Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Letter in Noblesville Daily Times

I was pleased to see my letter printed today. Monday at 7pm is a time where there is incredible competition for my time. While I went up to rally the Fort Wayne Libertarians, I could have also gone to do the same for the Indianapolis Libertarians, or to the Indianapolis City-County budget meeting, or to the Fishers Town Council meeting.

I would have liked to have gone to the meeting in Fishers, as the hot topic was the possible ban on smoking on private property such as restaurants and bars. Unable to be in two places at once, I did the next best thing and sent a letter to the Noblesville Daily Times, who printed it today. Highlights:
Consider how a ban, or even entertaining a possible ban, actually plays out. It negates the property owner's ability to set policy on his property while allowing everyone else who does not own it to have first say. This is un-American and wrong.

Moreover, it's bad business. A uniform ban removes the edge those progressive business owners had when they voluntarily went smoke free. Also, smoking patrons will now have an incentive to take their business from the many restaurants and bars along Indiana 37 in Fishers up north to Noblesville, where there is no such ban.

I find these laws frustrating in that the public's response has been so muted thus far. Where is the defense of property rights? Why are the property rights of another so easily dismissed or ignored merely because your ox is not gored? Whatever happened to the live and live spirit a la Voltaire, that could suggest, "I do not smoke, nor do I promote smoking, but I'll defend your right to permit on your property"?

I'll look forward to the meeting with the public hearing. I hope I'm surrounded by citizens defending property rights rather than kids sent by the schools, as happened in Greefield.

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