IBJOpinion

Ballard is right to oppose smoking ban

December 26, 2009
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IBJ Letters To The Editor

[Mickey Maurer’s Nov. 30 column] was the second article criticizing Mayor [Greg] Ballard on his position against a stronger non-smoking ban for Indy. As much as I have always admired Maurer as a successful businessman and all the good work he does with his wealth, it has been evident that he stands on the side of political correctness on most issues he writes about. Unfortunately he, like many other business leaders, does not see the forest for the trees.

The smoking ban issue is not really about health. If so, then why not ban everything that is not healthy according to a few people—alcohol, soda pop, Kool-Aid, candy bars, fast food?

While we all desire healthy living for all Americans, are we prepared to accept what will be the next ban? Will it be overeating, long hair, outdoor cooking, listening to music on our patio, mowing our grass on Sundays? Such infringements, like the smoking ban, should be vigorously fought.

The solution to the smoking ban is simple. Let the marketplace decide. As a [Danville] restaurant owner, I can testify that the marketplace does the best job. There are places for both nonsmokers and smokers and they have the choice to make where they want to spend their time and money. If customers are lost due to smoking, then sales will dictate a change in policy. Having gone non-smoking two years ago, my sales have increased and it proved to be a profitable decision that I made [that was] not local-government mandated.

In support of the mayor, it is significant to point out that he served our country as a soldier—protecting our freedoms abroad. Perhaps his experience of being in countries where there are no freedoms, but only tyranny, helped form his present position. We should be grateful for his caution and concern on this issue. It is easy to criticize when the numbers are on your side, but it takes courage and boldness to oppose the popular for what is right for all our citizens.

___________

Dave Byrdwell

 

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