In a political environment that considers the term “illegal immigrant” racist (and some PC nutcases suggest scrapping the term “criminal” completely), one may wonder if any action is sufficiently heinous to warrant criminal action. Well, dear reader, there is one glaring misdeed universally vilified by those on the left – lighting up a cigarette.
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A city that stands out for its excessive smoking regulations, even in one of the bluest of all blue states, has recently approved a measure banning smoking by citizens inside their own residences!
Santa Monica, Calif., city council members voted 4-2 to ban smoking for new tenants of any apartment or condominium. The city already banned smoking in just about every other conceivable situation, meaning officials really had only one place left to go in its mission to criminalize the use of a legal product.
Current residents may use an odd attempt at a grandfather clause by determining whether they want their home to be considered smoking or non-smoking, similar to designations at hotels that still offer smoking rooms. After that designation is made, smoking will be prohibited in those residences deemed non-smoking.
This is just the obvious trajectory such legislation would follow, given its roots when smoking bans first began popping up for restaurants and other public places over the past two decades.
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Nonsmokers, and even some smokers, were supportive of limited restriction such as workplace bans. Government officials generally encroach into our personal liberties incrementally, though, so regulation became more and more intrusive. The overreach of government force has now made it a crime in an American city to smoke inside of one’s own home.
Pro-abortion advocates love the line that government should “stay out of our bedrooms,” as if the murder of millions of innocent unborn children does not affect the outside world. If that’s their opinion, I am prepared to accept that, though I hear no outcry from the left about the government staying out of any room in which tobacco is being enjoyed.
As a former smoker, I understand the practice to be harmful to a user’s health. I’ll even grant critics the argument that some individuals are negatively affected by directly breathing second-hand smoke (though I believe the “proof” of widespread health risks to be wildly speculative and partisan.) The fact remains, though, that cigarettes are a legal product for those of a certain age, and use of such a product should be admitted, if not everywhere, at least in the purchaser’s own home.
I’m glad I was able to quit an unhealthy habit and wish others trying to quit similar success. If a smoker were to move in the townhouse next door, however, my only duty would be to welcome him or her to the neighborhood – period. Where will the intrusion into our private lives end? If left unchecked, the end will likely come only with the complete downfall of this country and everything for which it once stood.
Once in every great while, there are groups successful in their opposition to such smoking bans, but those cases are far outweighed by legislation stifling the rights of individuals. Something tells me if someone suggested outlawing homosexual acts in a private residence simply because the individual found the activity objectionable, there would be considerable outrage on the left and rightly so! Replace a homosexual with a smoker, though, and those rights to personal privacy and liberty are less than irrelevant; they apparently do not exist.
The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.