Friday, June 29, 2007

Steve Vaillancourt, Nanny State Advocate

Steve Vaillancourt claims to have concealed information about Kiddie Porn in New Hampshire for over two decades. This is not, however his only claim to fame. He's a member of the New Hampshire House of Representatives. Currently a Republican, he left the Democratic party after a split with his roommate of 16 years, Raymond Buckley.

Vaillancourt loves to court attention. He has a Public Access show, in which he exhibits manic, seemingly psychotic behavior. You can get a taste of his admitted flare for exaggeration in his response to a New Hampshire law to ban smoking in bars and restaurants.

As reports:
Rep. Steve Vaillancourt, R-Manchester, said the bill doesn't go far enough.

"If we are going to do it, we should do it in these filthy little bars that masquerade as social, fraternal and religious organizations," Vaillancourt said. "The pope, if he smokes, will hurt you as much as a sailor on shore leave."
Smoking bans are common in restaurants and workplaces, but Vaillancourt's urgent need to ban the activity in private clubs is excessive. I understand the desire to protect the public, but the Nanny State extremes that Vaillancourt so adores should not be tolerated. Yes, Smoking is bad for your body. So is excessive drinking, and we can see how well prohibition worked. Restricting unhealthy activities so that they do not infringe upon the safety of others is a reasonable measure. Banning open containers of alcohol in a car for example is a reasonable measure. Drunk Driving laws, while considered overly strict by some, are ultimately beneficial.

Vaillancourt however seems determined to stamp out smoking by eliminating all the locations wherein a smoker could indulge. This is nothing more than a back door method of making smoking illegal.

My own Smoking is limited to three or four cigars a year. I sit down with a glass of good Scotch, put my legs up, light the cigar and puff away. Half an hour to an hour later I get up, still a bit dizzy from the tobacco, and head inside. I'll generally do this on my own back porch, or in a bar or club where one can engage in such activities in peace.

Vaillancourt however, wants to deny this recreation to New Hampshire residents. I suspect he'd also want to ban my attempts to smoke on my own porch, on the dubious claim that I'm giving my downwind neighbors cancer.

Do New Hampshire residents really want to ban smoking in private clubs? Do they REALLY want to require all the Freemasons, Knights of Columbus, Shriners and the like to ban smoking within the halls of their own private clubs?

What ever happened the New Hampshire's state motto of "Live Free or Die?" How is Vaillancourt giving anyone the option to live free, if he wants to dictate the tiny nuances of what they do with their own bodies?

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