Calling Out the Swine — Voicing Opposition to Vape Bans
Every few days, we see posts here on the forums where some lunk-headed moron is calling for a ban on e cigs in their town or city (or even in their state). Naturally, we fume in indignation, post something in the forums and maybe we fire off an e-mail to someone or some thing; meanwhile the Nannies and control-freak Swine are putting together entire Machines with which to run us all over like little piss-ants.
I get into trouble frequently with people who think it best to Make No Waves. When I was doing a nightly talk radio show a while back we used to have politicians, media people, artists and other area Movers and Shakers on — and I made it a point to ask questions that I knew most of them didn’t want to answer. This included questions I thought most people would ask given the chance (and given the anonymity). It wasn’t always pretty for them, but it was effective and invaluable to me and the audience. I learned you need to hold some people accountable for their words and actions; pussy-footing around doesn’t accomplish anything. If there was what we considered a particularly egregious excess going on, we would organize demonstrations and have someone notify the press that some People were causing a Ruckus. TV trucks and newspaper reporters would generally show right up.
Same with vaping. Signing petitions and the occasional e-mail is all well and good, but to be really effective you have to make these people notice you. Phone calls will always work over e-mails, and written letters are the next best thing. Hell, I used to send letters to Senators and Representatives Return Receipt Requested so that somebody had to sign for the thing. That’s what we really need to do. Sitting behind a computer has its place, but it does little when there is Action that needs to be taken.
Start by gathering facts. Most of us are walking, breathing Fact Machines regarding e-cigarettes and vaping. We’ve done it, we’ve invested our time and money into it…hell, it’s probably saving our lives compared to our old habits. But what I mean is sit down and make an outline of pertinent facts and figures. Imagine what anti-vaping zealots would say, and have the information ready to counter it. You’re not writing a book here — shouldn’t take much longer than watching a typical sitcom on the telly. Then, move on to action….
If there’s a vape meet/group/club in your area, become a part of it. If there isn’t one, think about starting one. Even if you’re the only vaper within a ten mile radius, so what? The biggest movements on earth were started by just one person. Make it a point to take 5 minutes out of your day to call on people or groups or politicians actively opposing e-cigs and vaping. Spend a half-hour on the weekend writing real snail-mail letters to these folks. And get your friends to do the same; nothing scares power-freaks more than knowing that there is active, non-docile opposition to their antics.
I can tell you with Great Experience that having 20 – 30 vapers show up at a city council meeting will have more of an effect than writing 1,000 e-mails. If you either join or start a vape group, have someone become the media contact person. Have someone else keep a close eye on all local and regional vape legislation or actions. And be prepared to show up en masse to meetings and open houses. Heck, call into local talk radio shows and bring up the subject of vaping. As a someone who did talk radio shows for many years, I can tell you that we enjoyed throwing the script out the window when a caller with something interesting and unique phoned in.
The crux of the biscuit is this…if we don’t build our own Machines to counter the opposition’s, then we’re going to get ground right into the dirt. Don’t let that happen.