‘Support county law prohibiting guns?’




In examining the question of whether Blount County is to remain dry, we should first consider whether the prohibition of alcohol sales deters people from drinking. For myself, I am unable to think of a single person who abstains from alcohol simply because it is illegal within the county. If it is true that the unavailability of alcohol in Blount County has a negligible impact on those who choose to drink, then there is little left to discuss but the loss of tax revenues.

Still, one important consideration is that many Blount County residents who imbibe must drive much further on county roads to an adjoining wet county to buy alcohol than would be necessary if alcohol were sold at local convenience stores. The same holds true for those visiting taverns. If we assume that some of these people have either already been drinking or will begin drinking on the return trip, it stands to reason that a law prohibiting Blount County alcohol sales actually increases our exposure to alcohol-related accidents due to the greater distances driven.

But logical arguments such as these will have little effect on the minds of those who seek to restrict individual freedoms in an effort to compel others to conform to their own personal or religious ideologies through the use of legal statutes. If these same people who oppose lifting the ban on alcohol sales were asked whether they would support a county law prohibiting guns, we could expect a unanimous and emphatic “No!” Never mind that guns are used in robberies and murders and that firearm accidents involving children occur far too often. Where the social good is concerned, there seems to be a double standard.

How might the dry county proponents justify this abridgement of personal freedom to our nation’s founders, such as those members of the Contenental Congress and Constitutional Convention who routinely gathered at the City Tavern in Philadelphia to discuss such issues as individual liberties? I’d like to hear them explain it to George Washington or to Thomas Jefferson, both of whom made alcohol in their homes. Perhaps the prohibitionists could argue their point to Benjamin Franklin, who said, “Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.” If they had no luck with the founders, then maybe with Abraham Lincoln, who owned several taverns and held a liquor license. No, I suspect the Blount County prohibitionists would find a more receptive audience among religious repressionists, such as members of the Taliban. They, too, made the sale of alcohol illegal.
William D. Krumme
Hayden