Slippery slope argument lovers are going to really get a kick out of this story.
A group of Connecticut lawmakers have proposed legislation to ban smoking in private vehicles. Yes, that means your car. First it was airplanes, then it was public buildings, then it was restaurants, then public spaces, then bars, and now even your own Suburban may be off limits for a puff.
I particularly love this line, “When you put a child in, you have a responsibility… The right thing to do is to take care of that child.”
Of course you do, it’s called “being a parent.” How bout we leave that one to… oh, I don’t know… the parents?
This is, of course, both a nanny-state issue and a reaction to the fact that children are now seen as potential debt creators. With both state and federal governments slowly creeping into every corner of the health care industry, I suppose it’s but a necessary step to make sure they don’t A) become predisposed to smoking; and B) suffer health problems from second hand smoke. In a nutshell, Connecticut lawmakers believe they have the authority to tell you how to raise your kids because they now have a reasonable government interest in doing so.
For what it’s worth, I hate seeing kids packed in the back of vehicles while parents are smoking, too. I just don’t think it’s my place to tell them that they can’t be really, really, really crappy parents. They may very well suck at parenting, and life, but who am I to break the vicious cycle of lousy parenting? And for that matter, who am I to tell folks in Connecticut that it’s wrong to pass a really, really, really bad piece of legislation. Have at it.
State lawmakers want to make smoking in cars illegal if there is a child under 7-years-old inside.
Parents like the idea.
“We want our kids to be in safe places, always,” Chris Liss, a Granby parent, said.
A 2006 Harvard University study of smoking in cars shows that even with the windows slightly opened, a single cigarette can produce hazardous levels of contaminants.
“It’s going to help,” Rep. Henry Genga, the bill’s sponsor, said. “No question about it.”
Opponents are concerned that this law may be too intrusive and many wonder how it will be enforced. Genga said he has the support in the law enforcement community who tell him it will be as easy to enforce as the seatbelt law.
The first time someone is caught they will get a warning, the second time will involve a penalty.
“When you put a child in, you have a responsibility,” Genga said. “The right thing to do is to take care of that child.”
Lawmakers on the transportation committee will hold a public hearing on this bill on Wednesday morning.