Commissioner Troy DeHart noted that when the policy was originally entertained by the Board, there was no opposition. However, when press accounts spread, the complaints started to flow in. The smoking ban policy would have banned smoking in all bars, restaurants, hotels, outdoor areas, and even private clubs. That, is more draconian than the statewide compromise smoking ban, adopted last year by the Indiana legislature.
Commissioner DeHart had second thoughts, as he rescinded his prior vote he noted, “I felt like we really infringed upon what the country was founded on. It’s not an issue of not smoking or smoking, it’s a loss of freedom. I humbly said it more than once that I felt like I made a mistake. I will stick to my guns. I made that mistake.”
We forgive you Commissioner DeHart, and wish more local and state officials would do the same soul searching you did, and reverse the trampling of personal liberty and confiscation of private property rights, to reverse such policies.
This story raises another interesting question: How many smoking bans have been passed because there was no vocal opposition? If a few bar owners, like Zach Kyle of The Blind Pig Bar in Greenwood, Indiana can speak up and work to reverse such actions, imagine what we can do across this nation. Mr. Kyle noted about the Johnson County, Indiana Board vote, “It was the right decision to leave small business owners alone.”
It’s a case study for every local government smoking ban in the nation. It’s a story we intend to repeat, across the United States.
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