Senate Bill 1875
By Tom Muchmore, The Ponca City News
They are at it again and it is getting old. The desire for the
government to control our behavior is apparently too strong for
legislators to resist. The latest is Senate Bill 1875 which would ban
smoking in all kinds of places.
This bill among other items, makes smoking in cigar bars illegal. It
does not allow the owner of a business to smoke in his own place of
work even if he is the only employee. It outlaws smoking outdoors in
This is partly due to the very dubious research about second hand
smoke. We don't doubt that if you pack enough smoke in a small enough
area it isn't good for your health. We also agree that smoky rooms can
be very unpleasant. The simple answer is don't go into them.
Restaurants that allow smoking have very stringent rules on the
ventilation of smoking rooms. If you don't think they do the job well
enough then don't patronize the restaurant. If you don't like the smoke
in a bar then don't go there. The existing rules are more than enough
to provide plenty of places for those of us who prefer not to be
subjected to the annoyance of smokers.
Smoking cigarettes, cigars and pipes is not illegal yet. Until it is
people should have the opportunity to do so if the owner of the
property does not object. Those who object to the smoke have the right
not to go near them.
This bill outlaws smoking in the military veteran's halls. First the
government gets them hooked by providing all the cigarettes they can
smoke during the war and then it tries to make life in the clubs set
aside for them as uncomfortable as possible when they continue to smoke.
Smoking is bad for most people, so are a lot of other things. The
government may even have a place in trying to educate us about these
problems. We need to draw the line at allowing them to control our
lives at such personal levels.
It would be nice if nobody smoked. However, people should have the
right to run their own lives and take the risks they choose even when
they are obviously foolish. The government at all levels wastes way too
much time and effort trying to protect us from ourselves.
Freedom of choice was one of the basic tenets on which this country
based its beginning. We are rapidly moving away from that attitude and
moving toward the Big Brother mentality that many of us fear. Once you
give up the right to make your own choices you delegate that right to
others who will eventually decide to regulate something dear to you. To
paraphrase an old saying, first they came for the smokers and we didn't
object because we weren't smokers.
This bill should be thrown out as quickly as possible along with all the laws designed solely to protect us from ourselves.
Posted on Fri, February 15, 2008