Inching Towards Tyranny, One Child at a Time
Obviously, I agree with the idea: you don't smoke in front of nor around young children. Period. That's pretty obvious to me, most parents, and smokers of all kinds everywhere. Yet I have some fond memories of sitting with Grandpa after dinner at the ranch, sometimes inside and sometimes out on the porch, watching the sun go down over the lake, the sweet smell of his pipe a perfect compliment to fading odors of the fried fish and greens Grandma used to cook for him. I suppose it's a small sacrifice to make, to know that my nieces and nephews will be healthy nonsmokers with no romantic or foolish notions about why smoking is "cool."
Still, I call bullshit. There are a hundred better ways to 'protect the children.' Starting with universal health care and programs for poor parents to help them quit smoking. You and I both know how this law will be used: when they can't find another legal reason to pull over some black or brown person, bingo! Time to Protect the Children! We can add "Smoking while Black" to "Driving while Black" and the rest of that long list of Laws for Thee but not for Me. Yes, I'm sure some poor White folks will get tagged by this too, but trust me- you won't see a lot of rich smokers worring about this.
I'll point out that cars themselves produce quite a large amount of poisons that one breaths while around them or in them. Are we rushing off to regulate their emissions, punishing automakers for failing to employ the cleanest technology and make the air safer for even those kids who walk and take buses? No, of course not. But we can pass laws that punish the poor regressively, and give even more opportunity to racist cops to crack heads, all to "protect the children."