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Sunday, January 20, 2013 ISSUE #743

Prohibition of guns

   President Obama is determined to cut down on school shootings by restricting (prohibiting?) gun sales and large ammunition clips. Now, just for a moment let’s ignore the Second Amendment to the Constitution and look back at 1920. The 18th Amendment was passed to prohibit alcoholic beverages. How did that work out?

    Here’s Will Rogers’ take on it, from a little book called, The Cowboy Philosopher on Prohibition: “Maine and Kansas were the first Prohibition states, now look at them. Maine was noted for two things, one was drinking awful whiskey and the other was shooting another hunter. If it had not been for the hunting season in Maine and the early deaths from bad whiskey, Maine would have had a population now almost equal to Rhode Island.
    “The principal industry of Kansas was bootlegging. The only way you could tell a Citizen from a Bootlegger in Kansas was the bootlegger would be sober. The Booze they sold was so strong they had to dilute it with alcohol.
    “The minute Prohibition goes in, I can see Cincinnati seceding from the Union. Ohio was voted Wet by the people and Dry by their mis-representatives. Pretty tough on the Columbus, Ohio, saloon men; they have to close just when that big Methodist Conference meets there.
    But the minute they get Prohibition they will hop on to something else. I see where they propose to stop Cigarettes first and then Profanity. They are going to have a tough time with that profanity, cause as long as there is a Prohibitionist living there will be profanity.”

    Prohibition lasted until 1933 when the new president, Franklin Roosevelt, said, “Let ‘em drink.” Later that year the 21st Amendment was ratified to officially cancel out the 18th. During the intervening years, crime soared, Al Capone and other gangsters got rich from selling illegal liquor, and people that wanted to drink still did. Prohibiting guns would be equally successful.

    My son was watching the Inauguration events this weekend and asked me, “Isn’t it ironic that the First Lady waited until the debate on guns to wear BANGS?”

    While the President has zeroed in on gun control, the really big problems are debt and the economy. People are more scared of losing a job (or not getting one) than of getting shot. The General Accounting Office is the CPA for the country (when they aren’t throwing extravagant parties for themselves) and they came out with a dire warning, “Absent policy changes, the federal government continues to face an unsustainable fiscal path.” What that means is: We are spending too much, we have promised to spend more in the future, and there won’t be enough money in the whole country to pay the bills unless we cut our spending.

    Football has boiled down to two teams in the Super Bowl. San Francisco vs. Baltimore, with two brothers facing each other as head coaches. That’ll give us something to talk about other than Lance Armstrong and that Notre Dame player and his imaginary girlfriend.

Historic quote by Will Rogers:
    “(President) Hoover hadn’t been sworn in three minutes before he waded into a topic that Mr. Coolidge had never mentioned in six years. That was Prohibition.”
DT #812, March 4, 1929

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