By Linda “Angry Bunny” Dahl
Well, Arizona, we’ve done it. By the time you read this article, life as you know in public has officially changed. We have officially become a nonsmoking state. You can no longer smoke in bars, restaurants, or any public place where people gather. You can’t smoke in any working environment. Even if everyone in that working environment is a smoker. As a business owner you can’t even allow people to smoke within 20 feet of your front door, retail, commercial, wholesale… it doesn’t matter.
Now I will be perfectly honest with you. I am a non-smoker. To be even more correct, I am a reformed smoker. And this new law SUCKS! Not that I like to sit at the bar and feel the burning in my eyes as someone’s smoke comes drifting by. However, that’s not what this new law is all about.
You see, this law is about our constitutional right to do a lawful business as we see fit to a public that chooses our wares. To deny a business owner that lawful right is the same as denying a private individual the right to decide if he wants to allow smoking on his personal property. Think about it. A bar owner owns a building, the bar stools that nestle up to the high tops, the silverware, glasses, and assorted dishes that keep him running. He invites the public in to his place for a beer and a burger. He tells Joe Public, you can eat, drink, be merry and smoke a cigarette if you wish. Then a stupid proposition, brought by non-smoking zealots, hits the ballot and a private citizen can no longer decide what’s in the best interest of his own personal property, (aka his business).
I completely disagree with this idealism. The biggest problem is that the zealots who made this happen never patronize the real smoking bars! AND THEY DON’T HAVE TO!! There are many places they can go to have beer, hamburgers and a jolly good time that provide a smoke free environment. What happened to the real American way: VOTE WITH YOUR DOLLARS if you don’t like smoking, don’t go a place that might allow smoking and offend you. If a business owner decides it is in his best interest to be a non-smoking establishment, let him make his business, his brick and mortar, his bar stools, and his dishes a non-smoking environment. Stop trying to tell everyone what he or she can do. If we don’t stop this ideological nonsense now, who knows what else will show up next on the ballots. What, no sex on Sunday?
I am so sorry my friends, we are going to have to sit back and watch some of our favorite biker friendly hang-outs close one by one because the people of Arizona will speak again. Only this time it will be the smokers that speak. They will put old refrigerators on their back patio, fill it with beer and mount a flat screen under their awning, add a $20.00 misting system and put a few padded reclining patio chairs out there and offer their friends a chance to sit and watch the game and have a few beers, and smoke ‘em if you got ‘em. It happened in Tempe and it happened in Mesa. Now this time it will happen all over the state.
I’m sure gonna miss all you bar flies. BYOB and hope to see you in my back yard.