I-901, the public smoking ban, passed in Washington yesterday.
You know, everyone wanted to make this strictly a health issue, and I don’t deny that health is a part of the issue. However, by making this ONLY a health issue, you ignore the infringement on private property owner rights. This sets a precedent that, if not overturned in court, will have repercussions in the future. For example, there has been talk about banning smoking in privately owned condos for the same reasons. There are people (like my mother-in-law) who have allergies to ingredients in perfumes and colognes – could this be next on the list of non-approved public substances? One of my hobbies is building model planes and cars, and the lacquer and enamel paint and thinners I use contain VOC’s (volatile organic compounds)– will the health issues of using VOC solvents override my rights to paint models in my garage someday?
From I-901 to the CAO all the way to the East Cost and Kelo v. New London, everyone’s property rights are under attack for one reason or another. I’m glad people feel safer and healthier – too bad that collectively we don’t truly own anything anymore. A government that doesn't respect your property rights will shortly and surely lose respect for your other rights as well.