I mentioned the Progressive movement in my blog # 307; continuing with the thought of its’ effects on this county: we saw a LONG LIST of organizations that stood behind the movement that generated the Volstead Act. Actually the movement was not a new one. The roots of the Volstead movement can be traced all the way back to 1657 with General Court of Massachusetts.
The Volstead Act was passed by the United States Congress in 1919 over President Wilson’s veto. After ratification of the Volstead Act, better known as the 18th Amendment, the law became effective in 1920. The United States became dry country, sort of.
The progressives of the movement had convinced the country that too many immigrants’ lives were focused on the making of, and the drinking of alcohol, which increased carousing, fighting and assorted activities. It was determined that these drunkenness actions were not beneficial for the family unit and general neighborhood living. After the law was passed, however, the federal government let the law lie, without funding its enforcement. Since there wasn’t any enforcement, by the late 20’s, New York City alone had tens of thousands of “speakeasies”, secret, hidden taverns who existed by the paying off of the police. The underground market for alcohol, illegal activities, and crime ran rampant, along with payoffs, crooked politician and police. The country had determined that Alcohol was a Sin that could and should be eliminated. The thinking at the time was that eliminating the sin would stabilize the family and the country.
Grasp the thought process, eliminate the vehicle and it will cure the sickness.
So, how did that work for us? Corruption blossomed, crime increased, drinking went underground, and moonshine making went out in the woods… In short, it didn’t work for us. By 1933 President Roosevelt signed into law the 21st Amendment effectively repealing all of the 18th Amendment, other than the portion about making “spirits for personal use”. The “home brew’ beer and wine was ok, but spirits needed to be regulated and taxed by the government. What we learned in this exercise, was that eliminating the vehicle didn’t work, rather you must treat the sickness; the elements that caused wonton drunkenness not the alcohol.
Thirty One percent (2013 statistics) of the driving fatalities, resulting in almost 11,000 deaths, are a result of drunk driving. If we were using the philosophy of 1920, we should cease the manufacture of automobiles! Think about it, if we didn’t make the cars, no one would drive drunk and no one would be killed by a drunk driver. No, we’ve become more intelligent than that over the years. We realize that it’s the “sickness” we must treated, NOT the vehicle that’s involved in the action. That’s why we don’t ban the manufacture of automobiles that “cause” drunk driving deaths.
There are three social events today for which we have not only lost control, but lack the knowledge to manage.
1. Depression and the lack of hope for thousands of individuals that turn to crime to support themselves and family.
2. Use of drugs, whether illegal or prescription, whose use creates crime to purchase what’s needed to support the habit.
3. Terrorism by those that see us as a religious obstacle, and no war is less winnable than a religious war because there can be no compromise by at least one of the sides.
An so, today’s Progressive’s don’t see and won’t work on any fix for these three social challenges. Instead they have determine the only fix can be the elimination of the vehicle; The curtailing and elimination of the manufacture and sale of guns in this county. It is their 1920’s thinking that drives what they deem to be a cure for one person killing another in this country.
Let’s see, as I recall there is no manufacture, sale or ownership of guns in France. How’d that work for them?