Fairway, you deserve
my discretionary dollars
by Kerri Fivecoat-Campbell
The balance between personal liberties and the government, and health insurance companies enacting intrusive laws and regulations is a fine line at best.
This holds true for Medicare and Medicaid or private insurance companies being able to hold it over our heads if we decide to engage in legal activities by clotting our arteries with fast food, pickling our livers with a pint of alcohol a day or blackening our lungs with smoke.
But I don’t believe this holds true when one group
of people perceive their rights trumping the personal choice of others.
“See, I told you that one of these days they would tell people they couldn’t smoke in their own homes,” said my mother, who was forced to quit smoking nearly two years ago after a massive heart attack.
I agree. This does violate that fine line. Although
it is still their property, the owner’s employees do pay rent
from their salaries to live there and if the owners are going to offer
their employees private residences, they should be allowed to do whatever
they like in their private lives as long as it is legal and they aren’t
destroying property. Yellow smoked walls can always be painted and
carpets can be deodorized.
Luckily, this was at a time when major corporations,
such as the one I was working for, enacted smoking bans in the building.
Still, I could not enjoy a drink at a bar, bowl or even spend much
time taking my mother to the casinos or to play bingo. I was even
limited on how much time I could spend in my mother’s house
because although she politely refrained from smoking while I was there,
the smoke still hung in the air and I knew she was uncomfortable without
a cigarette in her hand.
A woman who obviously didn’t get the fact that
there wasn’t a smoker in the entire bar did light up, and the
bartender politely told her that it was a non-smoking establishment
and she could go outside on the patio. When dozens of eyes glared
in the direction of the obnoxious smell, she huffed, “I’ll
just go outside and put it out.”
As far as I’m concerned, the KC metro is light
years behind in the movement to limit public smoking. It was only
this year that Kansas City, MO put any kind of a ban in place to protect
workers in public buildings. However, the city refused to put any
kind of a ban in place on restaurants and bars until 85 percent of
the metro cities pass nonsmoking ordinances. Now, that’s some
leadership…leaving it to a little burb like Fairway, one with
not much to lose except Houlihan’s, the city’s only chain
restaurant, to become the leader in this movement.
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