To the People

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or TO THE PEOPLE.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Smoking Ban Kills Old Man (Could it Murder Others?)

This is as disgusting as it was inevitable.
[An 85-year-old Scottish] pensioner has died after falling and striking his head on a pub bar as he made his way outside for a smoke, writes Graham Huband.

The shocking accident came just two days after the introduction of the ban on smoking in enclosed public places.

[Ellipsis]

His son Stewart said today he was angry his father, who he described as a “cheery lad” who enjoyed a couple of drinks, had been forced outside for his cigar.
More here.

And it's not just old men that smoking bans put at risk. As this excellent Gotham Gazette piece on the already difficult relationship between bar patrons and local residents highlights, New York City's smoking ban -- which forces smokers outside at all hours -- has only exacerbated tensions between the two groups. (The author references smoking-ban induced tensions no fewer than five times in the article.)

Those are the facts. Now here's something to ponder.

If NYC bar bouncer Darryl Littlejohn, charged in last month's brutal rape and murder of grad student and bar patron Imette St. Guillen, was known to chat with others outside The Falls bar where he worked, and if even after St. Guillen was murdered young girls were known to obliviously step outside for a smoke while Littlejohn was still employed by the bar -- he wasn't officially a suspect until March 5, a week after St. Guillen's murder -- it takes little imagination to think he might have had opportunity to carry off a lone late-night smoker to her death. Add to the opportunity presented by the smoking ban whatever sick motives Littlejohn allegedly had, and the smoking ban turns into a policy that aids and abets not just accidental death (as in the Scottish case) but also, perhaps, murder.