Sunday, December 02, 2007

Good idea, bad law...again...

I stopped smoking in our house when our first child was born, and quit altogether shortly thereafter. I know smoking is expensive, and I strongly suspect that it isn't healthy.

Smoking also leaves an odor on objects that most non-smokers find objectionable. That's one of the reasons my wife doesn't allow smoking in her furniture store or upholstery shop. For her part, its simply a good business decision.

It looks like Richmond is going to start considering placing a smoking ban on privately owned property. I'm sure there will be a lot of arguing from both sides of the debate, and if things go the way they have been going around the rest of the country, private property owners will lose some more control over their property.

We also saw an attempt recently to fund a children's health program with tobacco taxes. My question would be, if tax revenues fall off significantly because of a smoking ban, should the government have the ability to force private property owners to allow smoking on their property?

I've asked that question before, and the answer always seems to be that the government has the duty to protect us from smoke. But a lot of people that answer that way also feel the government has an obligation to pay for people's healthcare. But that doesn't answer the question.

It's difficult to keep discussions about smoking bans on point. Those discussions normally turn to the health aspects of smoking. This ban, like so many others, is really about private property rights. Every time we allow the government to violate those rights, we give the government a little more power, and we give up a little more freedom.


Blogger Brian said...

Amen brother. Until folks begin to understand the roots of our freedoms and liberties they will continue to blindly allow the political class to shackle us.

9:35 AM  

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