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Re: Smoking and Law

Poster: Wynn Klosky <klosky@meeker.UCAR.EDU>

You know, I think the reason it seems so heinous to remove a law
is that it implies permission or encouragement to do whatever the
law was against. That is one of the dangers of writing anything
into law, or arguing with a toddler: pick your battles where they
will count.

To me, having a law that says "No smoking in central areas of events"
is rather ridiculous, as this is something that will be regulated
by common courtesy and common sense. It has seemed to work in my world
since 1966.

However, to now remove the law seems to say, "You may smoke as much
as you like, anywhere," which certainly isn't the message originally
intended. Perhaps the law was written so that confrontation-shy folks would 
have only to say, "Gosh, could you take that somewhere else? Kingdom law 
requires..." instead of bringing it onto a personal, and much more 
difficult, level of involvement. Perhaps it was seen as a health measure.
Perhaps it was seen as a measure to prevent popular fighters from
smoking in front of six-year-olds who idolize them. In any case, it
CERTAINLY was written because it was seen as a means to...cut down
smoking in central areas.

Now, if it's broke, it just needs fixing.

One way is to make it more specific (i.e., no smoking in feast halls or
other public enclosed spaces, etc.). Another is to make it *LESS* detailed
(i.e., no smoking where the Crown or Autocrat, whatever, prohibits it); by
this method, each Crown could establish in their Whims letter (do Crowns
still do whims letters?) where they don't want it, or autocrats could
put it in the event handout at the Gate. 

OR, best of all, it just needs to be augmented with what it tried to
replace in the beginning: common courtesy and common sense. "My lord,
I notice that you dropped a cigarette end. Perhaps you didn't have time
read the notice the autocrat wrote asking smokers to please gather
their ends and place them in the trash?" or "Your Superlative, I
have never seen such a fine example of this frightening new pastime
of making one's head seem afire; perhaps you will step over to the
side of the field to give X a demonstration as well." (Even if His/Her Super-
lativeness doesn't get the subtle hint, which s/he prolly will [sledge-
hammer translation: You're standing in the middle of the bloody FIELD!!!],
at least s/he is no longer on the field. Just make sure X will enjoy a
demonstration, if the lord/lady/Master/Sir/Mistress/Duke/Ewok fails to
grab a clue...), or even, "I am not accustomed to cigarette smoke; could
you please finish that outside/away from my pavilion/in the smoking area/

And although ignorance is no excuse for the law, in this case, you don't
even have to bring it up.

The Smoking Polizei are unnecessary--most smokers I know are polite about
it, and usually very discreet at events. Those who aren't discreet are
very approachable. Those who aren't approachable are jerks, albeit SCAdian
jerks that we must deal with under the usual process for SCAdian jerks
(which seems to be Salutation, Confrontation, and Deportation -- talk to
them; if they are unwilling to stop doing whatever is making them a jerk,
get someone with authority to confront them [if you aren't an authority];
if they still don't stop (REALLY UNUSUAL HERE), they are usually such a
jerk that the autocrat will ask them to leave the site.) But in all cases,
always begin with the assumption that they are really polite people who
are just being a little absent-minded. (And if you ever see ME, please
treat me like this, too :^) No, I don't smoke. But I sometimes lose
track of where I'm going... ;^D

Many thanks for your kind indulgence,
Yr. Obt. Svt., etc.,

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