Wednesday, September 23, 2009

One City Council Understands

One City Council Understands
Kevin Bryant

Tomorrow evening between 5:00 & 7:00, there is a smoker going to be held in Raytown, MO. Many associate the term “smoker” with amateur boxing matches and that would be correct in most cases, but not this one. This one is being held in celebration of victory not only for small business owners, but a victory for freedom and liberty and the right of choice.

The Raytown city council voted 7 to 3 to uphold the rights of bar and restaurant owners to establish their own smoking regulations within their respective businesses so long as they fall within the guidelines established by the state.

For far too long in this country, the will of the few has been imposed on the will of the many. Growing up, I was taught verbally and by example that we are given choices in life and what we choose may or may not be what someone else chooses, but that does not make me right or them wrong.

Those that have been reading Al’s page for some time now have probably figured out that yes, I am a smoker. Like 99% of all smokers, I would not even consider smoking in someone’s home, in a place of business that caters to family or children, in a church or any other establishment that is could be deemed as offensive. I don’t even smoke in my own home. As a homeowner, I have the right to say if I want someone to be allowed to smoke or drink in my house, not the government. In my house, I have the right to allow someone to spend the night if I choose or throw them out, not the government. In my house, I dictate what station the TV is on or what radio station is being listened to, not some bureaucrat.

This is not about smoker’s rights though you may believe it is. This is about the rights of all. We have the right to choose where we shop, where we eat, what we eat, what we drink and how we live. We are not mandated by government to attend church or serve in the military. Law does not dictate that it is illegal for an adult to enjoy an occasional beer or even to drink a whole case in one afternoon so long as we obey the laws of drinking and driving or public intoxication and all other laws associated with the right to drink an alcoholic beverage.

I have stated this before and I still stand by my belief that government should not have the right to impose a smoking ban on any business that it is illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to enter or is not considered a family friendly business. By that I mean, some place that would be deemed by any person of reasonable thinking capacity not an appropriate place to bring their children. I for one am glad smoking has been banned in most restaurants that get a majority of their money from the sale of food and not beverage. I’m glad I can walk into a movie theatre and not have to put up with someone getting hammered on jack and coke in the seats in front of me or behind me.

The will of the many more often than not, should matter more than the will of the few. The rights of business owners to dictate policy in their establishments should be upheld and not beaten down by some ideologist who would never set foot in that establishment regardless of some regulation being imposed or not. Good intentions do not always end with good results. Our country, our state and our local governments need to stop the practice of dictating based on the intent of the few.

If 99% of Americans have the ability to use common sense, why do we keep electing those to office who lack this basic ability?

1 comment:

barb p said...

Well I am a former smoker, but I still feel very strong the government has no right to dictate the wants and needs of our people….keeping in mind to protect the innocent.