I don’t understand why people want to smoke. I don’t understand why people want to vape. I do understand that vaping is somewhat better for you than smoking cigarettes. And I do know that you can’t go more than 100 feet in any direction these days without finding a store selling vaping gear.
What is very easy to understand, though, is the mindset of unchallenged liberal Democrats who want to regulate all the things, regardless of whether or not there is a need to regulate them at all. And this is the latest example of it, from Baltimore City Councilman Jim Kraft:
“This is the wild, wild west. There have not been any real studies on these things nationwide,” Kraft says. “I decided we really needed to act and get these things under control. It’s needed for consistency with regards to enforcement of smoking laws.”
And that is the liberal mindset in a nutshell. Councilman Kraft probably doesn’t even really understand how he encapsulated modern liberal thinking and modern liberal governing in those two sentences. Because as Kraft notes, there have been relatively few studies on the impact of vaping. And that is a two way street; nobody knows whether or not vaping hurts individuals or if there is a “second-hand” effect of vapor smoke. But conversely, there are no studies that prove it doesn’t either. There is absolutely no scientific evidence that vaping hurts or helps anybody. And that is probably the most damning thing about Kraft’s statement and Kraft’s push to regulate vaping. Kraft isn’t acting on the basis of any scientific study, or any outcry from the citizens of Baltimore about the need to regulate vaping. His actions are coming only because he decided that he needed to act. As Kraft himself said, “I decided we really needed to act and get these things under control.” Kraft has appointed himself as the decider as to whether or not vaping should be regulated.
The funny thing about Kraft’s declarations is the fact that this legislation will potentially have a huge impact on his own district. Kraft’s district includes the Fells Point, Canton, and Brewers Hill, with its high concentrations of bars that would potentially have any number of people wishing to use vapor cigarettes in those establishments. Has Kraft actually consulted with these business owners in his district? I’m guessing that he has not, given the fact that he has appointed himself as the chief public advocate against the public use of vapor cigarettes.
While vaping is the focus of this story, Kraft’s crusade against vaping is part of the bigger story of how liberalism impacts jobs, commerce, and liberty down to the local level. This is the kind of mindset that we will need to fight here in Maryland, and will be one of the major challenges that Governor-Elect Hogan will need to deal with over the next four years.