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Unified Patriots by Bob Montgomery

To Vassar Bushmills, in re your seminal “Bachelor’s Corner On Memorial Day Sunday”:

Amen. Contrast your story to this:

In the county where I live there is the obligatory “anti-tobacco” movement, which of course resulted in the smoking- in- public- places ban like ones you see all over the country. The definition of “public places” is of course the devil in the details. Government buildings, stores and shops, restaurants and bars, trains, planes and ferryboats and wherever you see the signs.

Well of course the enforcement arm of this ordinance had to be the Health Department. The Health Department routinely inspects restaurants, bars, etc. for code violations. Now, the county had previously targeted a lot of places as “public” so as to apply the anti-smoking ban to bingo halls, recreation venues and, inexplicably, venues like the VFW and the American Legion.
So even places which you would think are private clubs are subject to this ordinance. This being the 21st Century and all, the public outrage of subjecting places like this to the ordinance was muted.

So on a visit to the local VFW for a supposed routine inspection, did the Health Department encounter people smoking in violation of the ban?  No, what they found was dirty ashtrays on a table in the back of the kitchen.  Gotcha!  The VFW was cited for violating the no-smoking ordinance.  Because dirty ashtrays are just like DNA, you know, or fingerprints or gunpowder residue.  Those Veterans of Foreign Wars people were guilty as sin[…]

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