E-mail Scott
Scott's Links
About the Author
Opinion Archives
Social Media:
Google Plus
Monthly Archives:

January 2010
February 2010
March 2010
April 2010
May 2010
June 2010
July 2010
August 2010
September 2010
October 2010
November 2010
December 2010
January 2011
February 2011
March 2011
April 2011
May 2011
June 2011
July 2011
August 2011
September 2011
October 2011
November 2011
December 2011
January 2012
February 2012
March 2012
April 2012
May 2012
June 2012
July 2012
August 2012
September 2012
October 2012
November 2012
December 2012
January 2013
February 2013
March 2013
April 2013
May 2013
June 2013
July 2013
August 2013
September 2013
October 2013
November 2013
December 2013
January 2014
February 2014
March 2014
April 2014
May 2014
June 2014
July 2014
August 2014
September 2014
October 2014
November 2014
December 2014
January 2015
February 2015
March 2015
April 2015
May 2015
June 2015
July 2015
August 2015
September 2015
October 2015
November 2015
December 2015
January 2016
February 2016
March 2016
April 2016
May 2016
June 2016
July 2016
August 2016
September 2016
October 2016
November 2016
December 2016
January 2017
February 2017
March 2017
April 2017
May 2017

Powered by Blogger
Subscribe via RSS

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Statewide smoking ban: The nanny state marches on

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:30 AM (#)

The Tea Party movement was largely responsible for the 2010 Republican tide, and Indiana Republicans reaped the benefits by not only capturing the Indiana House of Representatives but capturing a 60-seat supermajority in that chamber. That is why it is so disappointing that a party that gained power on the strength of a movement dedicated to limited government is advancing nanny-state legislation to protect us from ourselves.

It is bad enough when individual cities, towns and counties ban smoking on private property. At least there are places in the state where private property rights are respected. For state government to overrule the wishes of those localities where smoking is not banned is an overreach. There is no pressing need to ban smoking in "public places" and there is no need to force this on localities that do not share the nanny state sentiments of places like Bloomington.

Let me be clear: it is foolish to smoke tobacco. If you smoke, you should stop - not only for your own health but for the good of your loved ones. But this legislation is simply wrong.

Banning smoking in true public places like government buildings is the right thing to do. But while restaurants and other businesses may be seen as "public places" they are actually private property. Government has no business telling a private property owner that he may not allow consenting adults to use a legal product on his property. The property owner should be allowed to run his business as he sees fit.

No one is forced to breathe secondhand smoke. If your employer allows smoking, you can look for employment with a business that does not. No one is forced to patronize a business that allows smoking, or bring his family into that business. According to the Herald Bulletin, 26.1 percent of Hoosiers smoke cigarettes. Considering that smokers are a minority in Indiana, there is no reason the market could not work to eliminate smoking in public places as businesses cater to the wishes of the 74 percent of Hoosiers who do not smoke.

If government has the power to ban smoking in "public places" in Indiana, it has the power to force businesses to allow smoking on their property, regardless of the wishes of the property owner.

Does that sound extreme? There is a precedent for it, because this is not the first time that Hoosier Republicans have misfired on private property rights. A year ago, Republicans led the effort to pass a law restricting the private property rights of employers who did not wish to have guns on their property.

Had this been passed a decade ago, when Frank O'Bannon was governor and Democrats controlled the state house of Representatives, it would have been bad policy. When this nanny-state legislation is passed by the party that is supposed to be for limited government and individual liberty, it is especially egregious.


Note: All posts must be approved by the blog owner before they are visible on the blog.


Post a Comment

Below are the rules for commenting on ConservaTibbs.com.

  1. A reasonable level of civility is expected. While it is expected that controversial political and social issues may generate heated debate, there are common-sense limits of civility that will be enforced.

  2. This blog is a family-friendly site. Therefore no cursing, profanity, vulgarity, obscenity, etc. will be allowed. This is a zero-tolerance rule and will result in automatic deletion of the offending post.

  3. Anonymity has greatly coarsened discourse on the Internet, so pseudonyms are discouraged but not forbidden. That said, any direct criticism of a person by name cannot be done anonymously. If you criticize someone, you have to subject yourself to the same level of scrutiny or the comment will be deleted.

  4. Please keep your comments relevant to the topic of the post.

  5. All moderation decisions are final. I may post an explanation or I may not, depending on the situation. If you have a question or a concern about a moderation decision, e-mail me privately rather than posting in the comments.

Thank you for your cooperation.