Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 11, 2013

Get rid of ‘nanny state’ laws in N.C.

I encourage our Republican state representatives to restore individual liberties and reduce numerous “nanny state” laws enacted by the previous legislatures.
Repealing the mandatory motorcycle helmet law for persons over 21 is a good start. I ride a motorcycle and have health insurance and except for short trips in town, would probably wear mine anyway. The argument used to pass this law was essentially that if people get hurt it would just increase everyone else’s health care and medical insurance bills. You can use this quasi-socialist argument to essentially ban everything from sharp knives to Big Gulps.
I would also like to see N.C. General Statute 130A-496 repealed or modified. This law, passed a few years ago, prohibits smoking in restaurants and bars.
Before this law, such establishments just posted at their door whether smoking was allowed or banned and people could chose if they wish to expose themselves to cigarette smoke.
Owners could decide based upon their economic well being to ban this or not.
A repeal would likely increase lucrative state controlled alcohol sales, add additional revenue to the general fund from cigarette taxes and allow increased employment in the bar and restaurant sector.
Maybe smokers would have at least one place where they could enjoy a drink, a meal and a cigarette together without being sent to the curb or into the alley like a crack head.
While I don’t care for gambling, lawmakers should shelve their recent attempts to ban the multimillion dollar industry of sweepstakes cafes. Now that we have a state lottery, I think North Carolina has lost some moral authority to ban all other forms of gambling except for the “house game.”
These measures would be a good start to restoring individual liberties in this state. There is still a lot of work to do to fulfill the real Republican promise of smaller government and less governmental intervention in citizens’ personal lives.
— Todd Paris