By Theresa Inacker
100 years after Prohibition, it’s still a doomed proposition
There is an uncanny parallel between anti-gun rights groups like Moms Demand Action, which continually seeks more ineffective gun control laws, and the infamous women of the temperance movement, which brought about the failed experiment of Prohibition.
In 1920, Prohibition outlawed the sale, manufacturing and transport of intoxicating beverages enjoyed by most of the population. Women led the charge for temperance reform starting in the 1800’s. The women who campaigned for Prohibition focused on men’s alcohol abuse and proclaimed that it harmed women, children and families.
Stories of women using hatchets, rocks and axes to break whisky bottles in saloons painted a visual of sometimes radical and extreme tactics.
Moms Demand Action and similar groups irrationally claim that guns and Second Amendment-guaranteed rights are the cause of mass murders and violent crime. These anti-rights groups insist more gun control is the necessary solution. Gun control advocates ignore the multitude of existing, ineffective gun control laws, yet clamor for still more. Their appetite for restrictions on gun rights is insatiable.
Coyly, anti-rights gun control fanatics claim they are not interested in banning all guns-after all, they purport to be for “common sense” gun control. However, no one is buying it. We know that they will not stop until every last firearm is banned, and the Constitution is torn to pieces.
This incremental shift is not novel; it is actually quite familiar. As Melissa Strong wrote in Women and the Temperance Movement . . .
At first, the temperance movement sought to moderate drinking, then to promote resisting the temptation to drink. Later, the goal became outright prohibition of alcohol sales.
The women of the temperance movement, sought to vilify and criminalize a lawful activity. There were instances of alcohol abuse, of course, yet it was a failed route of reform to insist on a ban of alcohol for everyone.
We all know it missed the mark. The results of Prohibition are well known. Organized crime flourished, “gun violence” soared, and the 18th Amendment was ultimately repealed Dec. 5, 1933, via the 21st Amendment.
Just as the temperance reformers wanted to force their ban on everyone, anti-gun advocates want to turn lawful firearm ownership into criminals. The anti-rights types, of course, ignore the thousands of instances in which firearms have been used in defensive situations. They likewise ignore the ubiquitous mental health issues of those behind mass murder sprees, as well as facts such as the reality that more children drown in pools annually than die by firearm.
Whether you focus on the inanimate bottle of whiskey, or a scary looking firearm, they will fail to change human behavior. They will fail to effectuate the change desired.
Just as Prohibition was a failed American experiment, gun control efforts will also continue to be a failure. The ‘good guys’ with guns are coalescing, like giants awakening from their slumber ready to stop the likes of Mom Demand Action and Everytown.
Undeniably, Second Amendment sanctuaries are cropping up all across the country, and Virginia gun owners have beaten back some recent attacks by leftist gun grabbers.
Anti-gun prohibitionists should take a lesson from the failure of alcohol Prohibition 100 years ago. The nation’s population of lawful gun owners is not going to divest itself of their legally-obtained firearms or forgo their Second Amendment rights simply to make you feel safer, or because you insist on it.
Theresa Inacker, an attorney and Second Amendment advocate, is a member of the Supreme Court Bar, the New Jersey Delegate to The DC Project, and serves as the Communications Director for the Coalition of New Jersey Firearm Owners.