America has lost its soul

To the editor:

Robert Miller is now homeless. Why? Because he smokes.

Robert Miller, a 73-year-old man with lifelong mental health issues, had lived for 13 years in a subsidized apartment, a 12-story, 200-unit facility in Lancaster, Pa. He had formerly lived with his mother before he had to move when she died in 1999.

On Sept. 1, 2013, the unit went smoke-free where he lived, and Mr. Miller was cited for smoking in his home three times in two months. This lead to a court hearing for eviction on Jan. 2, 2014. Mr. Miller could not attend to defend himself because he was in the hospital at the time.

Eight days after leaving the hospital on Jan. 24 was when he had to vacate. Two hours before the constable was to lock him out of his home, he left and walked to a mission for the homeless, the only place he had left to go.

The unit manager stated that violating the no-smoking policy was as serious a matter as not paying rent.

The politics of modern life now have become intolerable when we as a nation, a state and a community allow political correctness to come to the level of creating homelessness.

As an activist for more than 20 years for the rights of smokers and a crusader against junk science, I know how the system works to facilitate the social change it has brought about. The people in power in this nation should hang their heads in shame. Even the people whose job it is to care for the less fortunate have grown fangs and thrown out into the cold helpless people because of government mandates and the government money to make it spread further keeps on coming.

The loss of freedom started in the workplace, then public places, restaurants, bars, then outdoors in parks and beaches, and now in multi-unit apartments. That’s where people live! A man’s home is supposed to be his castle; it has become that a man’s home is the next target of government.

Dave Pickrell

President and founder

Smokers Fighting Discrimination Inc.

Katy, Texas

P.S.: Many thanks to Jeff Hawkes, staff writer for the Lancaster online newspaper, for the Jan. 24 story: