Wednesday, September 1, 2004

GR Smoking Ban Defeated

Since we at GR Pundit were asleep at the wheel last week, we missed this one. The Grand Rapids City Commission was asked by a group called Smoke-Free Air for Everyone (SAFE) to pass an ordinance to ban all smoking in public places.

Thankfully, the commission had the guts to stand up to this one and say no. The nanny-state crusaders want to use the force of government to stop people from smoking basically anywhere, including workplaces and entertainment facilities. I'm sure the Grand Rapids Police Department has nothing better to do than arrest violent and dangerous smokers who are a clear threat to society.

The disturbing part is that Mayor Heartwell suggested that it be taken up at the county level. Instead of standing up for people's rights, he offered another avenue to impose their paternal tyranny.

The simple answer here is this: if you don't like the smoke, don't go there. Why should private property owners who open their doors to the public be forced, at gunpoint if necessary, to ban smoking at their establishment?

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