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100 YEARS LATER, AND PROHIBITIONISTS STILL DON’T GET IT — 29 Comments

  1. Prohibition.
    Constitutional Amendments.
    History.
    Hypocrisy.
    Lessons not learned.
    The “If only”.

  2. Interesting, I went to Law Enforcement Firearms Inst. School at the Whittington Ctr. with 2 men from the Tribune security group.

  3. They aren’t the only ones refusing to learn from history. The number of our Jewish countrymen/women who are among those gun prohibitionists has always been puzzling to me.

    • Some of the most rabidly anti-gun zealots like Charles Schumer, Diane Feinstein, Michael Bloomberg, George Soros, etc. are Jewish, yet they are pushing for an agenda similar to which resulted in the Holocaust during the 1940’s. The motto of Israel is “Never Again!” American anti-gun Jews either don’t know what millions of their unfortunate ancestors suffered or they don’t care and just want desperately to exert control over other people. As I’ve always said, liberals are either stupid or evil. Most anti-gun politicians are patently evil while most of their lemming-like followers are just plain dumb.

  4. Many in the anti-gun movement know, I think, that draconian firearms laws don’t work but they continue to press for that legislation anyway. Why? It’s their raison d’etre.

  5. Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it’s mistakes. These words were spoken by a very wise guy. People can live without liquor (many of us anyway) but firearms are necessary for maintaining one’s health and well being against predators, both animal and human, mainly the latter. If gun control is contemplated by those in charge, let’s begin with an exploratory experiment. Disarm only and all Democrats and liberals for a year, and see what happens before we go further. If crime does decrease, then we can discuss firearms prohibition more seriously.

    • Tom606,

      I wonder if one reason many citizens may see no need for guns is because of our incredible wealth and success. Our military and police do such an excellent job of keeping us safe that many people feel safe almost every day of their lives. They avoid high crime areas and don’t
      go anywhere after midnight. Our wars are fought on the other side of the world. If you live in a middle class or upper middle class neighborhood, you feel safe, even though safety is an illusion.

      History is full of stories of soft, rich people who felt safe until the barbarians knocked down the gate to their city. I would guess many Americans are the softest, most protected people who have ever lived. Sure is comfy being in the bubble. I have to fight against the love of luxury in my own life. Many Americans lose that fight and become marshmallows or snowflakes.

      • Quite true, Roger. One can compare those Americans who enjoy comfortable lives to the bovines raised by the Japanese for Kobi Beef. Those unfortunate, unsuspecting animals are well fed, massaged daily and pampered – until the guys with the big sharp knives greets them one fine sunny day in their short futures.

        I would like to see how long Mike Bloomberg would survive without his heavily armed bodyguards. He would stay in his fortified compound 24/7 and have supplies delivered to him, but without men who have guns to protect him, hordes of have-nots wielding clubs and knives will storm his mansion and pillage the place.

  6. As I have long said, in this blog and to my friends, alcohol prohibition and firearms prohibition (AKA Gun Control or “Gun Safety” legislation) are ideological twins. The thinking behind them both is identical. Any argument used to petition for alcohol prohibition can be adapted to argue for firearms prohibition. Any argument used against alcohol prohibition can be adapted to argue against firearms prohibition.

    The faults that ultimately killed alcohol prohibition (civil disobedience, black market smuggling, the underground funding of criminal enterprises) are all the same faults that infect firearms prohibition.

    Both ideologies trample upon the Rights and Liberties of the individual in a misguided attempt to legislate morality. Both use the Power of the Central Government to oppress and weaken the Power of the People.

    Both ideologies flow from the flawed belief system of Left-Wing ideology. The underlying assumptions, regarding human behavior, which drive both movements is as follows:

    Assumption #1 – All Humans are intrinsically Good. All humans want to, innately, be good and behave in a peaceful and moral fashion. (This is the bedrock, foundational assumption that underlies all left-wing ideologies).

    Assumption #2 – While humans are innately good, they are also weak. They can be easily influenced and misdirected into performing evil acts by unhealthy social forces and negative environmental influences such as racism, sexism, addiction (including alcohol addiction), poverty, capitalism, ignorance, weapon proliferation, plus many, many others).

    Assumption #3 – If these unhealthy social forces and negative environmental influences are eliminated from society, then the inherent “Goodness” of mankind will be unconstrained. Evil will be eliminated and the world will become a paradise of peace and prosperity. (The left-wing Utopian Dream!)

    Assumption #4 – Only a super powerful central government, guided by the correct left-wing principles, will have the power to remake society to the point where the left-wing utopia can emerge.

    Conclusion – Left-wing ideology must focus on building a super powerful central State (World State). The power of this Big-Government State must seek out and identify all external negative influences that are constraining mankind’s goodness. Once these negative influences are identified, the power of Big Government must be focused upon them, using a variety of Big Government Social Programs, with the goal of eliminating or mitigating the destructive effects of all negative influences thereby eliminating EVIL from the world and bringing forth the left-wing utopia.

    Therefore, left-wing ideology consists of a love for Big Government, a disregard for the Rights of the Individual in favor of the Rights of the State, and activism to work against any and all perceived negative social influences.

    One hundred years ago, the leftists identified alcohol and alcohol addiction as a major negative social influence and a Big Government Program (The 18th Amendment and the Volstead Act) were created to destroy this identified negative social target. Prohibition of Alcohol was considered to be the ultimate solution to eliminate this social evil in accordance with left-wing doctrine.

    Today, the leftists have identified firearms and their widespread ownership as a major negative social influence and a series of Big Government Programs (at both the State and Federal Government levels) are being proposed to destroy this identified negative social target. Prohibition of firearms is considered, by the anti-gun movement, as the ultimate solution to eliminate this social evil in accordance with left-wing doctrine.

    The ideologies are as identical as two peas in a pod. The American Left learned NOTHING (Nothing at All) from their failed social engineering experiment of a century ago. Leftists seem incapable of learning from history. Perhaps this is because, if they did learn the lessons of history, they could no longer be leftists. The historical failures of left-wing ideology are too numerous to ignore if one makes an effort to learn from them. Therefore, the left refuses to learn so as to remain willingly blind.

  7. Mas,

    Thanks for the link. Does this mean that you have adopted the same attitude on “Drugs” that you have on guns and alcohol, namely that “personal responsibility” is the solution, rather than a police state? The hypocrisy is the same.

    I can only hope and pray that more and more good men and women in “law enforcement” are seeing the light, the hypocrisy,the evil and the destroyed lives in “the war on (some) drugs”.

      • Mas,

        To my mind, that is like responding to a gun ban by saying “Depends on the guns”, rather than personal responsibility.

        Or responding to alcohol prohibition by saying “Depends on the alcohol” rather than saying personal responsibility.

        Who else, except the user of said booze, drugs or guns, should have any say in what is acceptable for someone else? Why does personal responsibility apply to “some” calibers, plants or alcohol and not to others? Or have we determined that angels have replaced mortal men, in the legislators and are competent to instruct us?

        I believe that true freedom is recognizing and accepting “personal responsibility”, both for ourselves and others. I am keeping hope alive Mas, that you and others who have performed front line “peace officer” duties might recognize this truth and help steer our country again, towards “Rightful Liberty”.

        “Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will, within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add ‘within the limits of the law’; because law is often but the tyrants will and always so when it violates the rights of the individual.” Thomas Jefferson

      • Tahn, can you show me the beneficial side of methamphetamine, PCP, or opioids for other than genuine acute/chronic pain patients?

  8. You are a very wise man, but I honestly fail to see a proper connection between guns and alcohol prohibition. There are plenty of things that we have prohibited as a society successfully (and welcomely), and although alcohol proved to be too addictive to prohibit successfully, such attempts on banning guns in the UK, Australia and elsewhere have nonetheless proven “successful” (as far as gun grabbing is concerned). As such, the comparison is misleading, and it misleads as much as it tempts fate in my estimation. As you know, firearms are a good thing (better than automobiles in my opinion), but alcohol—despite what the alcohol lobby & the PhD’s they bribe have to say about it—does more harm than good. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a beer every now and again, and I am surely not a prude. In fact, I’d be happy to legalize psilocybin, ayahuasca and other psychedelic plants & fungi that are far less destructive than alcohol if they’re destructive at all (and they can ironically treat alcoholism far better than AA in my opinion, if not in fact). But your comparison likens firearms to a vice (some would say a necessary evil) that we wanted to ban as a country so badly that we championed an amendment to the constitution to rid ourselves of it. Firearms can be misused, but they are not a vice like alcohol or gambling. Every time you drink alcohol you kill millions of brain cells. I don’t even think the lead we breathe in at the range does quite that much damage (as harmful as it is, especially from lead-based primers). Nor am I in favor of another attempt at alcohol prohibition because I would rather live free (vices and all), but I personally would not use that analogy because it casts firearms in a less favorable light in my opinion.

    • @ Brian Mumford – It is the mindset that makes alcohol prohibition and firearms prohibition similar. It is the idea that human behavior can be controlled and improved, using the power of Big Brother Government, by forcing people to forego use and possession of some kind of inanimate object (in this case, either a bottle of booze or an “assault weapon”). It is this identical motivation that makes these political movements so similar.

      While you may not view firearms ownership as a “vice”, I assure you that the gun-grabbers do view it that way. They loath and fear guns and gun-owners. They regularly accuse the NRA, and by extension NRA members, of having “the blood of murdered children on their hands”. They truly believe that violence in America would be greatly reduced if only they could get rid of those nasty, destructive firearms and lock up the people who take the 2nd Amendment seriously.

      This is stupid, of course. The world was a much more violent place prior to the invention of firearms. If anyone doubts this, I invite them to read Steven Pinker’s book “The Better Angels of our Nature: Why Violence has Declined”.

      As for gun-grabbers being successful, well, maybe in a few places. Island nations, like the UK and Japan have sea borders that can be more easily guarded against black-market smuggling. Furthermore, the people of those nations never had much of a “Gun Culture” (to begin with) so it was fairly easy to suppress the idea of firearm ownership.

      Those factors will never apply to America. There is ample evidence (from alcohol and drug smuggling, to gun running, to illegal immigration) that America’s borders are as porous as a sieve. Also, thanks to the 2nd Amendment and our frontier history, we are a world leader in terms of having a “Gun Culture”.

      So, making the point, that alcohol prohibition was a major historical failure and that its sister ideology of firearms prohibition will prove to be as equally big of a failure, is not without merit.

      • Australia is the best example, to my mind, of utter failure in gun control. Yes gin crime” dropped.. armed robbery and armed housebrreaking did drop signficantly. Did muggins without firearms drop? Oh no, they increased.. as I recall, some 35% withinn the first year of the gun grabs. So did housebreakings. And have contnued to rise. “Gun crime” did indeed drop.. for a time. It is now signficantly above what it was prior to the take-ups. And then a new phenomenon has appeared…. violent use of firearms has been significantly increasing these past few years. AND a new thing has been growing on top of that….. it seems thousands of new assault style rifles, along with handguns… none of type ever made or legally entered into Australia. It seems the island nation are being flooded with newly manufactures weapons of combat….. it seems most are entering along the near-abandoned shores along the remote northern parts of the island nation.

      • Tionico,

        Thanks for sharing that information from Australia. So, during alcohol Prohibition they had “rum runners.” Now during Australia’s gun prohibition they have “gun runners.”

        I’ve lost faith in trying to educate the other side. There are so many examples of Leftists who are brilliant in their fields, but don’t understand gun safety, economics or politics. Think of how many dummies have graduated from Harvard. I could name people and groups who are willfully ignorant of history, but I’ll be polite. Education just does not work with these closed minded people. The truth must be a heresy against their “religion.”

    • Dear Brian, likely most people would say that all loaded guns are potentially dangerous when handled improperly. Stuff happens, so ban all “dangerous” stuff. How much more fearsome is a loaded driver! Impaired people can go from a state of “innocent,” self-limited chemical diversion, to the status of a misguided torpedo, just by stepping into an auto and getting on the road. I would like to see a double-blind study on the ability to visually discriminate among drivers that are sober, on alcohol, or on various other impairing chemicals. The more that I drive the highways, the more I think I can tell when some drivers are using THC. It may be true that some people drive better when somewhat impaired, but then, should they be operating at all?

    • alcohol per se is NOT a vice, no more than food or your sofa is. Read the Old Testament… the early books. More than once God lists conduct (goiod and bad) then follows with lists of blessings and curses. Do these things (list follows) and you will be blessed.. the fruit of yuour fields, orchards, the product of the soil, your lambs will be fat, grapes plentifil, the winevats overflowing, and the wine to gladden your heart……. then comes the list of “don’t do thee things” else you be cursed.. the lying tongue, stealing, slandering, etc… else you be cursed…. parched and dry land, no rain, the vines fail to bring forth their fruit, the winepress idle and empty, and no wine to gladden your heart.
      Hmm.. the place of wine in daily live certainly does not sound like a vice.
      But, just like everything we have here in this live, it, and anything else, can become an idol and lead to misery, death, disease…… how many people are morbidly obese, struggling with health problems threatening their very lives? Yet there ARE no moves to have government mandates regulate our tables and refrigerators, are there? Smoeking tobacco, or at least cigarrettes, is VERY bad for health, and while they have been coopted as a revenue source, they have not been outright banned.

      That is still a side issue….. each of us must ansawer for the decisions we make, and to impose any of those decisions upon anyone else, without theproper specific authority, is to steal their liberty and responsibility before God. We often play cards fir entertainment, a sort of social lubricant, excuse for gathering, no money involved….. yet how may others use them for gambling, often costing their familiies the care and support he is bound to provide for them? Cars are useful tools, can also be used for fun and entertainment, a serious hobby (resorting, racing legally, road rallyes, to make an living )Taxi,Uber/Lyft, hauling stuff for folks, our tools to work, etc) but how many elevate a car to the place of a mistress. consuming our time, moneu, attention, providing our identity….. ALL THING are neutral in and of themselves. It is what each one of us decides WE will do with them that matters. And for anyone or thing to come round and COMMAND I use or not use them this way, tht way or any way takes away my own humanity. Now, if yui see me misusing alcohol, cars, guns, food, etc, then it is your personal obligation to come alongside me and help me see my folly and turn from it, or at least the misuse of it. I knew a woman who was absolutely addicted to Dr. Pepper……. it WAS causing her physical harm. She woke uo and left it behind. But no one had to come round to her house and remove it all, or put it behind a locked door.

      • If anyone wants to look up what Tionico is referring to;

        Leviticus 26
        Deuteronomy 28
        Psalm 104:15

    • To say that prohibition didn’t work because people were “adicted” is a misnomer and quite a stretch. Most people were not adicted, they just enjoyed a drink. that would be the same as saying everyone wants a gun just to rob people. Prohibition of anything will only work if everyone agrees it’s for the common good. Methaphetamine is one example where the only people that think it not be prohibited are addicts. Once they break the addiction they can also see that it has no good qualities.

  9. Very interesting arguments coming from both sides of the “drug debate.” While legalizing most forms of what are now currently illegal drugs expands freedom, it will most certainly come with a cost, literally. Currently, those who admit to current or historical use of illegal drugs or to a history of substance abuse face significant increases in the cost of life, healthcare, and auto insurance. In many instances people will not even qualify for life or auto insurance.

    Should currently illegal drugs be legalized, private insurance plans will almost certainly charge more for those who admit to use. In addition, given the current cost to society for substance abuse and substance-related injury- these costs might continue to rise. If not, they are unlikely to decline. And for those who do not use any substances, they will most certainly see increased costs for their insurance plans as well in response to the changing nature of the risk pool (real or perceived).

    I admit that the cost issue I present remains an empirical question, but this is not merely speculation. I am all for increased freedoms, I just think we need to carefully think through all potential “unintended consequences” and consider the fact that we responsible citizens often end up paying for (quite literally) the mistakes of others.

    • As far as narcotics go, the issue is often cast in “all or nothing” terms. In other words, we either go all out for “narcotics prohibition” (which is the path the U.S. has taken in the past) or else we totally de-regulate narcotics and let them be freely sold in every candy store on every street corner. In my view, this is a false choice.

      As a matter of fact, our society applies regulations to just about everything that can be potentially harmful. Logic would dictate that, the greater the potential for harm, the more heavy the regulation and oversight.

      Despite what the gun-grabbers claim, firearms are very heavily regulated. It is estimated that there are over 20,000 firearms laws on the books. The sale, possession, ownership, and carrying of firearms are all heavily regulated despite a plain reading of the 2nd Amendment which suggests that this is excessive.

      Likewise, alcohol, tobacco, gambling, owning and driving automobiles, etc. are also heavily regulated.

      My personal view is to oppose flat-out prohibition OF ANYTHING on the grounds that it is a vice or is too dangerous. Historically, prohibition laws have been failures that only lead to civil disobedience, black-market smuggling, and the financing of crime. However, I don’t favor a libertarian approach of total de-regulation and “anything goes” either.

      I favor a policy of “allow but regulate” over the extremes of “prohibit it totally” or “anything goes, baby!”.

      Alcohol prohibition was a historical failure. I would argue that narcotics prohibition has also proved to be a massive failure. So much so that it has created drug cartels that actually destabilize some countries and have racked up a huge total of death (both of criminals and of innocent bystanders). I view the current push for firearms prohibition as totally idiotic give the unbroken record of historical prohibition failures. As the good book says: “As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly” (Proverbs 26:11)

      Frankly, since narcotics prohibition is a failure, I favor moving to an “allow but very heavily regulate model” coupled with public education to discourage it combined with drug treatment programs to get people off of the stuff. The idea would be to regulate it enough to prevent narcotic addiction from getting out of hand while still allowing it enough to undercut the profits being racked up by the criminal drub cartels.

      Anyway, just my 2 cents.

  10. https://psmag.com/social-justice/the-many-surprising-health-benefits-of-meth

    https://medlineplus.gov/ency/patientinstructions/000797.htm

    https://www.staywell.com/insights/opioids-understanding-benefits-and-risks

    Mas,

    Again I thank you for allowing a discussion, even though you disagree with someone else’s opinion.

    I have never taken any of the substances you mention and thankfully have never had any chronic pain. My heart goes out to those who do, regardless of how they choose to treat it. May they have access to every possible remedy for their pain.

    Three links at the top of this post, recognizes some of the benefits and also the problems with those drugs you mentioned. Keep in mind that “Every” substance or food that we ingest could have health problems associated with it. Should we apply to government for permission to eat peanut butter or should we allow “personal responsibility” to determine whether or not we enjoy this dangerous food? It is estimated that around 150 people in the U.S. die each year from anaphylaxis.

    While you can argue that some drugs are harmful (and I agree) , it is difficult to argue that extorting almost half a TRILLION dollars every year from American taxpayers and sending several hundred thousand Americans to the work camps to work for Prison Industries each year is beneficial to anyone, except of course for the prison industries.

    This is to say nothing about other countries, such as Mexico, where some 200,000 people are killed each year in the “War on Drugs”. You can argue that “some” drugs are harmful but I do not believe you can argue (successfully) that being sent to a government work camp is preferable to someone treating their own pain or pursuing their own type of “happiness”, even if it leads to injury or death. http://www.drugpolicy.org/issues/drug-war-statistics

    Mas, it is good people like yourself and others here, who help to perpetuate this tragedy by enforcing “laws” contrary to freedom, the Declaration of Independence (right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness) and the U.S. Constitution, as no Constitutional amendment was ever passed to allow such a travesty, as was the case in prohibition.

    If you argue for self responsibility in Guns and Booze ( and I join with you ), I can see no way not to allow the same argument for personal responsibility when it comes to self medication of drugs, foods or other substances.

    It is definitely time to reevaluate this failed policy and this subversion of Liberty. I ask you and others in law enforcement to join together and just say NO, when it comes to controlling others and violating the basic “Rights of Mankind”. Please.

  11. I agree with some commentators here that America should be a place of maximum liberty for adults. Maybe the reason we used to be wealthy, and half of all inventions were invented here, is because the government was small, and couldn’t keep the little guys from prospering.

    Legalizing drugs is scary, however. Pilots and surgeons should not be high at work, and neither should car drivers. How are things working out in Colorado? Don’t they have a bunch of heads who refuse to work?

    I suppose TN_MAN pointed out the best solution. Make drugs legal, but highly regulated like cars and firearms currently are. That way we may be able to have liberty and order at the same time. It all comes down to self-control, but Americans have less of that than they used to have.

    • So right. Guns and illegal drugs cannot be treated the same way. Put a gun in a normal person’s hands and he/she will not become a homicidal maniac. Give that same person certain drugs or enough alcohol beverages and they transform into someone completely different. I have dealt with highly intoxicated people who acted like barbaric savages during altercations and the next day when they are sober, don’t even remember what they did. Back in the 1980’s I and two other officers arrested a 5’4″ 125 pound man in his early 20’s who was on PCP/Angel Dust and it took several minutes of vigorous activity, including breaking two chairs and knocking over a few large tables in a restaurant to get him restrained. It was like wrestling with the Incredible Hulk. Two days later I encountered him again and the guy was a mild mannered wimp, his normal condition. Substances which alter a person’s mental state/personality should be highly controlled. Firearms do not exert a supernatural influence over their users.

      • Tom606,

        Your argument seems similar to limiting large magazines and I believe that “gun grabbers” believe that firearms DO exert a supernatural influence over their users.

        Regardless, removing firearms, drugs or whatever because someone else, has had or might have a problem, is not conducive to “Rightful Liberty” but IS indicative to a police state. If someone misuses drugs, guns or booze and harms or threatens others or their property, let them suffer the consequences of their actions, rather than punish the several hundred million law abiding good people who did not.

        Aside from the above, where do “Enforcers” get the legal right to control others who have harmed no one. Did you not take an oath to support the Constitution? They had to have a Constitutional amendment to outlaw the manufacture and sale (not the use of)alcohol. Where is the amendment that allows government to control the use of any substances?

  12. Mas,

    I typed an error in my above response. I stated 200,000 a year, are killed in Mexico in the Drug War. It should have been that 200,000 + have been killed in Mexico in the Drug War since 2006. My apology for this error which is entirely my fault.