Out of the Humidor
From the Print Edition:
Kurt Russell, May/June 2006
(continued from page 1)
It is always a delight to see state governments that can do things the correct way. Yesterday, a Senate-passed bill in the Virginia congress came to a screeching halt. The bill would have banned smoking in restaurants, bars and virtually all other public places. The proposed ban was sponsored by Senator J. Brandon Bell II, a Republican senator from Roanoke, who was quoted in The Washington Post as saying, "The bottom line is that we're not talking about a smoker's right to smoke indoors. We're talking about my right not to breathe in 4,000 chemicals and 60 known carcinogens that are associated with secondhand smoke." I cannot validate his statistics, but, in my opinion, that is not the point. We are talking about an individual's right to smoke. If the senator does not want to breathe in the air associated with secondhand smoke, it would be his right to avoid entering those establishments.
Fortunately, some delegates shared this sentiment. John A. Cosgrove, a Republican from Chesapeake County, said, "This is the wrong way to go about forcing this on businesses. People have to take some type of personal responsibility and not expect the state to do it for them." I applaud Cosgrove and his fellow members of the subcommittee that unanimously rejected this bill.
I believe that adults need to act as adults. If you find something offensive on television, change the channel. If you find something offensive on the radio, change the station. If you find a restaurant or bar offensive because it allows smoking, go somewhere else. It is a shame that other states cannot be more mindful of individual rights.