Is Minnesota poised for a statewide smoking ban?To hear the local Minnesota media tell it, now that more DFL members are in state office a statewide smoking ban is a sure thing.
It's a classic case of the media attempting to influence lawmaker agenda. But as one political insider recalled to me recently, the issue of smoking ban was never even mentioned during the local Democratic Convention earlier this year.....which is the time that party leaders discuss the upcoming legislative agenda. Furthermore there are many Minnesota lawmakers who have the common sense to see thru the lies and special interests. One particular Minnesota lawmaker was recently published in the Duluth News Tribune.
I don’t smoke. I don’t like smoke. But my distaste for the habit doesn’t give me cause to have the state manage individual rights.
The new junta of Democratic legislative leaders has declared a statewide smoking ban as the top priority on their thin agenda for the upcoming legislative session.
That baffles me. How property taxes, education reform, health care reform and funding for roads and bridges do not top that list of priorities is, in a word, outrageous.
A statewide smoking ban in Minnesota is a dangerous constitutional precedent. If the new regime wants the ban to pass, it very likely will pass. But we should at least call it what it is as we plummet further into the nanny-state formerly known as Minnesota.
America was founded on principals of freedom and the right of the individual to self-determine. Every citizen has the inalienable right to life, liberty and property — “We find these truths to be self-evident.” I, for one, believe that “inalienable” means something.
As a free society, the laws we enact must necessarily be directed toward protection of individual freedoms. The freedom to improve one’s self, the freedom to obtain and hold property, the freedom of belief, the freedom of expression, the freedom of association, etc. Our laws must protect the individual’s rights within the community. A tension exists, however, between the individual right to self-determine and our bureaucratic predisposition to control everything and everyone. Simply stated, we all want the freedom to make decisions about personal liberties, but some of us also want to make these decisions for our fellow citizens. Why? Is it because we know better? Is it because we believe only the uneducated would disagree with our enlightened position? Are we convinced that we must intervene with laws to save those who cannot or will not understand?
.....I realize that this train may already be out of the station and that it seems to be picking up steam as we roll down the tracks toward the upcoming legislative session. I only ask that before we set this course we consider the impact on not only the many businesses that will be hurt, but also the dangerous precedent we set for the future of liberty.
Additionally I would add that air quality testing and OSHA regulations of secondhand smoke already safeguard the health and safety of all of us even without smoking bans.
However, if lawmakers are hellbent on enacting a statewide ban, then an amendment needs to be added to the law which sets aside a $100 million dollar fund to compensate for the business and job losses which result from a smoking ban.......that fund will be financed by the American Lung Association, American Cancer Society, MPAAT (ClearWay MN) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (the pharnaceutical nicotine organization which funded most of the preceeding groups).