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.

Friday, December 31, 2004

Lincoln Smoking ban kicks in at midnight Saturday.

As reported in the Lincoln Journal Star; Sometime Monday morning, Miles Johnston will step out from behind the counter at Cliff's Smoke Shop, move to the store's smoking area and light his pipe.

Go for it Miles, there are a lot of Lincolnites with you in spirit.

On Thursday, SS Police Chief Tom Casady said he hadn't heard that Johnston planned to continue to allow smoking in Cliff's Smoke Shop after New Year's Day. The chief laughed when told of his plan.
"If Mr. Johnston violates the law, I'll help him to self-actualize in his attempt at civil disobedience," Casady said.

I know you will Tom, it is in your character to do just that.

He also reiterated that his officers will begin enforcing the ban at the stroke of midnight, 2005, one hour before the city's bars close for the night.

Yup, people smoking in bars meer minutes after the law goes into effect is so much more dangerous than people firing guns and drunk drivers prowling the city streets on New Years Eve. Glad to see you have your priorities in order Chief.

He isn't concerned about the possibility of provoking hundreds of New Year's Eve revelers.
In other words you and your storm troopers minions are going to storm the local drinking establishments and harrass a bunch of happy drunks on New Years Eve. Yes Sir Tom good way to start a new year, make sure the populace is still firmly under your thumb.

"I don't see how it's any more volatile than ... any one of dozens and dozens of other violations," he said. "I don't know how I can make this any more clear. We're going to start at midnight."

Well Chief maybe you don't see anything volitile about crashing a bunch of bars at Midnight New Years Eve to enforce a new law on a bunch drunk people but I do. I hope I'm wrong but I have a feeling there is going to be a whole slew of ancillary charges cited as well when the previously happy revelers are confronted by the brute force of the Lincoln Police Department. You know like disturbing the peace, drunk in public and refusing to obey an officer. Maybe that is what your hoping for as well Chief.

Lately, Johnston has talked a lot about how smoke shops should be exempted from the ban.
Well of course they should be.

"I mean, 90 percent of people who are in here are smokers. It makes sense,"

The earlier, so-called "partial ban" discussed by the City Council did exempt them, as do bans in California, New York and Florida, he says.

Even the People in those states have more sense than the Lincoln City Council. Imagine that!!

It doesn't make legal sense to the assistant city attorney, who says the city's residents don't eat food inside grocery stores or drink alcohol inside liquor stores.

I'll give you the liquor store thing councellor, but many grocery stores I know of sell food for on site consumption. Where do you shop?

"I recognize the (tobacco store) argument, but carving out exceptions isn't something that's legally sound to start," she says.

To start? Well let's see where the start really was Barrister. The City Council orginally passed a law that excempted smoke shops. It was a law most everyone could live with. But then a few short weeks later that same City Council in a "Midnight session" recinded the orginal law and replaced it with a total and complete ban.

The uproar in the community, even from non-smokers, was such that that ballot petition initiatives were circulated and enough signatures were gathered to force the measure to be placed on the November ballot.

What choices did the citizens of Lincoln have? The only choices were a partial ban or a total ban. The choice of no ban at all was not on the ballot. So the City Council in effect said; We have determined that the residents of Lincoln will bend to our will because we run this city and this is what we decree.

Having Lorded themselves over Lincolnites in the true spirit of the Third Riech Jolly old Englands Royalty, The City Council in their infinate wisdom is about to unleash the Sheriff of Naughtingham on the good Citizens.

Oh and just for the record; I do not Smoke


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