The Dallas Morning News’ editorial board wants you to quit smoking. Rather than just persuade or educate the public about smoking dangers, DMN wants to use the blunt power of government to force smokers into hiding. Even worse, they want to subject every city and community to the same rules. If they should exist, smoking bans should be local. What works in El Paso may not work in Highland Park etc.
I don’t smoke. I don’t want to smell like smoke. I don’t want you to smoke next to me. I still don’t support a smoking ban. This isn’t even morality policing, we are legislating taste.
Let’s examine the inanity. From DMN-
Smokers complain that this bill tramples on their right to light up, which they think trumps non-smokers’ right to eat, drink, socialize and breathe free of secondhand smoke. What smokers really demand is the right not to be inconvenienced. Sorry, but the time has come for you to step outside if you want to foul the air.
Positive rights are a favorite of nanny statists. Negative rights are a legitimate end of a limited government. Property rights are one example, the right to not have the government force you to ban smoking at your bar.
DMN wants to create a new right; the right to eat and drink wherever you want without anyone smoking around you. That’s not a right, that’s an entitlement. If you want to dine sans smoker you already have the right to choose establishments that outlaw smoking.
Nanny state demagoguery is never complete without acknowledging the idol of public health.
Secondhand smoke is both an annoyance and a serious public health threat, according to the 2006 surgeon general’s report. Secondhand smoke kills an estimated 53,000 people a year. Numerous surveys indicate that most Texans support a statewide smoking ban.
First, second hand smoke health studies are not above reproach, or without dissenting opinions.
Second, by DMN’s logic we should ban automobiles. Traffic fatalities average around 42,000 annually. I should have the “right ” to not be hit by your car. Ergo, you shouldn’t use a car in public. Don’t like that example? Then why not ban drinking in public? Like smokers some drunks smell bad. Drinkers also cause accidents and injure others. If we continue banning things that have any effect on the “public health”, pretty soon we live in a Nerf world without any meaningful choices to make. We will no longer be adults, but children with caring bureaucratic parents.
Finally, let’s update the DMN editorial board morality scorecard-
Marijuana= Murder, arrest everyone
Gambling= More money for government, legalize
Smoking= Gross, must be outlawed