Thursday, May 17, 2007

Minnesota Smoking Ban

Hallelujah!! Even though I live in Wisconsin, I can't wait for the smoking ban to take effect in Minnesota (Oct. 1). First of all, I work in Minnesota. In fact my paycheck comes from the Minnesota state government. Secondly, I go to restaurants in Minneota more often than I do in Wisconsin and this means that I will spend even more time in the Minnesota establishments and less time (and money) in Wisconsin.

There is a huge difference of opinion(s) on this issue. Many people are crying in their beers over this one. "We're going to go out of business." "The sky is falling." "Don't tell me what to do." "How can they do this when smoking is legal?"

It is that last comment that gets my dander up a bit. The most common defense that I hear against the smoking ban is that smoking is a legal activity, therefore we should be able to do it anywhere we please.

Huh?? Since when is that logical??

Example 1: It is legal to drive a car as long as you have a driver's license and follow certain rules. NOTE: "as long as you follow certain rules!!" Can you drive your car down a sidewalk? No! In court can you plead innocence because "Hey, driving a car is a legal activity!!" No, you can't. Those rules are especially intended to keep you from harming other people.

Example 2: Sexual relations between two consenting adults is generally a legal activity. Always? NO!! Can you engage in sexual conduct in a public place in plain sight? NO! Is it going to be your defense that you were both consenting adults and therefore sexual relations are okay? No, it is only okay under certain conditions .... if you follow the rules, both written and unwritten. Those rules are especially intended to keep you from harming other people.

Example 3: Drinking alcohol can be a legal activity, but can you do it anywhere, anytime, and engage in any other activity that you want at the same time (like driving)? NO!! There are rules about that. Those rules are especially intended to keep you from harming other people.

How is this any different, except that it came along 25-30 years too late? They aren't saying that you CANNOT smoke. They are saying that you can only smoke under certain circumstances, in other words, if you follow the rules. Those rules are especially intended to keep you from harming other people. Get over it.


Anonymous said...

Nice.....your amazing, I totally agree wtih that. And your point of views are well put and easily understandale. DW--Do Work

Anonymous said...

Very good... I like it.. I am a smoker and I smoke outside at home and I do not smoke inside my vehicle. So for me smoking outside is a good thing. ON the other hand some of the rules need to be somewhat sympathetic to people, smoker or not. Such as the no smoking in a bar (good) but you are not allowed to leave an establishment with alcohol. I have no problem with going outside to smoke, but please let me at least enjoy my beer wile I'm out there.
Second, A preexisting smoking shelter must not have 4 standing walls, that is absurd. this is Minnesota people, the wind is not friendly. Such as the one at lake superior college, it is the only designated smoking area on campus. The shelter is not enclosed, and it has a fan set up to ensure airflow. The shelter is set up with ashtrays and such so cigarette butts are not put on the ground. But because of this smoking bans wording they must now remove 2 of the walls so that it complies with the rules.
I smoke outside, but I am only human.

Anonymous said...

You make some convincing arguments. But you're missing the bigger picture. This smoking ban is not about non-smokers being healthy. It's about whether or not government should be allowed to regulate legal activities happening on private property. While no, you should not drink and drive or bang like monkeys in public, what about drinking in private at a buddy's house? What about having sex in the privacy of your own home. If I don't want to see someone have sex, I'll refrain from going to their house when they're getting it on. Likewise, I refrain from hanging around with people when they are drunk. That said, I also have the choice to frequent establishments which choose (or would choose if the rat bastards in the state government would keep their sticky little fingers out of things they have no business in) to allow smoking. My apartment building recently decided that all the buildings are smoke free in the public and private areas of the buildings. That my dear, is a severe overstepping of boundaries. It's just the logical extension of a screwed up "law" banning smoking in areas frequented by the public (which the public has every right to choose whether or not to frequent). Truly public places such as courts where the public has little choice of whether to be there or not is one thing. Private places of business and employment which "is frequented by the public" is an entirely different story. Please think about this.
By the way, I am not, nor have I ever been a smoker. However, I am passionate about maintaining our civil liberties in the face of an increasingly unconstitutional attack.