Our would-be nannies in government really are afraid of fire. One of their biggest peeves is that little fire about a quarter of Hoosiers still have in front of their face: cigarettes. Oh, cigars and pipes, too, but the 'umble coffin-nail is their Dark Beast.
Leading the charge, none other than grandstanding Gary anti-gunner (and Democrat; but I repeat myself) Charlie Brown, the man who smuggled a realistic-looking six-shooter cap gun into the Indiana House chambers last year to protest the gun-in-your-car bill that assures thousands of Hoosiers of the ability to legally carry the means to defend themselves as they travel to and from work.
Rather than further education or even free smoking-cessation materials to purse what he calls "a major health issue," Representative Brown wants to spend your tax dollars to create and enforce harsh laws. "I have to keep pushing," he says, working to ban smoking in every place open to the public, even three-sided bus-stop shelters. Private, members-only clubs and cigar bars? He says even those are up for debate!
Oh, those wacky Dems, you may sigh or even chortle, but standing shoulder to shoulder with Representative Brown is his House colleague Eric Turner, R-Marion, admonishing the public and his duly elected elected fellows that Indiana just isn't keeping up with the times -- or places like scandal-ridden Illinois, either. These two fine laddies, they have a plan: whichever party is in power, they will make with the ban.*
The reality is that less then half the States in this here Union have passed such bans and of them, well, the police have generally got better things to do. It becomes one more selectively-enforced tool, primarily useful for government shakedowns of business, especially bars where the clientele are members of some group of whom the regulator disapproves. Too veteran, too pale, too dark, too non-English-speaking, too conservative, too gay, too pierced and/or tattooed? And smoking? It's shocked they will be, shocked to find that smoking is going on in there....
Bar owners -- and their customers, too -- are adults; the people who own those other open-to-the-public places are, too (and in the case of, say, bus stops, they kind of are The People). Why not trust them to make up their own minds? And if there's an outcome you'd rather see, Mssrs. Brown and Turner, why don't you try messin' with their heads from that bully pulpit you've got, rather than using the threat of fines and force?
* An American Banned? Um, you have to know '70s song lyrics to follow this'n.
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