Friday, May 15, 2009

What about the owners of the properties?

Seems the Houston Chronicle editorial board doesn't give a gnat's fart in a windstorm about them...

Second-hand smoke is getting a second chance, thanks to a tobacco-lobby blitz on the Texas Legislature.
Early in this session, a pair of bills — House Bill 5 and Senate Bill 544 — seemed likely to replace the state’s patchwork of local smoking laws with a single clear ban: No smoking in indoor work and public places, including restaurants and bars.
A ban much like that has been working well in Houston, and most Texans support the cancer-fighting idea. One poll found 68 percent of us in favor. And 46 cities’ mayors support the bills.
We’ll be watching that bill. How our state senators vote on it will signal clearly who they listen to more: tobacco lobbyists or Texans.

Ok, look. I understand the health hazards of smoking. I have seen firsthand what those things do to a person. And I hate the smell of secondhand smoke, whatever its effects may be. But none of that should be any basis whatsoever for passing laws like this that take a big, steaming crap all over the rights of the people who own the restaurants and bars. The people who patronize these establishments know — or at least they damn well should know — what they're walking into when they go into these places. They make that choice on their own free will. And don't you just love how the Chronsters cite the poll results as a reason to pass the bill? I wonder what they'd have said if 68 percent of us had opposed passing, say, the shield law. Money says they would have done their damnedest to sweep that one under the rug because it's something they're in favor of. As far as the "patchwork" of laws goes, I love how one of the commenters put it: there's a patchwork of laws in Texas vis-a-vis where you can buy alcohol and where you can't, so why not just pass a law making the whole state dry? But of course the members of the editorial board probably like to go out and have some brewskis every Friday night, so something like that is right out the door. "Can you say "meddling, hypocritical nanny-state do-gooders"? I knew you could.