BEWARE BIG BROTHER - Smoking Proposal Fraught With Danger

(01/06/2005)

By Gaylen Duskey

realfang@citlink.net

I don't smoke. I think it is a low and disgusting habit. As a matter of fact I would not care if everyone on earth stopped smoking tomorrow and all the tobacco companies went out of business.

That said, the thought of someone smoking is not near as repulsive and frightening as the plan the Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department has come up with.

If the plan is to go into effect many people and businesses will lose a valuable right - the right of freedom of choice.

The plan of Big Brother, er, the Calhoun Board of Health through the auspices of the Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department, is to make it illegal to smoke, or allow smoking, in any restaurant. The restaurant and its smoking customers are threatened with fines ranging from $200 to $1,000.

This is all being done, board member Jennifer Cox was quoted as saying, "for the children." Why does it seem that every time some governmental agency or some simpering namby-pamby activists wants to change the way people live the first thing they say is "its for the children?"

Probably because they are afraid to state the real reason for their action or they are too afraid to approach the situation with the honesty it needs to have.

In this case instead of backing into setting up what certainly appears to be a very, very illegal law, why don't the proponents of the measure have the intestinal fortitude to do what they wish? Why don't they simply seek to make tobacco illegal? That's what they want, but they know they can not achieve their goals by honesty so they seek to do it by going through the back door with laws like the one they are attempting to foist - illegally - onto the citizenry.

The frightening thing is that this action reeks of the actions of communist dictators or Third World tin horn dictators. They seek, basically, to "nationalize" a private establishment such as a restaurant. By "nationalizing" it they take the ownership and control of the business from the private citizen and put it under control of the government.

To allow such "nationalization" would not be a good idea no matter how good the intentions because the loss of freedom certainly outweighs the danger of second hand smoke.

The good folks attempting to take over our rights has set up some public forums, including one at the Arnoldsburg Community Building this coming Monday from 6-8 p.m. You can speak - two whole minutes - if you sign up in advance.

Two whole minutes to defend your freedom? That's a joke, right? For those that don't think this proposed law is dangerous let's carry it out a little further.

When will they go next door from the Koffee Kup to Bim's Barber Shop and tell the folks there to put out their cigarettes? Or when will they feel that you no longer have the right to smoke in your car? Or your house? No, this is not a matter to be taken lightly even by non-smokers such as I. The law is the first step down a slippery and dangerous path and it ought to be stopped right now.

I don't smoke. When I go into the Koffee Kup I make an immediate right hand turn to the No Smoking section because I have the choice not to go into the Smoking Section. If this illegal idea becomes law then I, as a non-smoker, would no longer have a choice.

Folks, this is a real bad idea. This is Big Brother trying to insert itself into places it should not be. I urge you to go to Arnoldsburg Monday night . and if they try to cut you off too quickly, then simply light up.


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