Interesting thoughts of a non smoker who does not like the scent of tobacco but is against smoking bans.
The well-written piece brings forward classic arguments of property rights with which, of course, we fully agree, right along with the arguments against the junk science that is used to justify the violation of those property rights and of liberty in general.
But the emotional dynamics at work for those in the public who support smoking bans seem to be under-explored in the piece.
‘ The Aug. 21 Exponent editorial "Smoking ban arrives, sparks heated discourse" asserted that the smoking ban was a "good" thing. May I ask for whom? Is it good for the bar owner? How about the smokers? Then, who is it really good for? Anti-smokers are on a crusade to make things better for themselves at the expense of bar and restaurant owners’ Constitutional rights.’
Smoking bans are also “good” for the intellectually dishonest and the emotionally immature non smoker. Powerless, frustrated, emotionally inhibited by political correctness of all kinds, the non smoker responds to a primordial need to dominate someone or have control over something. It is not a coincidence, in fact, that totalitarian regimes of all colours in any age have always offered scapegoats to the population, so that the power-deprived citizen can have power over someone instead of rebelling against the system.
Mr. emotionally retarded Non Smoker has just paid a tax for a service he does not use, a traffic ticket against which there is absolutely nothing he can do, and which he identifies with theft. The boss has given him a hard time unfairly and he could not even tell him to go to hell as he deserves and his wife tells him what to do even where he could have some control, at home. He has no courage to quit his job and give the boss his due, tell the wife to go to hell or drive the car against the post that holds the photo-radar. Rotten “public health” is the saviour that offers him the sacrificial lamb: the smoker – and the lamb comes complete with the moral justification of “self defense”. Mr. Non Smoker finally has power over someone!
Who cares if it is proven that the dangers of passive smoking are a scientific fraud? Who gives a damn if the law violates property rights? See if I care about how Mr. Smoker feels, and whether it is cold outside! It’s him, not me! I love the smoking ban for, finally, I can say “I hate” without breaching political correctness and without being called an ass****. All this and a well-armed, criminal system that sides with me to boot: a law! Where is a smoker who breaks the “law” so I can exercise my power?
Like the dumb dog who bites the broom that hits him instead of jumping at the throat of he who handles it, Mr. Non Smoker will grip with locked jaw that little figment of power that makes him feel like he’s not a total loser. And he will not let go – unless Mr. Smoker induces a loss to him that is greater than his gain.
In the last analysis and on top of many other reasons, this is who smoking bans are “good” for. So we close these comments with the opening statement of the piece below:
“The anti-secondhand smoke argument is an understandable one; but it’s based on emotions rather than sound judgment and reason”.