My hat is off to the Augusta Commission for standing up for personal rights and responsibilities in rejecting the tougher smoking ordinance, and I don’t often agree with the commissioners.
It is obvious to this casual observer the attitude displayed in BreathEasy Coalition Chairwoman Jennifer Anderson’s comments in the Nov. 7 Augusta Chronicle (“BreathEasy to continue pushing ban”). This is about more than personal health – this is about power. The proposed infringement on personal rights was summarily dismissed, and the coalition did not like it one bit. They’re mad, and they are not going to take it lying down.
Ms. Anderson’s comparison of banning smoking in a private business to the elimination of lead paint and asbestos does not hold water. I don’t think those products are legal to purchase and use anymore. Cigarettes are. Eliminate the manufacture and selling of tobacco products and you solve the smoking problem. But that would mean taking on the tobacco companies, and they are much more capable of defending themselves than us lowly citizens.
We’ve all heard of the old saying “We might have lost the battle, but not the war.” I believe they mean it when they say this is not over, and when, and if, they win this battle, make no mistake – your homes and private vehicles will be next. Little steps.