When I heard the Edina City Council was voting on an anti military ordinance, I just about lost it. My first thought was how dare they! My second thought was moving my law practice to another local area and wiping my hands clean.
After I regained my cool and reflected on their proposal, I had forgotten how disengaged certain groups of Minnesotans can become when it comes to our military.
Even though Minnesota doesn’t have an active duty installation, we are 390,000 veterans strong with millions of families and supporters. Thus, I am hoping the Edina City Council sees the error of their ways.
Edina City Council’s Proposal
In case you missed it, Edina is considering raising the minimum age to buy tobacco from 18 to 21. Their argument is simple: reduce the risk of high school students using tobacco products.
As a parent and a non-smoker myself, it sounds like a wonderful idea. On the other hand, I hate their suggestion. I hate the fact the Edina City Council feels like they need to impose their will on my parental duties.
Even more significant, it destroys my soul knowing service members from Edina are traveling through danger zones and they will not be able to buy a product that is allowed nearly everywhere while their elected officials rip another implied freedom from their hands. When will this stop?
Why is Edina City Council Anti-Military?
From my perspective, I want less red tape and more free will. I think my Clients want that too. If you have ever engaged the VA appeal process, then you know all about red tape.
Yes, from a personal perspective, I have Clients who are 18 to 20 years of age who enlisted in the military. For some, it is a necessity. Others, have a calling. For even more, it is a combination of everything else you can imagine.
Rhetorically, has any member of your Council been on patrol or served inside a foreign territory? If not, it isn’t required. Goodness gracious, the process of training domestically for such an environment can become mentally overwhelming too.
Would it surprise you that many Soldiers, Airman, Seamen, and Devil Dogs chew tobacco to keep themselves from going crazy on patrol? Would it surprise you that nearly 70% of our military choose not to use tobacco? My diet coke is your tobacco and I believe every military veteran living in Edina should have that right to purchase tobacco as needed. Nonetheless, at least the Country trusts their service to a deadly occupation requires trusting them with free will while visiting family and friends.
If you are unconvinced, imagine one of your own being on patrol and loosing a body part because they stepped on a landmine. Next, imagine them becoming medically discharged. Yes, if Edina’s ordinance to raise the minimum age to buy tobacco from 18 to 21 gets past, the potential exists where one of our paid heroes returning home will face a store clerk on France Avenue and gets told “sorry, you cannot buy tobacco because you are not 21”. This makes me sick just thinking about it.
If you are a younger adult and you served your country, it is clear to me that the City Council for Edina has drawn their line in the sand.