Personal liberty has taken quite a beating in recent years as leftist politicians seek to ban any politically incorrect behavior ostensibly for our own good. While New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has been the poster boy for government intervention, the West Coast has long been riddled with such intrusive ideology.
For generations, cigarette smokers have increasingly fallen out of favor among leftists. Increasingly draconian restrictions mean these citizens are often relegated to their home or herded into some inconvenient holding pen when they feel the need to light up.
Legislators in San Rafael, Calif., however, has taken the idiocy to stunning new heights by implementing what is arguably the strictest smoking ban in the U.S.
“I’m not aware of any ordinance that’s stronger,” gloated one of the law’s authors, Rebecca Woodbury.
Already more than a week old, the ordinance dictates no one may smoke in any multi-family residence with shared walls. The law applies to any apartment complex, condominium, or other structure with three or more units. Renters and homeowners alike are subject to the new mandate.
While proponents argue smoke can cause health problems even through walls, one smoker’s rights advocate said proof of that assertion is “spurious at best.”
In reality, many leftists would support any legislation that gave them the power to tell others what they may and may not do. Ironically, these are often the very same public figures who find themselves the subject of scandals based on their own outlandish behavior.
Fortunately, many citizens are acutely aware of the government’s increasingly intrusive role in the lives of Americans. A growing number of people – including many non-smokers – are joining the in the opposition of this overzealous ordinance.
Heartland Institute Research Fellow Steve Stanek said he sympathizes with smokers and others who have had their liberties curtailed by “the huge growth in laws and punishment and government restricting people more and more.”
Though Americans still celebrate this nation’s identity as the “land of the free,” we are growing demonstrably less sovereign as time progresses. When citizens are prohibited from using a legal product even within the confines of their own home, one must recognize this is not the same country our founders envisioned.
–B. Christopher Agee
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Photo Credit: State Library and Archives of Florida (Creative Commons)