People never fail to amaze.
From the Washington Post yesterday: James Bogden (who happens to be a public health educator and anti-smoking advocate) has filed suit against four local restaurants - one of which appears to the right - to force the restaurants to go smoke-free. He claims that after suffering a mild heart attack, he cannot be anywhere near second-hand smoke but should not be limited to which restaurants he can patronize. He believes he is protected by the Americans With Disabilities Act.
If I'm understanding this correctly - and I believe I am - the rights of one trumps the rights of many. If I'm a smoker (and I'm not), then my right to smoke should be taken away because this guy says so? Because of his heart condition, my right to smoke is simply cast aside?
How on earth does this make sense?
Look, I'm sorry the guy had a heart attack; I don't wish ill health on anyone. I'm glad to see he's fully recovered and has continued to live and succeed in life. But I fail to see how his condition should impact me.
For a moment, imagine he wins. Clyde's goes smoke-free. Maybe Clyde's loses a big chunk of its business and, after some time, is forced to close. If I want to enjoy one of my favorite hangout spots, I'm now driving to Tysons Corner or into the city.
Where, then, is my recourse? Can I litigate against this man for essentially closing one of my favorite restaurants as well?
Things happen in life, not all of them good ones. Sometimes we get a really raw deal. We adjust and we move on.
It seems like such a simple concept.
And hiding behind the ADA is shameful. The law was set up for people whose lives have been impacted by a real, life-changing disability, not a mild heart attack. It's a good law and shouldn't be subjected to such perversion.
Let's call this what it is: One person's attempt to advance his personal ideology; as he steps forward, he tramples others' rights in the process.
Have you no shame, Mr. Bogden? Have you no consideration for how others may want to run their lives? Or is your life the only one that matters?
Hypothetical questions, of course. The answers are clear enough already.