The San Rafael city council recently passed an ordinance that makes it illegal to smoke in your own home. The
excuse ‘logic’ for this breathtaking coup of social engineering is, you guessed it, ‘public health and safety.’ The same reasoning that brought you Prohibition, anti-sodomy laws and bans on interracial marriage now invites the police into your home to snuff out your Marlboro. Cigarettes probably don’t matter to most gun owners, so why should we care? . . .
Any Government With The Power To Give You Everything You Need, Also Has The Power To Take It Away
San Rafael’s shocking intrusion into private homes applies to all multi-family residence (condos, apartments, duplexes, co-ops) of three or more units, and to any unit which shares a common wall with another residence. The only homes you can smoke in are completely separate single-family homes.
Despite the fact that it tells you what you can do in the privacy of your own home, city officials insist that this rule isn’t an intrusion into your privacy. They say they don’t care if you smoke in your home (yeah, right) but that this new rule is needed because without it a few molecules of Marlboro smoke might seep through two layers drywall and four inches of insulation and contaminate the apartment next door.
Secondhand smoke seeps through drywall and kills people who live in separately heated and ventilated apartments? Dictating what you do by yourself in your own home isn’t an invasion of privacy? What bullshit.
For a bunch of non-smokers, the San Rafael city council is sure blowing a lot of smoke up our asses.
One Rule For Them, Another Rule For Us
The ‘separate housing unit’carve-out will largely exempt San Rafael’s ruling class (and the city council) from having to live under the law they just passed.
San Rafael happens to be the county seat of ultra-expensive Marin County, just across the Golden Gate bridge from San Francisco. Census figures show that San Rafael has a population density of more than 2,500 people per square mile. Almost 49% of San Rafael’s 60,000 residents live in rental housing, and almost all of them are now prohibited from smoking in their own homes. That 49% doesn’t even include thousands more who live in condos, or in their own duplex. When you combine apartment and condo and duplex dwellers, way more than half of the population will now have the police at their door if they have a smoke at home.
Only the wealthiest San Rafaelitos, who happen to own their own detached single-family homes, are exempt from this new government intrusion. According to Zillow, the average price for a detached single-family home in San Rafael is $817,000. This is almost twice the $430,000 average price for condos and co-ops.
How many students and working stiffs can take out an $800,000 home loan without selling either both kidneys or several pounds of uncut methamphetamine? None of them. They have to leave their homes (and stand at least 20 feet from an entrance or window) to have a smoke.
How many of San Rafael’s upper crust might enjoy a Cohiba and a single-malt in their living room after dinner? Plenty. How clever of them to make sure the cops won’t mind.
‘The majestic equality of the law’ may prohibit the wealthy as well as the poor from sleeping under the bridges, from begging in the streets, and from stealing bread, as Anatole France observed. But it still allows the wealthy to smoke in their $800,000 homes, while the rest of the San Rafael peasantry cannot.
Why This Matters
The ‘logic’ of the San Rafael smoking ban can be used to justify absolutely any nanny-state rule you could imagine. By combining a concern for ‘public health and safety’ with bad science (or no science at all, as in this case) governments could prohibit smoking, drinking, gambling, martial arts training, fried foods, popular music, video games, big trucks, Big Gulps, fast motorcycles, salt shakers and sugar bowls. In many of these cases, it has already tried.
We care because our guns will be banned first. And our knives. And magazines. And ammunition. But only for us, because the Dianne Feinsteins and Donald Trumps and Michael Bloombergs of this world will always have their own CCW permits and their (often taxpayer-funded) security details.
The only thing standing between them and us is the Second Amendment. Keep it strong.
News link here.