I just watched the PBS documentary Prohibition. I highly recommend it based on the maxim that those who don’t learn history are doomed to repeat it.

On the one hand, I’m inclined to start a collection to send a DVD copy to every anti-2A organization to show them what would happen if they ever got their wish of prohibiting firearms. On the other hand, I’m afraid there might be one or two people among them who are smart enough to learn lessons from it and become even more dangerous.

My takeaways:

1. Laws depend on support from the general public. Without that support, law enforcement can’t function effectively. It’s the classic irregular warfare scenario—when the populace supports the insurgents, the occupiers can’t win. Only when the public has decided that “enough is enough” and turn against the insurgents do the occupiers stand a chance. (That’s why Obama is flogging his mass shooting myths—he’s trying to get people to say “enough is enough”.)

2. Banning something which a large segment of the population wants leads to a black market and associated crime; this should surprise no one. Witness the “war on drugs.” But it also inevitably leads to corruption in government. Since government and law enforcement agencies are a microcosm of the larger population, there will be supporters within those agencies who will undermine the ban (whether for moral reasons or for personal gain). The uneven and ineffective enforcement that results leads to further public disillusionment about the ban. Result: feedback into #1.

3. Prohibition tends to energize people who previously weren’t strong supporters of the thing being banned, but object to an over-reaching government telling them what they can or can’t have. It can even convert people who object to the thing being banned (alcohol, drugs, abortion, etc.) but believe it’s a matter of personal responsibility and not government edict. It awakens the contrarian streak in otherwise non-activist people, making them supporters. More feedback into #1 above.

4. There’s actually a lot more control over something when it’s allowed and regulated/taxed than when it’s completely prohibited. (This is the lesson I’m afraid the antis might learn. As long as they’re advocating a total ban they’re fighting history.)

Anyway, Merry Christmas all!