From the Heartland

This is my soap box, on these pages I publish my opinions on firearms and any other subject I feel like writing about.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

I am not a smoker

City Council passes reasonable smoking Ban In Lincoln
Until earlier this year Lincoln did not have a ban on smoking in public places. That all changed when the City Council passed what amounted to a 60-40 law. This allowed any business that derived sixty or more percent of its income from the sale of alcohol to continue to allow smoking if they so desired. Some liked the new ordinance others didn't, the general consensus was that is seemed fair for all concerned.

City Councils Repeals New Ban for total ban
Some weeks later, however, the same City Council met and repealed the previous ordinance and instituted a complete and total ban in its place. As I understand it even cigar or smoke shops can no longer allow a buyer to sample a product in the store either.

This is the same City Council, by the way, that recently scheduled a special 75 million dollar bond election, because they didn't want such an important issue on an already crowded November ballot. That was the supposed reason, but more than one came right out and said; "It was set for a special election because voter turnout is usually low. Things like this pass easily during a special election as usually only voters that support it will vote. If we put it on the November ballot we knew it would get voted down. The voters did turn out and voted it down by a 2-1 margin.

Outrage leads to Ballot Initiative
Public outrage over this action morphed itsself into a campaign to gather signatures for a ballot initiative. On November second the people of Lincoln have a choice. That choice is not whether there will be any kind of local smoking regulation at all. The choice voters have is between the newest action by the City Council or the new-old action by the City Council.

We rule this fifedom, ye shall submit
Essentially it goes like this; We the City Council of the City of Lincoln have decreed that ye must submit yourselves to our will. There will be a smoking ordinance. We are not going to let your uppity attitude of challenging our authority with a ballot initiative get in our way. Since we get to write the language that goes on the ballot it is our decree that on November second ye shall have but two choices, and they are as follows:

1) You can vote the way we want you to for the total and complete ban or,

2)You can vote to repeal our total ban ordinance, but you will still be subject to the 60-40 ban that we enacted in the first place.

You will not as a citizen of Lincoln have the opportunity to vote for an either "yes we have a ban of some kind" or "no we will not have a ban of any kind". We have spoken.

We don't trust you to know what is best for you
We have already decided for you, (it's in your own interest, because we know more what is best for you than you do) that there is going to be a ban of some kind.

It's your vote
Vote how you want to, but if my City Council pulled that on me (ed.. oh wait they did) I'd most certainly vote against what ever it was they were trying to shove down my throat.

The funny part
The thing is, if the voters of Lincoln had a choice between a reasonable ban and nothing at all, the reasonable ban would win out by a comfortable margin, even some of the smokers I do know would vote for it.

That brings us to this point, by and large most smokers respect the choices made by non smokers and go out of their way to not be a nuisance. Contrast this with the attitude of a large number of non-smokers and their in-your-face-attitude.

Elections should be about choices and when it comes to the smoking issue the voters of Lincoln really don't have any. The City Council has made it plain it will be law, the only thing that is up in the air at this point is which law.

No comments: