Smoking ban violates private property rights
August 14, 2009
I do not smoke. I believe that the recent smoking ban which has been imposed upon the people of the city of London is unconstitutional under the provisions set forth in the Kentucky State Constitution and the Constitution of the United States. The smoking ban violates the fifth right in the Kentucky Bill of Rights: the right of acquiring and protecting property.
The smoking ban is an assault on the rights of property owners and the property owner’s right to protect his property from those he would permit to smoke on his property. The property owner has the right to decide what he wants to do on his own property.
The smoking ban also violates section two of the Kentucky Bill of Rights: “Absolute and arbitrary power over the lives, liberty and property of freemen exists nowhere in a republic, not even in the largest majority.”
The London City Council has exercised absolute and arbitrary power over the lives, liberty and property of the free men and women within the city limits of London and the citizens of Laurel County. They have exercised arbitrary and absolute power by denying the property owner the right to enjoy his property and have declared themselves de facto owners of privately held property.
The smoking ban is also unenforceable — it cannot be enforced equally for all businesses within the city of London. It would be easily enforceable in businesses that have an open public area such as restaurants or retail outlets. It cannot be enforced within the confines of a business owner’s private office or in employee-only areas away from the public eye. I wonder if a police officer would walk into an attorney’s office, through the door that says “private” without a search warrant. They would be extremely foolish if they did.
One argument for the smoking ban is that government, in this case the London City Council, must protect those who cannot protect themselves against second-hand smoke. The last time I checked, that’s my job. I’m over 18 and registered to vote. I am aware of the dangers of smoking and second-hand smoke, therefore the decision to enter a business that allows smoking is my business. They then argue we must protect the children from second-hand smoke. Are you saying that a parent who smokes is abusing his child?
“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victim may be the most oppressive… those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.” — C.S. Lewis.
Darrell W. Peters,