Commission did right thing

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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.

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jkline 11/12/13 - 04:45 am
Well Said.

Mr Bailey has correctly identified the totalitarian goal of this movement, which is to control every detail of people's lives. The Commission did well to take the decision it did, to at least slow this progression down. Mr. Bailey is also right to note that the push for totalitarianism will not stop because of this small defeat. It will continue to work to erode individual rights, as inexorably as dripping water hollows out rock.

deestafford 11/12/13 - 10:40 am
Today's editorial by the ACE folks is on this issue and it is

off base.

One of the commenters correctly pointed out that the proposal covered much more than just what we are hearing about. The proposal is 22 pages long and wants smoking banned on all city property including outdoor property owned by the city. This proposal is a local nanny state on steroids.

This ain't the camel's nose in the tent. It's the whole camel and his relatives. Don't be deceived by the "good intentions" and "compassion" of the proponents of this totalitarian action.

xenthine 11/12/13 - 08:11 pm
It's not the Gov't, stupid

So, firstly, I'm against the smoking ban, completely, for a lot of the reasons already said. Where I disagree is in that it's the gov't or certain power hungry activists who want to use the gov't to enact some sweeping, totalitarian regime (though there are those people out there).

The real culprit is our economy and how it forces and lumps us together. The invisible hand is the real tyrant here, you and your neighbors and all of your bad decisions. So, healthcare and the insurance industry, are the prime examples for our times. The most effective way of controlling costs (outside of heavy regulation) is to have a healthier population, ergo American's need to put down the cigarettes and the double-bacon cheeseburgers if we want to mitigate the problems and outcomes of our healthcare industry. Because of the market our collective, private decisions have public ramifications, affecting and even harming others besides bar-tenders (they know what they're getting into anyways). The question, then, is: can we, as a society really, and quite literally, afford to wait for private citizens to make better choices? Or do we use the law and public institutions to incentivize better choices and limit the bad ones for the sake of the public good?

Initiatives like ObamaCare, soda bans, smoking bans etc, are primarily a good-faith (if misguided) reaction to the logic of our market system and, except for the most cynical of proponents, not a totalitarian power grab.

On the upside, smoking has been on the decline anyways, one reason why I think the smoking ban is unnecessary.

bubbasauce 11/14/13 - 02:12 am
Keep up with the good posts

Keep up with the good posts Dichotomy! A lot of people still haven't got it yet.

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