Monday, January 26, 2009

Smoking Bans

At the latest Texas State Libertarian Executive Committee meeting, we took the "smoking ban" issue and beat it to a bloody pulp.

If someone wants to smoke on their own property, it's their own business.

If they want to allow others to smoke on their property, it's their own business.

Like carpenters who risk their thumbs, like high rise construction workers who risk their life, like schoolteachers who risk their sanity, if you're willing to expose yourself to 2nd-hand smoke, it's your own business.

Fort Worth Weekly's Blog (Blotch) has an article on our effort to fight The Health Nazis (yeah, I just violated Godwin's Law).

Here's a brief excerpt:

I’ve never really understood how a city can legally force private property owners to ban smoking in their own establishments, whether a bar, restaurant, or whatever. It seems like a smart thing to do health-wise, but doesn’t seem legally possible. Still, cities across Texas and the country are cracking down on public smoking.The Libertarian Party is fighting back, calling it a private property rights issue. Here’s their announcement about an upcoming legislative push....

The comments have already gotten interesting, and it would be nice to see a few dozen more added to the dogpile.

So Get Busy ! ! !

"First they came first for the Gays and Lesbians, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t Gay or Lesbian;
And then they came for the Pot Smokers, And I didn’t speak up because I didn't smoke marijuana;
And then they came for the Gun Owners, And I didn’t speak up because I didn't own a gun;
And then they came for the Cigarette Smokers, And I didn't speak up because I didn't smoke cigarettes;
And then . . . they came for me . . . And by that time there was no one left to speak up.
But they kept the tobacco subsidies in place, because lots of millionaire tobacco farmers liked the money, and they were big time campaign contributors."

With sincerest apologies to Pastor Martin Niemoller

Health Nazi Swastika came from here.


TarrantLibertyGuy said...

Thanks Allen for helping to craft this Press Release - by not voting 'Nay'.

TarrantLibertyGuy said...

And had you voted 'nay', I may have beat you to a bloody pulp... I was insane after somebody asked what the definition of 'is' is.

Dr Ralph said...

You win...I now officially don't give a shit what you smell like or die from.

Here we have the number 1 preventable health issue and you insist on your right to stand in the middle of the freeway in front of oncoming traffic.


Just stay downwind. And don't be surprised if your employer exercises his/her rights to exclude you from cancer coverage on the group insurance policy to keep the premiums down for everyone else.

Happy now?

The Whited Sepulchre said...

If the employer chooses to exclude a smoker, that should be his/her choice.

But I know that, deep down inside, you really LOVE how I smell.

Gar said...

Let's take this from a different point of view.

We all agree it is illegal to hurt other people.

Suppose someone comes into a bar carrying a concealed gun. At some point during the night, he takes out the gun and starts shooting. Does that become illegal? When does it become illegal? If the owner of the establishment had a sign on the door that said "shooting allowed" would that then make it legal?

By owning a public establishment some amount of public safety is expected. Just because it's yours doesn't make it legal to injure someone.

The only difference between shooting guns and 2nd hand cigarette smoke is the length of suffering.

MadPriest said...

In England they are increasingly banning smoking from outside areas. This proves that this has nothing to do with passive smoking and everything to do with health fascism.

Our health service has even banned smoking from mental health wards (previously we had smoking rooms) and the hospital grounds. This means that patients legally confined to the facilities have nowhere to smoke. This is just what you don't need when you're already stressed out.

As for second hand smoke - cheeky blighters, they should buy their own.

Dr Ralph said...

WS: you're right -- I *love* the way you smell. It's that aftershave of yours, Eau de Ayn Rand.

Anonymous said...

My, how you'all do go on........ you should, take a break, fire up a cigge and relax already! When one is stressed there is no better remedy than a nice cigarette and a sparkling glass of wine, if you can find a place to have one. It is a commomly held belief,of smokers, that if they quit they'ed just get hit by a bus anyway........ so smoke on, before the health police find ya, somethings gonna get'cha sooner or later!

MadPriest said...

You can't even smoke on the bus that's going to hit you nowadays.

Mark said...

@Gar - carrying a concealed handgun IS legal with a permit. Pulling it out and threatening with it is not. The key difference is if you are threatening the health of others. I think cigarettes fall into the same category.

I could make a argument that free enterprise dictates the removal of laws such as this. You do not have a constitutional right to force 100% of all businesses to cater to you, if you don't like that a place allows smoke you don't have to go in. Similarly if you don't like secondhand smoke you are free to work in a place that doesn't have it and if there is a demand for it, then such places will open on their own.

However there is a certain amount of public safety involved and a ban on secondhand smoke inside establishments seems a reasonable alternative.

Unfortunately thats the problem, once it gets started it doesn't stop. First it was smoking "areas", then it was "not inside the building", then it was "not within 50 feet of an entrance" and now its "not even on your own property". When the law attempts to legislate what a private adult does with his/her own private life, then its too far.

The problem for too many people is that given the choice, some will choose what we don't want them to choose, the obvious solution is to take away the choice, "for their own good"

Gar said...

For some reason we like things complicated.

I believe that we should be able to exist happily with one law: Don't do anything that will hurt someone else.

If you want to own Uzi's and shoot cans in your backyard, be my guest. But, if you injure your neighbor while he is mowing his backyard then you are screwed.

You take the risk, you live with the consequences.

Even now, they are trying to outlaw cell phones in cars. Why? Can't they just give people fines for driving like a moron regardless of the reason?

I feel a blog coming on. Must quit now.

The Whited Sepulchre said...


You're all carrying on without paying your proper respects to our latest visitor.

The Mad Priest walks among us. Extinguish your smokes and your outrage for just a moment, and go to his site. NOW.

You'll be glad you did.