Still Pissed Off About the Hawley-Smoot Tariff

Thursday, November 02, 2006

State Questions 4 and 5

I'm treating these two as one post because they're basically different degrees of the same thing.

Question 4 reads:

"Sall Chapter 202 of the Nevada Revised Statutes be amended in order to prohibit smoking tobacco in certain public places, except all areas of casinos, gaming areas within establishments holding gaming licenses, bars and certain other locations?"

Question 5 reads:

"Shall Chapter 202 of the Nevada Revised Statutes be amended in order to prohibit smoking tobacco in certain public places, in all bars with a food-handling license, but excluding gaming areas of casinos and certain other locations?"

I'm voting NO on both.

I don't smoke, and I don't like the smell of smoke. But I also don't like the nanny state. I'm no purist-libertarian (more like a conservative with libertarian leanings), so for both my wife and me, the question boils down to this: which do I hate more? Smoke, or Clinton-esque nanny-statism? My wife says smoke. I'm going with the nanny state.

If you live around here, you've probably seen the gas station marquees that say "yes on 4, no on 5." That's a ridiculous position to take, in my view. Of course, the reason they say no on 5 is because they want their patrons to be able to sit down at a slot machine for hours, puffing away, without having to stand up, go outside, and maybe realize they shouldn't spend so much time in front of a slot machine. It's naked self-interest. Hey, I can appreciate that. But then the say yes on 4, assertedly to protect "the children." Look, kids go into the gas station, too, and you don't seem too concerned with them, now do you? Apparently you do not.

It may be argued that the smoking bans are good because they would ban smoking in day care facilities. To which my response is: "what kind of freakin' moron sends their kids to a freakin' day care where people are allowed to smoke?" Seriously, the solution to that problem lies in a subtle combination of the free market (most people will not pay to send their kids to go get cancer from second-hand smoke) and Darwinism. Yeah, I know it sounds cold, but some people are far too dumb to have offspring.

The fact is, I almost never go into casinos, I avoid going in gas stations whenever possible, I'm reasonably confident in my ability to ask a would-be day care provider whether the kids get to light up for recess, and although I dislike smoke, it's not the end of the world. There's no justification for asking the government to further intrude into peoples' lives.