Happy Repeal Day!

Amendment 21

(Ratified December 5, 1933)

Control of Liquor Returned to the States

  1. The eighteenth article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed.
  2. The transportation or importation into any state, territory, or possession of the United States for delivery or use therein of intoxicating liquors, in violation of the laws thereof, is hereby prohibited.
  3. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by conventions in the several states, as provided in the Constitution, within seven years from the date of the submission hereof to the states by the Congress.

Prohibition of “intoxicating liquors” as embodied in the 18th Amendment was repealed 84 years ago today. To slightly paraphrase President Gerald Ford who was speaking on an entirely different matter, “My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare was over”.

We in the gun rights community should be especially happy to celebrate Repeal Day even if one is a teetotaler. The reason is that this period of time led to the rise of organized crime and its attendant violence. We are still living with the fallout from that area as we still have to pay a $200 tax for each and every suppressor, SBR, SBS, full-auto firearm (made before May 19, 1986), etc. that we want to buy and register. Without Prohibition and the attempted assassination of FDR, we probably wouldn’t have had this gun control monstrosity imposed upon us.

So tonight I plan to raise my glass to Sen. John Blaine of Wisconsin who introduced the resolution calling for the 21st Amendment.

Happy Repeal Day!

On this date in 1933, the 21st Amendment to the Constitution repealed the 18th Amendment. The Great Experiment was called to a close when the state of Utah ratified the 21st Amendment at 5:32pm.

At the same time as he signed the proclamation officially ending Prohibition, FDR asked that saloons be prohibited and he “enjoined all citizens to cooperate with the government in its endeavor to restore a greater respect for law and order, especially by confining their purchases of liquor to duly licensed agencies.”

Governmental control of substances such as alcohol, tobacco, and coffee (yes, coffee!) have a long history as an article in today’s Weekend Wall Street Journal makes clear.

Although the U.S. is indelibly associated with Prohibition, authorities the world over have long regarded the pleasures (or vices) of alcohol, tobacco and coffee with deep suspicion. Concerns about these habit-forming substances’ potential health hazards didn’t provoke the official hostility. Instead it often came from paranoia over what the masses might get up to if allowed to let off a little steam without supervision.

What “the masses” might get up to including overthrowing their masters’ yoke. It was in the coffeehouses and taverns of Boston and Philadelphia that men such John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and others gathered to discuss the idea of an independent nation.

So whether it is alcoholic beverage control or gun control, the key word is always going to be control. Government, you see, just doesn’t trust us.

Happy Repeal Day!

Repeal Day commemorates the repeal of prohibition when the 21st Amendment was ratified on December 5, 1933. Somewhat ironically, it was the state of Utah that put ratification of the 21st Amendment over the top.

On December 5th, 1933, Utah, the final state needed for a three quarters majority, ratified the 21st Amendment, repealing Prohibition and restoring the American right to a celebratory drink. While the amendment still allowed for state and local levels of Prohibition, by 1966 there were no state laws banning alcohol.

 The libertarian Reason TV produced a video on George Cassiday who was Congress’ favorite bootlegger in celebration of Repeal Day 2012. Mr. Cassiday even had an office in both the House and Senate Office Buildings.

So on this Repeal Day, if you indulge in adult beverages, celebrate this country coming to its senses.