One might consider the title of this post a tad provocative, after all the events in Ferguson Missouri involve a shooting death followed by rioting, while in Westminster MA all that being debated is banning cigarette sales in the city.
However there is one aspect of these two events that is identical, the objection to how a representative government is acting, and that objection requires the same solution for those upset.
In Ferguson the community that has been the loudest in opposing the local police & mayor etc have been rather apathetic at the ballot box and have been so for years. These aren’t the days of Jim Crow, if they don’t like their local representation in the city they could be voting them out or at least making sure there is a political cost for making what they consider bad decisions.
They have not.
While the circumstances aren’t as dire in Westminster and the odds of riots and blood taking place in the city are lower than the chances of Bill Clinton taking and keeping a vow of chastity it’s very much the same situation.
Where were all of these people who were so angry now when the members of local government who are pushing this ban were being elected and appointed? Were they attending town meetings? Were they pushing other candidates? Were they filing petitions? Were they running candidates or standing as candidates themselves?
They were not.
So while I have sympathy for the store owner at the center of this fuss, if you are a person in Westminster who possess this move by the town remember it was made possible by your apathy.
There is however one huge difference between Ferguson & Westminster.
No matter what your position is on the Officer’s actions or young Mr. Brown’s nothing that comes out of Ferguson will bring Michael Brown back from the dead.
While in Westminster if the people don’t like the decision to force smokers to go to a neighboring town or city to buy their tobacco products (made possible by those amazing new inventions called the Automobile and the Bicycle they can vote out the people in charge in the town and vote in new people to replace them, presumably the store owners in Westminster will still be there by that time.
If you live in a free society and you don’t take advantage of those freedom and allow people who wish to restrict your freedom, it’s on you.