I, too, oppose a total ban on smoking in Lucas County's public places.
I, too, am sick and tired of hearing about how bad smokers are and how we are being made to feel like second-class citizens. Fifty years ago we were never told how bad smoking could be for us, but that certainly isn't true today, because that's all we hear.
Has that stopped our younger generation from starting this terrible habit? I think not. I for one would like to know where they get the money to buy tobacco because it's obvious that many of them are too young to work. Is it possible that the money comes from the big allowances they get from their parents?
I would like to know who the idiot is who thinks raising taxes on cigarettes will stop these kids from buying tobacco products.
The people it really hurts are those on fixed incomes. Aren't we the ones that get the brunt of just about everything? The fact that we get a raise every year for Social Security and/or a pension is a joke. Before you even get it, it is gone to the government. Now you want to raise taxes on cigarettes, too.
During my lifetime I've seen people die from cancer who had never smoked. I've also seen people in their 80s and 90s who are alive and still smoking every day.
How about some tougher law-enforcement on drunken drivers, speeders, and those with road rage? Then I wouldn't have to wear a seat belt (which I am now forced to do).
My philosophy is this: Walk a mile in my shoes, pay my bills, and then you can tell me what to do.
The Lucas County Health Department is considering a ban on all indoor smoking in businesses open to the public. This ban would include bars, bowling centers, and all restaurants.
Smoking is already prohibited in all public buildings and most workplaces. The only places smokers can still light up are at home, outdoors, in bars, and a few other designated areas. I realize the need to protect nonsmokers from second-hand smoke. However, we have already done that and more. What will be next? No smoking in your house if you live with a nonsmoker?
Something this restrictive should be left to elected legislators and not an appointed board. Unlike the health department, elected officials must answer to the voters at election time.
PHILIP W. VARNER
Hats off to Citizens for a Strong Ohio! This organization's commitment to educating the public about the records of the candidates for the Ohio Supreme Court is refreshing and extremely valuable. Up to now, we have been asked to vote for judges based on knowing little more than their names or relying entirely on ratings developed by Bar Associations.
As I understand it, the judges themselves set the rules for what they can tell voters. If we are going to elect judges, we should know how they make decisions, what their decisions say about them, and how their decisions impact Ohio.
People wonder why voters are disenchanted with the political process. When judges protect themselves from the public scrutiny that all other political candidates must face, they are forcing us to cast our votes in the dark. I thought justice was supposed to be blind - not Ohio voters.
GARY A. KOESTER
Charlton Heston is only half right. Common sense dictates that along with freedom comes responsibility. How responsible is it to legally sell guns to criminals, either knowingly or unknowingly? Society has a moral obligation and the right to protect itself through laws and regulations. This is especially true of lethal devices.
Let's imagine a world without standards. Take vehicle registration. According to the National Rifle Association, everyone should drive regardless of age, accident record, or sobriety. Or take food regulation. NRA logic says that no standards for bacterial content are needed. Disease control? Not needed.
The NRA encourages and promotes the sale of weapons at gun shows to anyone. The terrorists of the world never need to worry about arms. They can always come to this country and stock up at any NRA-sanctioned gun show. Hussein and Bin Ladin love Mr. Heston.
PAUL R. SZYMANOWSKI
It's time Americans realized the difference between casual drug use and abuse. While millions of Americans can and do enjoy moderate amounts of drugs such as alcohol and marijuana, others develop serious problems with some drugs, and other drugs simply aren't addictive in the traditional sense.
Casual drug use, smoking marijuana or having a glass of wine with dinner or a few beers at a baseball game, doesn't wreak havoc on society. While some people who consume alcohol become alcoholics, we don't throw them in jail and take their property in order to help them overcome their addiction. We provide treatment services, counseling, job training, and education.
We provide these programs because they are more effective than a long prison sentence and much less costly.
But when it comes to drugs other than alcohol, which are just as popular, we opt for a system that completely ignores reality. We concern ourselves with the message we send to our children, without full consideration of what kind of world they will inherit. Prisons filled to capacity; new ones can't be built fast enough. Community police transformed into paramilitary units armed to the teeth with automatic weapons. Government agents peering into every facet of our private lives.
What kind of world are we creating for our children, a drug-free world? Nonsense. There's no such thing. But we can deliver them a world where people who harm no one are left alone. Where those who cause harm to others are punished accordingly, and one where those who desperately need medical treatment for drug addiction can receive it.
We must find a new message, a new way, and we must stop the paranoia and ignorance surrounding drug use and abuse that has permeated our society, and threatens our children's future.
A recent letter writer to The Blade indicated he'd like to see the American Rifleman tell the story of the woman with a gun who was disarmed and had the gun used against her.
What he leaves out is that a study by the U.S. Justice Department shows that those who resist with a gun are less likely to be harmed than those who resist with other means or who do not resist at all.
The American Rifleman carries numerous stories in each issue showing the successful use of firearms in self-defense. Apparently the letter writer thinks little of the thousands of lives saved by guns because occasionally defense with a gun is unsuccessful.
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