Sunday, January 21, 2007

N.J. Politicians Need To Take A Backseat To Smoking

Many New Jerseyans call the Garden State the People's Public of New Jersey and the new piece of legislation being introduced is one of the reasons why.

State Senator Raymond Lesniak is the creator of a bill that will make it illegal for parents to smoke in their own cars if children 16 years old or younger are passengers.

Now, I'm not a smoker myself and let's face it, no one should be smoking with little kids around. However, with New Jersey already having a law banning public indoor smoking, although it excludes the famous casinos, this is just one more restriction of the freedoms we are supposed to have in this country. What is next, you are not allowed to smoke in your own home, whether or not if you have children?

Reasonable parents should be allowed to raise their children as they see fit. It is their responsibility to protect their child’s health, not the government's.

But back to the bill, if it's made into a law, it will be a $500 fine and 30 days in jail for the first offense. Do you know what this law will really be? It's feel-good legislation, just so Lesniak, a Democrat, can tell people all the good his during for them, especially during the next time he’s running for office.

If Lesniak and the rest of New Jersey legislators want to really help New Jerseyans, how about some much needed property tax relief? Or maybe state lawmakers could do something to stop the drugs and the gangs that are crawling from war-torn cities like Trenton and into clean, decent towns like Princeton. Or they can help the intercity student get a better education in their own community, instead of sneaking into suburban schools illegally to get one?

Well, being from New Jersey and listening to others who still live there, I can tell you that is not going to happen. If this bill is passed, and it probably will, all it will do, besides help Lesniak's image, is give the state some more money. Sure, parents who light up while their children are in the car are stupid but if we're going to make a law to arrest stupid people making bad, money-taking, waste-of-time decisions, let's start with the idiotic gang of legislators!