To the editor:
I appreciate Ron Lederman's consistent advocacy for libertarian principles. However, his column on the public smoking law is, I believe, misguided.
It is indeed ironic that Mr. Lederman's argument against the public smoking ban comes only days after a study was released showing that second-hand smoke accounts for over 600,000 deaths a year, amounting to 1% of the world's deaths. Certainly are important, but so is the right to life, and that right should have priority over property rights.
No right is absolute, a principle Mr. Lederman seems not to understand. In fact, we have many restrictions on property rights in this country., for example. These laws dictate what you can and cannot do with your property. They have been around for almost a century, and there is a good reason for them.
Another example of restrictions on property rights would be the laws which require us to keep our properties free of trash and debris, so as to keep our neighborhoods liveable. I could cite many other examples, but I believe the point has been made.