|From one of the articles Flux has linked: "The do-gooders are winning out," Meagher said. "This is people who never had a fun time trying to take all the fun out of life."|
That makes my blood boil. First of all, saying "do-gooders" as if it's a bad thing!!!! And then saying that those who want public smoking stamped out have just had no fun in their lives and are trying to extinguish fun for everyone else. And what's more, that very very dangerous and ludicrous implication that cigarettes = fun!
What a crock!
Now, this making it illegal thing is a little bit sticky. It makes me nervous to give a government more power, especially having been raised in what I consider to be a super conservative household. But freedom relies on responsibility, doesn't it? You're individual responsibility not to infringe on my freedoms, and my individual responsibility not to infringe on yours. Well, smokers infringe on my freedom to breathe comfortably. And I'm going to leave bars out of my discussion for now, since that seems like an even touchier place for this debate than the others. And, if I had my way, I'd infringe on a smoker's freedom to indulge in her vice--because of my breathing. This doesn't really seem to be a place where compromise is possible, and if it is, I can't see it. So this is one place where individual responsibility can't bring us freedom because each side's freedom is so violated by the other's.
So, what about respect? I don't respect a smoker's freedom to smoke. And from experience, they don't appear to respect my freedom to breathe comfortably.
Also, I didn't know that smoking was constitutionally protected. Let me check. Nope, it isn't. The constitution does protect the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, right? As far as I can see, public smoking violates all three of those things--for everyone. And yes, I realize that maybe using the constitution to bolster (what I'll loosely term) my argument is about as powerful to some as using the Bible in an argument. But just because those documents have flaws does not mean that Thou Shalt Kill.