The Senate, Smoking and Property Rights

Does anybody respect property rights anymore? The House of Delegates passed a bill restricting the rights of property owners from keeping guns off their premises (see “NRA Taking Your Property without Compensation“). Now the state Senate has backed legislation prohibiting cigarette smoking in most public, indoor buildings, including restaurants. If we’re lucky, the House and Senate will shoot down each others’ bills. (Where is Dick Cheney when you need him?)

According to John Reid Blackwell with the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the legislation “would make smoking illegal in indoor places frequented by the public, with few exceptions, such as specialty tobacco shops, tobacco manufacturing plants and home-based businesses…”

I don’t smoke, my wife doesn’t smoke, and I discourage my children from smoking. But I think this is a bad idea. Restaurant owners should have the freedom to cater to their clientele as they wish. Most restaurants already have smoking and non-smoking sections. If some people aren’t satisfied with such separation, there is no lack of competing restaurants for them to patronize. Perhaps restaurateurs will make an effort to make them happier — perhaps by installing better ventilation.

Advocates of the liberal state, to my way of thinking, are just as intrusive as the cultural conservatives they dislike so much. A pox on both their houses.

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7 responses to “The Senate, Smoking and Property Rights”

  1. Amen, a pox on both their houses.

    Unfortunately, the government is free to intrude on your property rights unless they remove almost all the economic benefit of the property.

    Unless and until we come to some agreement on compensation for new regulations that create partial additional intrusions, your argument that this and the gun issue are property rights inflictions don’t hold water.

    The same goes for those who think that new development is an incursion on their rights and for those that think restricting their rights to develop is an incursion.

    Right now, now one who makes an argument about partial restrictions has a leg to stand on.

  2. Amen to Jim’s post!

  3. Lucy Jones Avatar

    I’m in 100% too. Let the businesses decide! If you don’t like smoke, don’t go where smokers go. If you don’t want smoking in your business, slap up a no-smoking sign.

    What’s next? Perfume laws, bathroom laws, etc.


  4. Rtwng Extrmst Avatar
    Rtwng Extrmst

    I dunno, maybe they should ban people from locking their cigarettes in their car too… ๐Ÿ˜‰

  5. Lucy Jones Avatar

    Yes, because when I forget mine in the car, I might have a hissy fit. You’d rather have the smoke, believe me!

  6. Anonymous Avatar

    We outlawed spitting tobacco on the sidewalks long ago, to my chagrin. And alas, bars are no longer required to have spittoons. It severely limits my rights as a chewer.

    Are y’all for repealing that law?

  7. Lucy Jones Avatar

    Sure. I didn’t even know there was such a law. You can’t spit tobacco juice on the street? Seems like that would be some kind of fertilizer or something ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I think that law probably doesn’t apply to God’s country east of Richmond. I can remember being very careful in high school to look in the desk before I put my books in there. Ewwww! Well, we could smoke on the way to the next class too back then…

    Anyway, I see plenty men spitting in cups at the sports events around town. Most levi’s have that dead-giveaway round crease in the back pocket in my end of the world. Guess it depends on where you live?

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