Smoking bans run amok
Lest you be blinded by novels like The Third Revolution into thinking that only the Feds are oppressive bastards, Gene Healy alerts us to a new smoking ban in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Smoking within 25 feet of the door of a publicly used building, a park, or in other public spaces can now cost you $500 or a year in prison.
Sound harsh? Baton Rouge Councilwoman Lorri Burgess doesn’t think so. “The issue today is clean air,” she says, and the ban “sends a strong message.” No kidding. Smoke a Marlboro, go to the slammer.
Writes Healy: “A year in prison. For smoking a goddamned cigarette. Mencken said that every normal man must be tempted at times to spit upon his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats. Reading stuff like this can make you feel completely normal.”
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