I left out the last Paragraph in the first draft….
Ban this; a discourse in freedom
Everyone, smoker and non-smoker alike should pay close attention to the minute and systematic snipping of freedom perpetrated by special interest groups nationwide. While it is a proven fact that smoking is bad for you and a habit that should if entirely possible be discarded. However, the problem I find with the current banning of tobacco products is the mob mentality that has become associated with it. I personally happen to be aligned with both sides on this issue being an on again off again smoker. I truly understand the reasoning and desire of an individual to want to stay away from a smoker if they themselves do not smoke. Unfortunately the smoking issue has whipped many into anti smoking zealots who with righteous indignation scream that their right to breath clean air (even in an open space such as a park or a beach) has been infringed upon by the man standing thirty feet away puffing on a cigarette in a twenty mile an hour wind.
There is so much hostility being directed at smokers I would not be surprised to soon see vigilante groups targeting these individuals. When I do smoke I am always mindful of whose company I am in and always respect the wishes of others. Just last week our state supreme court upheld a city ordinance that prohibited smoking anywhere other than your own home within the city limits, yet in the same breath they pass a bill allowing alcohol sales on Sunday. They said and I quote, “we are loosing too much money to other cities by having this prohibitive measure in place” End of quote.
I personally am more offended by a drinker than I am a smoker. When I go some place like Applebee’s for diner I find that I am forced to sit around loud, mostly obnoxious, alcohol smelling drinkers who have not one thought about bringing their small children into this environment. I have actually seen parents get up from their table and go to the restroom leaving their small children alone with a drink sitting on the table. Now what do children do? They emulate their parents, and sure enough I saw one small child reach out and drink beer from mamma glass that she left there while visiting the ladies room.
My question I suppose is that with all the media hype focused on protecting the children, then why has not something of this nature been addressed? After all, what kind of example are we setting for these children? Are we by our actions saying its ok to drink and then drive, because that is what people do? Another question is how many people in comparative ratios are killed by a smoking driver VS a drinking driver? There are no easy solutions, but by demonizing one group of people for their particular lifestyle choice is akin to the past wrongs that have demoralized and even victimized many social groups. Temperance should be the watchword when we start targeting certain groups. I can see this now, little by little individual freedom is being taken away, and who knows when your group’s number will arrive.