Nanny State Virginia?

Is Virginia becoming the next Nanny State?

Governor Kaine has proposed a smoking ban in Bars and Restaurants throughout the state.

Here is the question: Do non-smokers really support such a ban? Do politicians feel justified in representing their constituents in such a way.

If non-smokers are that strongly opposed to smoking in restaurants, have they made those preferences known to the management of the bars and restaurants that they frequent? Or do they skip right past the preliminary steps of trying to address the problem at the lowest level possible and go right for the “nuclear option” of legislating their wishes upon everyone?

I just don’t understand why a voluntary ban would not work. If there is a market for smoke free establishments, why don’t restauranteers provide them? Why don’t non-smokers vocally and publicly pledge their support and patronage to any restaurant that provides them with a smoke free environment?

As a non-smoker, I would absolutely choose to specifically patronize and support establishments that provide a pleasant, smoke free environment. Surely I’m not the only one who would do so.

Which brings me to my next observation.

At City Tavern Grille in Manassas, a popular restaurant in Old Town, owner Pete Veltsistas welcomed the news of Kaine’s proposed smoking ban. “I hope it happens,” he said. “I would like to have a nonsmoking restaurant. For us, it would be a blessing to have it pass. I’m with that.”

The OWNER hopes a mandatory ban passes because he would like to have a nonsmoking restaurant? WTFO? Isn’t it the owners prerogative to determine the operating conditions of his establishment. In other words, what is keeping Mr. Veltsistas from declaring his restaurant non-smoking now?

ooh, ooh, I know…

Because if HE declares his Restaurant non-smoking, all of his smoking customers will just go somewhere else and he will lose business. But, if he can convince the STATE to mandate that ALL restaurants ban smoking, the smokers won’t HAVE anywhere else to go, he gets the non-smoking restaurant that his principles dictate, while conveniently avoiding the consequences. What a bargain.

I reiterate. If, before reading the above, Mr. Vetsistas had declared his establishment to be smoke free, were I a resident of Manassas, I would have wholeheartedly supported his decision and would have made a point of patronizing his establishment.

In light of his statement however…were I a resident of said city…I would NEVER darken the door of Mr. Veltsistas establishment again regardless of his smoking policy.

Mr. Veltsistas s free to run his business any way he chooses; but to invoke the threat of violence…and yes, the threat of arrest, incarceration or fines administered by government agents IS MOST DEFINITELY the threat of violence… to force his policies on competitors for no more reason than to avoid the consequences of said policies, is beyond the pale and is a trait of tyrants, not people who respect freedom, and not people with whom I choose to associate.

“If people are free to do as they wish, they are almost certain not to do as we wish. That is why Utopian planners end up as despots, whether at the national level or at the level of the local ‘redevelopment’ agency.”
–Thomas Sowell

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