I often joke with my friends about how whenever the Oregon Legislature goes into session it means your freedoms are at risk until Sine Die. Unfortunately recent events indicate that there are forces at work in the capitol building who are a real buzzkill.
House Bill 3441 would make it a crime to bring alcohol to public beaches here in Oregon. Additionally the State Senate has already approved Senate Bill 754A, which would raise the smoking age in Oregon to 21. Hell, Governor Brown even wants to slap a fine on you for floating down the river without a lifejacket.
Now call me old fashion, but I tend to believe that freedom includes the ability to make bad decisions. And if the pioneers didn’t make the trip out west so that they could enjoy a nice drink of alcohol next to the majestic Pacific Ocean, then I don’t know why they even took the Oregon trail.
I don’t want to live in an Oregon where we tell a 19 year old in the military that they can’t have a cigar when he is back home on leave, or and Oregon where someone saves up vacation time for months to take a trip to the coast that they can’t sit next to a bonfire on the beach and have a beer.
Are cigarettes dangerous? Do people litter on the beach at times? Do life jackets make you safer? Absolutely!
But you know what, freedom is dangerous. Freedom is messy. Heck, sometimes freedom can even kill you.
The beauty of America is that we get to make those decisions for ourselves, not for other people. Smokers, non-smokers, micro-brew fanatics, and teetotalers all together make up the wacky, yet wonderful population of our beautiful state. We will even claim those folks who vape.
I want my legislators to run the government, not act as my nanny. I already have a mother to tell me not to smoke, to clean up after myself at the beach, or to wear a life-jacket, I don’t need politicians to do it too.