Friday, October 21, 2005

Smoking and Toxicity—What Is Public?

A commenter on the smoking-bans issue has posed the following important question:

I believe the real question is what one considers "public".

I define a public space as being a common area, one owned by the public at large as opposed to a private owner. The fact that a property owner invites strangers onto his property cannot justly overwhelm his right to use his property as he sees fit in any way that does not affect other properties. A space does not become the property of the public just because an owner invites the public to enjoy its benefits if they should wish to do so. They have the right to stay away from that property, and therefore they do not have the right to control its use or conditions.

2 comments:

The Classic Liberal Anonymous said...

What about a Greyhound bus?

Roads are constructed using taxes and thus are "public."

If a Greyhound bus is using said road, is it, in essence, being subsidized by the public?

Here is where I feel the argument about "public" can get expanded to mean just about anything.

I do not necessarily advocate that argument, but the argument does exist.

The Liberal Anonymous said...

A more direct example would be a shopping mall that contains a police substation.