Let's ban it...
There's been an expensive but thus far generally unsuccessful movement to ban smoking in all public places in Indianapolis. As someone with a life-threatening chemical sensitivity to, among other things, cigarette smoke, I can't help but feel strongly about this issue. To everyone who has put their dollars and energy into freeing Indianapolis from smoke in bars, restaurants, et cetera, I'd just like to say...
Yes, you heard me. Take down the signs, stop phone banking, and go home before you get me killed.
Right now in Indianapolis, I can choose from several smoke-free restaurants to visit, while ignoring the smoking ones. Sure, I have fewer to choose from, but that's okay -- I can leave my home, enjoy a nice meal, and return without breathing anything likely to make me ill.
In cities like Chicago, where a smoking ban is in effect, every foray outside my door threatens to shorten my life. In Chicago, every doorway is surrounded by gaggles of chattering smokers through which I have to fight in order to enter or exit. People cannot smoke indoors, so they feel the need to do it every time they enter or exit a building.
When I visit family in the Chicago area and do want to go out to eat, we cross the border into Indiana where the lack of a ban makes for a safe, smoke-free evening.
Of course, it's not just about whether smoking should be allowed in Indianapolis bars. Every time someone talks the government into banning whatever behavior bothers them this week, we all become less free -- not just those who liked whatever was banned. (Not to mention that they tend to backfire spectacularly: think prohibition and Al Capone, gun bans and the Chicago homicide rate...need I go on?)