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Front Page » January 27, 2004 » Opinion » Where will the erosion of personal rights end?
Published 4,273 days ago

Where will the erosion of personal rights end?

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Sun Advocate

Last week I heard or read three things that bothered me a great deal.

The first was a proposal by a state legislator to eliminate reporters from the house floor. He claims that reporters bother legislators so they can't do their jobs, yet what goes on in the big room at the state capitol is a public meeting and should be open to those the bring information to the people.

The second was a full page ad in the Salt Lake Tribune that a group took out asking that people work for legislation that will clean up language, sex, etc. on television, in movies and in music. They want obscenity done away with.

Third I sat through a meeting last week where proposals were put forth to eliminate smoking from outdoor venues (or at least make a place where tobacco users are restricted to practicing their habit) in the county.

Certainly all these areas need discussion. I know reporters who will butt in on the middle of conversation with someone because they "need their story." I also see things on television and movies that I dislike or think are over the top. And I personally, being a non-smoker, except for a couple of smelly cigars I smoke a year in my garage where I won't bother anyone, don't like people pumping smoke in my face or seeing chewing tobacco laying all over the place either.

But let's face it; there are a lot of things other people do that I don't like. If the world could be run the way I think it should be run it would be a perfect place, or at least perfect for me.

It's the old story of does my right to make a fist end where your chin begins. I just worry a lot when people start to want to take away others rights.

Do we have the right to regulate what others may hear or see because we feel it is wrong? I am against all censorship, because to be honest, once it begins it doesn't know where to stop.

And public officials should be open for scrutiny whenever they are in a public meeting

As for smokers, isn't it bad enough that we have made them stand out in the parking lot at work to smoke when it's 10 degrees outside?

Let us all think long and hard before we limit what others can do.

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January 27, 2004
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