Let businesses decide their own rules

Letter to the editor

Posted: Thursday, January 29, 2004

Again, my latest discussion about rights has been degraded by others complaining about their right to smoke-free air everywhere they go. This is simply unreasonable when referring to privately owned establishments. However, I'm delighted Mr. Dave Johnson took time to insult me all the way from Texas.

Despite my apparent brain-damage, I'm obligated to point out that his comment: "the prime directive of good government: to protect the health, safety and welfare of all of the people" is not fact, but simply an opinion.

Not everyone feels this is, or even should, be the prime directive of our government. Sure sounds great though. Of course, rhetoric is supposed to sound good, right? Nice work Mr. Johnson! Unlike you, I'm not looking for a government to take care of my every need. Perhaps some citizens want this. That's a shame.

In my opinion, this sensational liberalism only contributes to the "dumbing" of our society and I'm completely against it. I might wear wool, but I'm no sheep. I know my SUV analogy wasn't perfect either, but the purpose was to make everyone think about the rights we possess and the choices we're expected to make. I'm glad we're expected to make them. Choose to go occasionally (some risk), go whenever you like (more risk), or never go at all (no risk). Some people call this risk management.

The comment "smoke-free air is good for people and good for businesses." is only half true. I'll let you guess which half. It's easy to determine, however, by looking at all the smoke-free bars and bar/restaurants in Juneau that enjoy a booming business. Mr. Johnson, owners don't need your opinion on what's good for them. Perhaps things are different in Texas, but that's none of my business.

I'm still waiting for legitimate facts to dispute. So far it's only been about how bad smoking is and its inconvenience for non-smokers, but nothing to justify stripping the rights of private businesses. Mr. Johnson's clever use of adjectives such as "innocent bystanders," "illegal poison" and my favorite, "witch's brew" is simply not cutting my mustard.

Do me a favor and be straightforward: step up and say you want to take away my rights! Don't ramble on about how the business you never go into is killing you. Even in my "brain-damaged" condition, I can see through the smoke you're putting out.

Pete Schneider

Auke Bay

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