I'll keep this brief as I usually don't like to do regional stories, but there is a tendency toward banning our little vices in this country under the guise of taking care of the populace. Yep, the government cares about its citizens just enough to extract protection money the 15th of every April. From safety belt laws to closing down liquor stores by 9 p.m. and bars by 2 a.m, rights and freedoms are only as valid as the readiness of those who are capable of fighting for them. Sorry, the Bill of Rights and the Constitution might as well be tissue paper if people aren't willing to man the ramparts in defense of their liberty. Bans of every type are something anybody remotely interested in preserving their rights as adults and rejecting the influence of the intrusive nanny state should oppose.
So, getting on with it, yesterday I got into a discussion with one of my co-workers over a pending Smoking Ban here in Wisconsin. He says he can see both sides of the issue while I contend only one side offers a non-violent solution.
According to my co-worker one side validly advocates the government refraining from interfering with the private sector, but on the other hand whenever he, a non-smoker, wants to join his friends at a tavern he is assaulted by secondhand smoke which is a medical risk and just plain abrasive.
My point is I recognize secondhand smoke is unhealthy, and I understand plenty of people have a problem with it, however, is that any reason for the government to violently impose one group's preferences upon another? Who's property is this anyway? We all know there is no such thing as public property just property that's owned by the state. If you don't believe me try sleeping on one of your "publicly" owned benches one night. But what most people do not realize is that the government owns everything, we're just renters. Wisconsin State Senator Alan Lasee, pictured to the right sporting a thirty gallon cowboy hat, has said essentially the same and said he'd consider voting against the Smoking Ban. Unfortunately, he's in the minority. The legislators can smell a power grab from a mile away that's why they're politicians in the first place. That's also why George Bush was never impeached or will never be prosecuted for war crimes. Aggression is the currency all governments deal in.
When somebody says let's place a ban on such-and-such commodity or service you can tell them in no uncertain terms that they're being intellectually lazy because government is a lazy solution. Be it prostitution, guns, immigration or drugs, when a non-coercive product is prohibited liberty wilts and economies suffer. If all of these activists really care about people's health and truly believe they represent the majority opinion I say stop lobbying your point of view in Madison, pool your resources and open a few smoke free bars. If they're popular then chances are you're right, it is what people want and you'll make a killing while providing a valuable service. If you're wrong and the businesses flop, well, good thing something so undemocratic wasn't put on the books in the first place. You can't be moderate about violence, and just as much as any other type of government program this ban is predicated upon violence.