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Last night's Board of Health meeting

By Scott Tibbs, March 27, 2009

I attended and spoke at the Monroe County Board of Health meeting last night, where the BOH considered a resolution to urge the County Commissioners to ban smoking in vehicles with children younger than 14.The Commissioners will consider the ban at their 9:00 a.m. meeting, safely hidden away from people who have to be at work. (See yesterday's post.)

What I found amazing was the attitude of some of the supporters, including some members of the Board of Health. There was a great deal of pretentiousness and arrogance, as if they're looking down on us and making decrees on the sheep who are too stupid and ignorant to run our own lives. People know better, but we have to control behavior by law because they do not do what is good for them, as one BOH member said.

The language of the amendment does not allow police to use smoking in a car with a child to be a reason to pull someone over. That was the case with seat belts too, and I have driven through checkpoints in downtown Bloomington where police look to see if I am wearing my seat belt. (I always do.) Of course, it's entirely possible that police may pull someone over for another violation that would not otherwise merit the driver being pulled over, for the purpose of collecting the $100 fine. There's also nothing to prevent the ordinance from being amended again.

The Herald-Times reports that the smoking ban will only impact areas outside the city of Bloomington, but the BOH will be going to the City Council to encourage them to pass a ban for the city as well. There's clearly a move for more laws and government control, and this is far from the last word on the matter. Eventually, this will extend to private homes - unless people decide to vote for people who do not believe government can run our lives better than we can. That would be change we can believe in.

I was amused by the argument that smoke can even harm children in utero, given the children who were killed by dismemberment for profit just a few blocks south of the County Courthouse earlier that day. Why is an unborn child worth protecting from tobacco smoke, but not worth protecting from being intentionally killed by the "doctor" at Planned Parenthood? Would the people arguing for protecting fetuses from the negative effects of smoke also argue for making it illegal to abort that same fetus, or at least stop giving tax money to the abortionists?