Smoking in Cars: A Private Property & Parental Rights Issue

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Editor’s Note:  March 1, 2013 was Black Friday in Utah.  The state legislature passed a bill – the worst of this legislative session to date – that will have far-reaching effects in undermining both property rights and parental rights. 

It’s happening everywhere.  It started in California with an ever-so-slow chipping away at little liberties, until now there are several counties in the God forsaken state that completely disregard private property rights by criminalizing smoking in a home with children present.

How embarrassing that, in Utah – a state known for its conservative family values – the people have elected representatives from the utterly clueless to the deliberately dangerous. Watch this short video clip to witness the rhetoric that is chipping away your liberty daily by lawmakers who have no regard for parental rights. Utah is on that slippery slope, and the precedent has been set to go the next step – into your and my home. You’ll also hear some of the finest orations on the definition of parental rights from Senators Mark Madsen, Margaret Dayton, Deidre Henderson, Wayne Harper, and Curt Bramble.

Perhaps you’re noticing the same rhetoric in YOUR state?  This is where the rubber meets the road and where the true conservatives stand out amongst the counterfeits and the confused.

Here’s the story of what happened:

Big Government do-gooders are at it again.  How could anyone oppose the banning of cigarette smoking in a car with children in it?  But a bill (HB 13) has been making its way through the Utah legislative process, and conservatives are voting for it.

I’ll tell you how I could, would, and should vote to oppose these measures in every state – if I had a vote.  And here’s my story…

As a daughter of a well-respected surgeon in Hollywood, California, it may seem incongruent that I would oppose this legislation.  However, my father was one of many doctors who smoked during that era. It was a social thing.  No question it was not a healthy practice for him or anyone, and his life did end sooner than I would have liked.  But my mother, siblings and I have had long and healthy lives in spite of the second-hand smoke that was sometimes annoying on a daily basis within our home, and in our car.

When we were in the car, my father rolled down the window slightly and it solved the problem.  I remember very fondly going to Dodger baseball games with my dad – everyone smoked and the air was obnoxious (not to mention the beer being guzzled and the obnoxious behavior that resulted).

smoke swirlsI also recall sitting in the den watching TV with my dad and watching the fascinating swirls and shapes the smoke made and how it found its own horizon that blanketed the room just above our heads. No doubt the room really reeked, and I didn’t stay to watch so much TV at night as a result.

It didn’t take a school teacher or a law or a surgeon general to tell me that the smoke was really nasty.  I let my voice be heard.  One day I took my dad’s cigarette box and crumbled up all the cigarettes and hid them.  It made a strong impression on him.  But as health issues became more of a concern for him, he stopped smoking cold-turkey about ten years later.

In spite of this background, I’ve been a professional singer throughout my adult life, performing leading and supporting roles in national and regional theatre, as well as in New York City.  My lungs have been strong and clear.

It’s great to breathe clearer air, but that is not my concern with this bill.

It’s About Private Property

smoking in cars - private property issueA car has always been regarded as private property – an extension of a person’s home.  That is an unalienable right that cannot be compromised.

For this same reason, guns – also potentially harmful – are allowed in cars.

The question is “where do we draw the line” on government regulation? How far is too far for government to regulate private property?  At what point would it be appropriate for government authorities to tell us that cigarettes cannot be used in the home with children under 16?

We were stunned to watch as we lost this battle – only by two votes.  One of them was one of our more conservative and dependable votes.  I texted him.  He admitted to being prejudicial.  He had two family members that had died of second-hand smoke.  Nothing was going to change his mind.

I value my liberties, and as a conservative who stands for principles that have long endured the test of time, private property ownership is one of them.

Please encourage your elected officials to respect private property and to refrain from encroaching on our liberties.