Property Rights Go Up in Smoke


An amazing thing happened to me a couple of weeks ago. I was in a bar, and when I came home I didn't have to wash my hair before going to sleep. I usually do so because my hair stinks of smoke after barhopping and the smell invariably oozes into my pillowcase, where it resides for the next few nights.

Of course, I was in New York , and the city is run by the worst kind of leftist ' you know, the kind with an 'R' next to his name. It was the first time I had been there since Mayor Bloomberg's smoking ban went into effect, and the thought of being in a place with such a law was making me sicker than any secondhand smoke could.

At best, I could describe my hair's lack of smell as a silver lining to a very dark and menacing cloud. At worst, I could say that it's just one more sign of the nanny state's ever-increasing control over our lives, property, and liberty.

But this isn't even what bothers me the most. I expect such disregard for individual freedom from politicians. What really bothers me is the disrespect for others' freedom that many regular citizens have. Indeed, many people don't even value their own freedom.

Don't believe me? A friend of mine fiercely debated with me on the smoking ban topic at the bar that night. I basically told her that to stand up for this law, she must not believe in property rights. She then responded that she didn't! When I said, fine, then give me all the money in your purse, she quickly began to back-peddle. She eventually ended the conversation by calling me crazy and announcing an urge to use the bathroom.

However, this wasn't even close to the dumbest thing I heard someone say about this topic. I was recently watching the news in the Washington , D.C. area when one station broadcast a report about the recent smoking ban in Montgomery County , Maryland . Of course the reporter only mentioned the immediate deleterious effects the law would have on the amount of business in local bars, and never mentioned the phrase 'property rights.' Even worse, one of the men she interviewed in a bar said that he supported the ban because he was a smoker, and he would welcome any law that would discourage him from smoking!

What a putz! When H.L. Mencken said, 'Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want--and deserve to get it, good and hard,' he must have been thinking of people just like this guy. I suppose that's what we get from decades of government schools, political correctness, and news media that routinely misinform the public.

In The Killer Angels, Michael Shaara's novel about the Battle of Gettysburg, he wrote of General John Buford, 'There was something about the mayors of towns that troubled him. They were too fat and they talked too much and they did not think twice of asking a man to die for them.' Okay, so Bloomberg isn't fat, and maybe he talks too much ' I don't know since I try to ignore him as much as possible ' but he has already shown a willingness to trample on property rights, so I wouldn't doubt it if someone told me he had no respect for life. Apparently, neither do a lot of other people.

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