Smoking ban

Dear Editor:It comes to my attention that Downey is considering banning smoking in public parks. I can certainly appreciate the intention of the ban, but I find such narrow-minded debates to be very much a waste of valuable time, usually with little more than political points to be scored with voters as the ultimate motive. Before I continue, I want to be very clear: I am not, nor have I ever been, a smoker. I'm a very avid cyclist and I suffer from asthma, so being around smoke is not enjoyable for me (plus I abhor the stench). Nevertheless, I'm tired of our society constantly looking for someone else to blame for our woes and expecting our leaders to waste valuable time bickering over lifestyles and such decisions that have little bearing on the actual societal benefit other than to disenfranchise/tax/alienate (you pick the next adjective) a group to which we don't belong. As leaders, I expect our council members to educate citizens to be open minded and tolerant of others. This includes not infringing on their liberties and freedoms, even if we feel (arguably) infringed upon. After all, if I didn't drive a car, I'd probably feel insulted at what all the drivers out there were doing to my fresh air. While I don't mean to disrespect anyone's opinion, I do believe our elected leaders have a responsibility to ask our citizens to be mindful of what we ask our council to spend time debating. I urge all to not support this ban; it's time to level the pendulum on impositions the majority feel entitled to dole out provided they're only tailored towards "those" people. -- Richard Martinez, Downey

********** Published: November 10, 2011 - Volume 10 - Issue 30