One Santa Clarita vape shop owner is very, very angry about California's new regulations on vaping, which increase the age for access from 18 to 21. Vaping is a rapid-growth industry nearly everywhere, but still is under scrutiny, particularly in the way many products are marketed to children.
Sam Casablanca, owner of Awesometown E-Liquids, is unhappy about those regulations, and decided he was going to fight back by choosing the most "demonized article as we could, an AR15, to give away as a means by which to call attention to what we’re doing."
What are they doing? Apparently making a stand for liberty.
“These both come down to your freedom, your right to choose what you do with your body, what you’re allowed to buy and what options you're allowed to have in front of you,” Casablanca told the Santa Clarita Signal.
“We don’t find it any small coincidence that both the AR-15 and the vapor device I carry in my pocket are both, for a lack of a better term, coming under fire," he said.
Well, I don't find it any small coincidence that both the NRA and the tobacco industry are both, for lack of a better term, lighting the fire.
There has always been a close synergy between the NRA and tobacco lobby, a parallel reinforced by the strong libertarian idea that everything centers around individuals, without consideration to collective society around them. One could probably find a stronger argument for vaping in that context than guns, but by linking the two, Casablanca has found a way to light the ammosexuals on fire with his own libertarian causes.
For some adults, vaping is a necessary transition from cigarettes to a different nicotine delivery system. But it is highly unregulated, and quality control is virtually non-existent. We are assured that Mr. Casablanca is a chemist who carefully concocts his nicotine mixtures, but there are no base standards by which to measure, nor any actual data on his website with which to make that judgment. It's a claim and little more.
Perhaps this isn't so much about the age limitations, though I'm sure they're irritating. Perhaps it has more to do with the fact that California has just qualified a ballot initiative for a $2 tax on tobacco products, which includes vaping products unless the FDA certifies them as tobacco cessation tools.
Whatever the case, you can expect the tobacco lobby to line up with the NRA in an effort to defeat it, and continue their push for weapons of mass death to be marketed to younger and younger audiences, so they can hook them early and help them learn all about liberty.
Meanwhile, another AR-15 will hit the streets in Southern California just in time for Independence Day. Because liberty. And vaping.