Kevin Goodwin, owner of Tinder Box/Vino 100 spoke eloquently at the March 7th Board of Health Public Hearing on the proposed anti-choice smoking law. He also spoke at the public hearing June 30th, 2005. If another hearing is scheduled I would encourage others to attend just to hear Kevin speak to the issues of freedom, liberty, and property rights. Thanks Kevin for allowing me to post your remarks here:
I come here this evening saddened that I must again take time away from running my shop and serving my customers to remind this body of the principles, rights and ideals upon which this nation was founded. Among these rights and ideals;
- We have the right to own private property.
- We have the right to freedom of association
- We have the right to engage in peaceful commerce.
The proponents of this un-American ordinance seem to have forgotten these rights and ideals in their rush to social engineer public policy.
We mom & pop, small business owners own our property. We own it and we are the ones who are responsible for it's operation. Every day we are required to make many decisions that will affect our business and those decisions will determine whether or not we will be successful and stay in business. We have invested our money, our time and our dreams into our property. The decision to allow or not to allow smoking in our places of business, our property, is just one of those decisions, but it is our decision to make. We should not have our property rights trampled upon by those who have no investment of any kind in our businesses. It's not their property; it should not be their decision.
As Americans we have the right to choose whom we associate with. Not a single person is forced to patronize any business nor accept any offer of employment with any business. These are decisions made by each individual according to their own free will. The proponents of this un-American ordinance are free to choose or not to choose, to patronize any business and to accept or reject any offer of employment of their own free will. By what right do they deny other Americans those same choices?
As small business owners, the backbone of America, we engage in peaceful commerce. The fruits of our long hours of labor are that we attempt to provide a living for our families and our employees, while contributing to the public treasury.
Small business owners are not coming before the halls of government asking for laws, ordinances and regulations designed to force free citizens to patronize their establishments. We seek to attract customers in the free market through peaceful, non-coercive means.
Conversely, the supporters of this ordinance wish to use the power of government to force their social agenda upon the rest of society. Remember, the terminal outcome for disobedience of any regulation, ordinance or law is that a government agent, armed with a badge and a gun will be authorized to use deadly force to enforce compliance. Taken literally, supporters of the smoking ordinance are willing to deprive American citizens of their property rights and deny the existence and inherent responsibility of free will in order to enforce their social agenda at the barrel of a gun.
The difference between the supporters of our inalienable American rights and ideals and the proponents of this policy of social engineering could not be laid more stark.
It is my fervent hope that we as Americans still retain our most basic of rights and liberties. By your votes, you will either uphold our rights to private property and our ideals of peaceful interaction or continue this Republics slide into regulatory malaise.
I therefore call upon the members of this board to uphold our property rights as American citizens by rejecting this misguided attempt to social engineer private property through public legislation.
Thank you for your consideration.Kevin Goodwin, Owner Tinder Box/Vino 100 2703 East Broadway, Suite 135 Columbia, MO 65201 (573) 256-5363 (573) 256-5350 fax http://www.tinderboxcolumbia.com