Smoking is about freedom

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I am responding to the June 23 letter to the editor from Jennifer Losgar.

I read her impassioned plea for a smoke-free Augusta and world. In some aspects I agree with her. I too hate the disgusting habit and its nasty and potentially deadly residual results. If this were a perfect world and I were in charge, there would be no tobacco smoking, chewing, sniffing, spitting, etc. Unfortunately this is not a perfect world, and very fortunately I am not in charge.

Ms. Losgar stated, “One never goes wrong working to protect the health and safety of all the citizens of their community.” I strongly disagree. Where she and the folks trying to twist the Augusta Commission’s arms to impose their vision of the world go wrong is that they are totally ignoring the other fellow’s rights.

The cornerstone of our country is freedom. One of the freedoms we cherish is freedom to choose. Freedom to choose which God, if any, to worship. Freedom to choose what you want to do for a living. Freedom to choose where you want to live. Freedom to choose where we dine or drink, etc. Of course along with that freedom comes the responsibility of dealing with whatever consequences your choices cause (or at least it used to).

The “other fellow” in this scenario is any business owner and their patrons who choose to go to these establishments in spite of, or perhaps because of, the condition Ms. Losgar and I find so distasteful. That business owner already is suffering under a crushing mountain of laws and rules that an ever-growing and ever more intrusive government keeps throwing at businesses. When the owner decided he or she wanted to open an establishment, there was no caveat to allow smoking or tobacco use in that place. Owners have operated in good faith for however long it has been, and it is simply wrong to now tell them, “Oh, by the way, we are making up a new rule just because we want to, that says you can no longer operate your business as you have been.”

To Ms. Losgar and all the rest of you do-gooders out there: When you take away one person’s freedom just to accommodate someone else’s desires, you diminish the freedom of all.

To me this is what this whole issue is all about. I stand for freedom.

Comments (14) Add comment
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jkline
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jkline 07/02/13 - 06:20 am
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Well Said

Thank you for a sensible letter.

deestafford
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deestafford 07/02/13 - 08:41 am
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Excellent letter

Just plain excellent.

gaflyboy
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gaflyboy 07/02/13 - 08:42 am
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Thank you!

It is exhausting to read every day about people with little or no regard for freedom or personal liberty, appealing to the government ... saying “Make them!”

soapy_725
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soapy_725 07/02/13 - 09:03 am
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My freedom ends where your freedom begins. Nuff said.
Unpublished

Everyday is like kindergarten. He touched my stuff. He said I looked funny. He made a face at me. He is in my cubby hole.

grouse
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grouse 07/02/13 - 10:23 am
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The freedom to smoke is not
Unpublished

The freedom to smoke is not in the Constitution (although the writer's complaint is not without merit).

seenitB4
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seenitB4 07/02/13 - 10:55 am
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Mr Snowberger

Ditto Ditto...applause..

Darby
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Darby 07/02/13 - 12:55 pm
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Although I enjoy my visits to so many more

establishments now, in our current "smoke free" environment, I do, to a large extent agree with the letter writer.

It's unfortunate that more business owners could not see for themselves the benefits of clean air in their establishments.

Still, I favor freedom of choice over heavy handed governmental intervention.

I would have liked the letter much better had Mr. Snowberger edited out his condescending admonishment to Ms Losgar and simply let his position stand on its own merits.

Fiat_Lux
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Fiat_Lux 07/02/13 - 04:19 pm
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It is but a short step

from nanny to tyrant.

And I hate tobacco too.

oldredneckman96
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oldredneckman96 07/02/13 - 08:09 pm
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tobacco support letter
Unpublished

The writer states; "Of course along with that freedom comes the responsibility of dealing with whatever consequences your choices cause...." Ok, so the writer will support having tobacco users go to jail for the deaths they cause to the non-smoking public? A public business is just that, public, no matter how the ownership is set up. Public places, sidewalks, parks any property owned by citizens, are not the place for tobacco users to go killing people. Gun ownership is protected by the Constution, but you do not have the right to just shoot randomly in public. It is this damn simple!

Gage Creed
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Gage Creed 07/02/13 - 09:08 pm
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Liberty...It is this damn

Liberty...It is this damn simple! (for most people anyway)

oldredneckman96
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oldredneckman96 07/03/13 - 08:26 pm
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Liberty?
Unpublished

Are you allowed to poop on the floor in a resturant? Can I pee on your leg on a sidewalk? Why should you be allowed to spread posion gas in public? Smoke that!!!

Fiat_Lux
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Fiat_Lux 07/04/13 - 03:06 pm
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Oldredneck

That's interesting, but, really, do you really believe those are all equivalent?

oldredneckman96
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oldredneckman96 07/04/13 - 05:33 pm
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Fiat_Lux
Unpublished

No, smoking is worse because people still do it in public. Most civialized people go to a place made for pooping and peeing. The most basic rule of freedom is that my rights end where yours begin. If something is harmful to the general public we as a society have the right to have that product controlled so to mitigate the harm. Examples are; of course no peeing or pooping in a public place, no DDT, random gun firing, no leaded gas. Knowing as we do about the toxic effects of nicotine, we must control where and how it is allowed to be sprayed over the general public, this is clearly understood. Watch even the worst chain smoker you can find around their child, they will try to hold their cigarette away from the child, knowing the danger, yet demanding they can smoke in everyone else’s face.

Gage Creed
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Gage Creed 07/04/13 - 06:50 pm
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You know that argument of no

You know that argument of no bodily functions in a public place is rather a benign argument.... especially when you can't get a certificate of occupancy without adequate restrooms. You are aware that leaded fuel is still available for specific purposes aren't you? Yet you wail and hurl insults at those who lawfully engage in an activity of their choice?

I don't smoke...I think it's a nasty habit.... but I will defend the right of a business owner to allow a lawful practice in THEIR business.

And BTW... It's pretty much a given you don't want to pee on my leg.... the consequences by far outweigh the reward.

Fiat_Lux
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Fiat_Lux 07/04/13 - 09:46 pm
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Thanks, Gage Creed

I too would have thought that was all pretty obvious to oldredneckman. Providing a place for activities that can, well, give offense makes them allowable in certain situations, ie, a bathroom or a place designated as a smoking area.

If a smoking area isn't part of a public thoroughfare and is a private business or club or even a restaurant with a clearly posted "smoking allowed" policy statement, how could any genuine American object?

If smoking is part of my religious services, do you think oldredneckman will sic the po po on me in my church?

Gage Creed
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Gage Creed 07/04/13 - 10:48 pm
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Amazing to think that anyone

Amazing to think that anyone can so zealously support the "nanny" state... what's next federally imposed BMI limits? Family size limitations?

Hmmm.... starting to sound vaguely familiar..........

Fiat_Lux
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Fiat_Lux 07/04/13 - 11:13 pm
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Absolutely, Gage Creed

Like I said above, it is but a short step from nanny to tyrant.

But clearly, some believe they know better and should be allowed to exert their will over others because of their, um, superior insight. For their own good, mind you. Always.

I call it a pathological urge to be helpful.

Fiat_Lux
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Fiat_Lux 07/04/13 - 11:32 pm
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And,

it appears that the hit dog is doing the standard red thumb weenie holler.

I absolutely LOVE that! Love it.

oldredneckman96
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oldredneckman96 07/05/13 - 03:24 pm
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Wow!
Unpublished

When you try to remove the drug of choice from an addict, you can really get an earfull of B.S. Illogical, irrational, and emotional B.S. but no real sound reasoning, just the addiction screaming, feed me, FEED ME. Too bad you smokers will not live long enough to see tobacco banned in public so your grandchildren are safe, the real sadness is that so many will die due to your inconsiderate actions while in public.

Gage Creed
17856
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Gage Creed 07/05/13 - 06:59 pm
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Reading and comprehension are

Reading and comprehension are so overrated in the eyes of some....

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