The time in American history known as the prohibition resulted in the strongest upheaval in our political and judicial system. The Temperance movement led to the addition of the eighteenth amendment to our constitution. This amendment banned the use, manufacture, transport and sale of all alcoholic beverages. A great majority of the politicians in Washington supported the ban of alcohol and subsequently it went into effect in January of 1920.

Public response to the amendment was much different than what legislators anticipated or expected. Criminals remained criminals and most law abiding citizens were reluctant to follow the new law, blatantly ignoring it and law enforcement throughout the country was ineffective in supporting prohibition. Those who manufactured alcohol continued to do so without any respect for the law.

The ban of alcohol conversely, raised the price and increased demand for the commodity. Alcohol manufacturing now became an allusive and profitable trade. This illegal activity fostered a new social environment and a new type of criminal notably gangsters such as Al Capone spawned by alcohol profits.

The Eighteenth Amendment is the only amendment to the constitution that was ever repealed from the constitution. The law was basically a flop and any revenues the government would have made through taxes on alcohol was lost to the gangsters who supplied alcohol. Ten years after its inception the twenty first amendment nullified the Eighteenth amendment and alcohol was now again legitimate.

Just like prohibition, the war on drugs is a failure. Laurence Vance the author of “The war on drugs is a war on freedom” states, “The war on drugs has failed to prevent drug abuse. It has failed to prevent drug overdoses. It has failed to reduce drug use. It has failed to reduce the demand for drugs. It has failed to keep drugs out of the hands of addicts. It has failed to keep drugs out of the hands of teenagers. It has failed to keep drugs out of schools. It has failed to keep drugs out of prisons. It has failed to stop the flow of drugs into the United States. It has failed to stop the violence associated with drug trafficking” and goes on to say that it has fostered many evils just as prohibition led to the rise of the early twentieth century gangsters.

Now, the government wants to ban firearms with a strong emphasis on the AR 15 semi-automatic rifle. One of the most popular formats over the last 40 years. Firearms is the cornerstone of the present presidential race. All of us who support gun rights know who not to vote for in the upcoming election. I need not say her name. I will register to vote for the first time in my 50 years as an American citizen for this election. This lack of voter participation on my part sounds terrible but so is our situation.

I think it’s time for our government to step back and take a look at how the public will respond to such a ban. If history repeats itself we could very well welcome in a new social order among us all, create new types of criminals and spend billions in tax dollars enforcing an unsupported law.

 

By: Gregg Fikes