It started with banning smoking in public places. In the Big Apple, you’re not allowed to smoke in parks, on beaches and in pedestrian plazas. Although Mayor Bloomberg initially insisted his ban wouldn't be enforced - as of April 18, 2012, 108 summonses had been issued to people smoking in parks already, a stark rise from the meager 84 tickets issued from last May through the end of 2011. In the first month of the ban, only one ticket was issued. Tickets can cost a smoker up to $300, a number 6 times greater than previously made public.
Now it is illegal to sell or purchase a soft drink larger than 16 ounces. Even in a movie theater you can’t get an extra large soda to go with your extra large popcorn. Mayor Bloomberg says the soda ban is intended to help fight obesity and says it doesn’t violate anyone’s rights. He says “anyone who feels they’ll die of thirst if they can’t get a 32 ounce soft drink can simply buy two 16 ounce drinks.” Wait… huh? Can someone, anyone, explain to me the rationale behind that statement? “Let’s make a law that you can’t buy a Big Gulp but we’ll still allow you to buy two 16 ounce drinks if you want.” Could it be that Mayor Bloomberg is simply creating a larger tax revenue for his nanny city?
Leonard Pitts, Jr., Pulitzer Prize winning columnist for the Miami Herald, said recently that unlike a smoking ban, which does in fact limit consumption of second-hand smoke, in this instance Mayor Bloomberg simply “wishes to ban adults from behaviors that do not imperil anyone else’s health.”
“His attempt to use the law to that end suggests a fundamental misunderstanding of what the law can do. More, it reflects the belief that human progress can be legislated, that human beings can be perfected if only we write laws enough.”
“But laws do not perfect. They restrict. And restriction is something of which free people should always be skeptical. What’s next? A restriction on the number of doughnuts you can buy? A ration of candy and pizza?”
Now on the agenda of New York’s liberal government is banning guns, particularly “assault rifles”, from public ownership. Governor Cuomo has gone as far as saying he would not rule out confiscation. Apparently the governor and Mayor Bloomberg, who is also in favor of increased gun restrictions, don’t look at any statistics that disagree with their agenda. Chicago and Washington DC have the strictest gun control laws in the country yet they have the highest murder rates in the country. It seems to me that those “minor” statistics should be considered and evaluated before any new gun legislation is passed. But then – maybe if New York bans assault rifles it will still be OK for someone to buy two guns of another type that will give them the same firepower. After all – it works for soda.
Gotta love the nanny state...