I-901: the great conservative sellout
The source of my problem is Initiative 901, which is intended to effectively ban smoking anywhere but reservations and your own house (you might get away with it if you stand in the middle of an intersection too). Of course, you'll also probably have to be careful that you shut all your doors and close all your windows and light up in the basement...just in case your neighbor smells it inside his equally sealed house, get's a headache and lung cancer, files a complaint, or worse, sues you to pay for his lung transplant. If you happen to own a bar that smokers like to frequent, you'd better get a whole new set of customers because catering to smokers will be against the law.
Property rights? What are those?
Susan Rosenberry of The Western Front did a good job of covering it in last Friday's issue. One quote that struck me:
If it passes, the initiative would ban smoking inside Washington public spaces, including restaurants, bars, bowling alleys and public transportation vehicles such as taxis, said Dr. Chris Covert-Bowlds, a Bellingham physician and sponsor of the initiative. The smoking restriction would also extend to 25 feet away from the entrance of the public establishment, he said.
“It’s not that we are trying to force people to stop smoking,” Covert-Bowlds said. “We are just trying to protect employees’ rights to breathe smoke-free air.”
WHAT RIGHT WAS THAT? Where do we keep coming up with all these new-and-improved, extraconstitutional rights? What right can an employee claim if they knew they were applying to work in a smoke-filled environment?
A friend of mine who is a leader in the Whatcom County Republican Party (he helped write our county platform last year) had this to say about his support for the initiative when I asked him (email excerpt):
Never ask an ex-smoker (like me) how they feel about smoking! We converts/previous smokers all hate it and can't stand the smell of it!...Bottom line, your ability to smoke ends at the end of my nose and if I can smell it, you can't do it. Majority always rules sooner or later.
I have never heard anything quite so abhorrent to the basic principles of our constitution or the free market. He complained he can never bowl because they all are smoking establishments. So? Start your own bowling alley...don't sit there and force them, through trumped-up laws, to cater to you just because you have a medical aversion to something they do.
Is there a better way of saying this that I'm missing? Is something unclear? Does anyone know what private property means?
Smoking is still legal. Until it is outlawed, I will not support anything that restricts a business owner's right to cater to smokers. I'm sorry if your nose starts running and you get a headache...I sometimes do too. You've survived up to this point.
The government isn't here to make laws for my convenience!
Crossposted at Western Washington Unraveled