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Editor, The Beacon:

Paul Stevenson’s letter defending his right to spread a pandemic virus reminded me of other freedoms lost in my lifetime.

Nicotine addicts are no longer free to exhale carcinogenic smoke in public places. While these junkies were not imprisoned like hippie potheads, some were forced to seek their withdrawal fix in outdoor heat/cold or rain.

Not everyone exposed to secondhand smoke dies. 

Estimates are 41,000 a year, which is only a little more than those dying from automobile collisions, and we haven’t banned automobiles.

Speaking of automobiles, I purchased a new one six years ago. Unable to buy one without a collapsible steering column, seat belts or air bags increased its cost. 

Worse, toddlers lose freedom of movement because parents must hogtie them into child-restraint seats.

Most autos are not involved in deadly crashes, but if they are the data is clear. Old people are more likely to die than younger ones. If they don’t die, younger people heal more quickly from bruises, broken bones and cracked skulls.

What freedoms might we lose next? The right to marry the one we love? To control our own bodies? To have our votes counted?

Sam Sloss



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