Now Foucault-Funke Post 444, where the ashtrays never came off the tables and smokers line the bar each afternoon and evening, is at the center of what could be a decisive showdown for the new state law and — as the vets see it — for the individual liberty and self-government they fought to defend ...
The new state smoking ban, Shepard said, is just one more encroachment on personal freedom, a decision handed down by out-of-touch politicians 500 miles away. She likens it to restrictions on gun rights and creeping government intrusion generally.
"We're not a communist country yet, but we're only one step away from it," she said.
The leaders of the Baraga post said they didn't go looking for a confrontation with the state or local health authorities. But when the new law was signed, they decided it was time to take a stand.