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Sliding Down a Slippery Iceberg 

I disagree with Peter M. Miller's reasoning for not allowing smoking in parks. Granted, they could and should be considered "healthy" places. However, a far

I disagree with Peter M. Miller's reasoning for not allowing smoking in parks. Granted, they could and should be considered "healthy" places. However, a far more accurate label would be "public" - as in all-inclusive, everybody has a right to them!

Furthermore, using schools in comparison to public parks is a faulty analogy. Schools are for children. Of course there shouldn't be smoking allowed there (though I do personally believe that a place should be provided for the adults to smoke). Parks are for EVERYBODY. And as much as the anti-smoking fanatics would try to con us into believing that second-hand smoke is harmful, I would think that logic would prevail even to the dimmest of minds that in open-air places, smoke from cigarettes is of no harm at all.

What troubles me the most is how so many people are willing to ostracize their fellow citizens. How can it not be obvious that practically criminalizing smokers is just the tip of that proverbial slippery-slope iceberg? Simply put, if we can literally shun smokers to the sidelines of society, then we can do it to anyone ... everyone. It's already happening. Overweight people, couch potatoes, drinkers, extreme sports enthusiasts, drivers, hippies, yuppies, renters, coffee drinkers, whistle blowers, the financially impoverished, junk-food junkies ... the list is endless.

By continuously picking on one another, we further create distrust and paranoia, which produces the by-product of causing people to feel inadequate - not good enough. And what better way to control people and keep us "in our place" than by making us feel like we're not up to par with society's acceptable norms! Nice, neat little puppets who are duped into believing that we are the problem.

But see, it's getting to the point where that so-called acceptable path of mainstream society is so narrow that none of us can walk inside it anymore. It's time to wise up, people - to accept and tolerate each other's faults, weaknesses and vices, because there's not a one of us who don't have any! Thank you.

Lisa McElhine

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