There you have it. From Virginia's numero uno civil rights advocate. Neither smokers nor property owners have rights. Dichotomy dedichotomized.
Losing rights in smoking ban? Wrong!
By Michael Paul Williams
The freedom to smoke in a restaurant does not exactly evoke images of the framers gathered around the Constitution, quill pen in hand, or the sound of a fife playing "Yankee Doodle."
But to some folks, sparking up a Marlboro in a restaurant has been elevated to an essential freedom.
Beneath all the patriotic smoke and mirrors lies a fundamental question: Does a "right" to smoke in a public place actually exist?
Don't let the hype cloud common sense: Smokers have no right to infringe upon our right to breathe carcinogen-free air.
Restaurateurs have no more right to pollute our lungs than they do to poison our stomachs. Public health considerations should trump profit. (link)
Now, I'll not argue that a smoker has the right to light up wherever he pleases. He doesn't.
But neither does a non-smoker have the right to enter onto the private property of another and make demands on that property owner based on the non-smokers needs, wants, and desires.
At least not in an America still interested in fairness, and in protecting the rights of individuals. An America that understands what civil rights are really all about.
The America that Russian immigrant Ayn Rand came to know and love.