal, but those restaurants that sell cheeseburgers after the appointed date will be in violation of the law and will be heavily fined.

Just kidding. It’s a ridiculous idea, right? Yet, we don’t apply the same judgment to the ban on smoking in restaurants, which passed last month and will take effect in May. Why not?

Face it. Smoking is an easy target. Most Americans dislike cigarette smoke and I can understand why.

It’s nasty, it stinks and my wife has asthma, so we can never be around it without her coughing up a storm. My grandmother died of lung cancer from cigarettes.

The U.S. would be a much healthier country if no one else ever picked up another cigarette. Then why does this ban bother me?
What bothers me is private property, as it often does, getting thrown out the window.

The idea that the state legislators can decide whether or not a particular bar owner can have a legal activity go on in his establishment is offensive to me.
Thomas Jefferson said of property rights, “Nothing is ours, which another may deprive us of.”

Property owners have rights to their property as every citizen has rights. No one is forced to visit a place or work at an establishment that allows smoking. That is up to the individual.

My wife and I don’t go to restaurants with heavy smoke, and the sad fact is, no one ever held a gun to my grandmother’s head and forced her to smoke.

This seems like a simple idea, yet we go along with it because this particular mothering of our government is not so distasteful to us. It’s easy to take away the rights of those we find repugnant, but when the same measure is applied to us, we take righteous offense.

By then, it’s too late.

Precedent is set, tyranny established, power’s foot wedged in the door.

How many people die from liver failure, or drunk driving every year? How many families are destroyed by alcohol?

Yet the idea of prohibition seems a silly idea today, as it should, because “lifestyle legislation” does nothing more than take away the freedoms of consenting adults.

Smoking isn’t popular. It’s not healthy or good for society, and it’s certainly not too smart, but the last thing I think we need from our broke, job-leaking state is some maternal rule to prevent adults from making adult decisions.

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