Restaurants & Smoking
Posted by Daren Bakst at 4:47 PM
The North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association (NCRLA) has decided not to fight the proposed extreme smoking ban, at least for now. While in the past they may have fought for property rights, they now have decided that so long as everybody's rights are violated (specifically private clubs and businesses that compete with restaurants), they no longer have a need for property rights.
"Stone [NCRLA president] told the News & Observer of Raleigh earlier this month that the group will not oppose a restaurant smoking ban. A poll of the group's members found 80 percent said they want the organization to support or at least not oppose the smoking ban, Stone said. But he said that support could change if lawmakers allow exceptions for private clubs or other types of businesses, as Virginia did." [Emphasis added].
It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that the NCRLA is in large part responsible for the extreme nature of the proposed smoking ban. Ban supporters in the legislature wouldn't dare provide any protections for any business because that might upset the NCRLA. Basically, these legislators are willing to violate property rights and freedom for political reasons.
They aren't even willing to make reasonable exceptions (yes, I know the bill should have an exception from the bill) such as exempting private clubs.
I don't expect people to go cold turkey from visiting restaurants, but people should remember that NC restaurants are helping to pave the way for this incredible violation of freedom. I hope people will take reasonable action to let them know how they feel.
In the future, when NCRLA (and their members that support the ban) talk about property rights or principles, we'll all know they couldn't care less about principles--they just want to use "principles" to serve their own agendas. Maybe someday business special interests will learn that if they stuck together and fought violations of freedom, they would be much better off than individually selling out.
On a side note: For anyone that had any doubts about the critical importance of think tanks such as JLF, this situation shoud make things perfectly clear. We stick by our principles and don't discard them when it is politically expedient. I'm thrilled that North Carolinians across the state have a new way to fight for freedom--we certainly need it.
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