Law Observance: Shall the People of the United States Uphold the Constitution?

By W. Durant C. | Go to book overview

A NATIONAL LEAGUE TO EDUCATE

J. A. Buchanan Municipal Judge, Astoria, Oregon

THERE can be no doubt in the minds of thinking men that the 18th Amendment is in the Constitution to stay and that the people of the United States want it enforced.

It is an undisputed fact that the major part of the crime of the country is caused by violation of the prohibition law. What, then, would be the most "effective plan" for its enforcement?

Perhaps the Volstead Act, or any other act that might take its place, can not be enforced 100% under present conditions. No prohibitory law ever has been, not even the law against murder. But it can and should be enforced to the greatest limit of possibility.

No law will enforce itself, and no law can be effectively enforced until there is an unmistakable popular demand for its enforcement. There must be not only sufficient law- enforcing machinery, but the public must also be educated to the point that enforcement will be demanded.

The forces that brought about prohibition made their initial mistake when that task had been accomplished. Having placed the 18th Amendment in the Constitution, they rested serenely from their labors, and forgot that the most difficult part remained yet to be performed, that of enforcement of the law. They should have remembered that its enemies never sleep, that they would attack the law from every possible angle. It is still true that "eternal vigilance is the price of liberty."


A New Agency Needed

The Anti-Saloon League performed in its time a great work, but its usefulness, at least under that name, is a

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