Thursday, January 29, 2009

Tales from a Nanny State


I must preface this by saying that I am not a smoker and never have been. I cant comprehend why people willingly put that crud into their bodies; and pay to do it! But it's their personal decision to do so.

Back in March of 2005 when the smoking ban in Hennepin County went into affect, I had mixed feelings about it. I hate going into a restaurant and having the person across from me light one (or two or three or four) up during my meal. That really ruins my dining experience. But I also realize that I can choose to go somewhere else to enjoy my meal. There are plenty of places around the metro that either have (or should I say 'had') a designated segregated area for smokers, or they elected to ban smoking in their establishment themselves. That is how I believe it should be done. Even with my personal anti-smoking view point, I do not believe that government has any right to tell a private business what their patrons can and can not do inside of their building, short of them committing a crime. And no, smoking is not a crime. You choose to do it to your own body, and even though it affects other people it is not a crime. As a matter of fact, WebMd in a March of 2003 article stated that the British Medical Journal conducted a study in which UCLA School of Public Health Professor James Enstrom PhD, MPH stated "We found no measurable effect from being exposed to secondhand smoke and an increased risk of heart disease or lung cancer in nonsmokers -- not at any time or at any level".

But thats not my main point; although my main point has to do with smoking. There is a movement of law makers in St. Paul to further remove more of our rights and liberties that we have come to love from being part of America. Rep. Nora Slawid (D-Maplewood) has introduced a bill in the Minnesota House that would make smoking in a vehicle with a child in it a moving violation, punishable by a ticket starting at $100. Now it's not a "primary violation" meaning thats not what an Officer can initially pull you over for. There has to be another reason such as speeding, a broken tail light etc. Now I am not questioning Representative Slawiks motives here. I am sure she believes she is helping the children as she told KSTP that she's "concerned about the children". But like most Liberals, they tend to find those "emotional issues" that tug on your heart strings to find a way to either take away some more of our rights or take more of your money from you. In this case it's both as there will be fines for smoking with a child in the car. Even though I don't like the thought of a child being subject to second hand smoke, there comes a point where we have to say that the parents have every right to raise their children how they deem proper. The State has absolutely no right to interfere with that unless the child is in imminent danger of injury or death as a result of hte parents actions. And again- no; second hand smoke does not fall into either of those categories. There is a serious infringement on the first section of the 14th amendment going on here if this passes; which you know it will. We have a massive budget deficit in Minnesota, companies are laying off tens of thousands of workers in our State, we share a border with another country and have a port that welcomes ships from across the world bringing us countless National Security threats on a regular basis. But regardless of all of that and more, our law makers in St. Paul are going to spend valuable time debating if there should be a ban on smoking in a private vehicle with a child in it? Why do we continually re elect these people to office? It is time to start waking up and get these clowns out of St. Paul and replace them with people who will recognize and remember how our founding fathers wanted this Country to be run; free of the over reaching hand of Government. That has completely gone by the way side not only in Minnesota, but across this great Country. It's time to take back St. Paul. Give a call or email to Rep. Slawid and tell her to drop the issue of smoking in the car with children in it and focus on the pressing needs of the people in her State and her district and to leave the running of our private lives to-- US!

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