When the Nanny State Kills


When the governmental nannies tell us that a Big Gulp is just too much Pepsi, that cigarettes must be banned or that fast food is not heart friendly, they tell us they are doing it for our own good. We will be happier if we just give in to their hectoring. Taken to its logical extreme, however, the Nanny State will not tolerate your disobedience. During Prohibition, the Nanny State was a killer.

Frustrated that people continued to consume so much alcohol even after it was banned, federal officials had decided to try a different kind of enforcement. They ordered the poisoning of industrial alcohols manufactured in the United States, products regularly stolen by bootleggers and resold as drinkable spirits. The idea was to scare people into giving up illicit drinking. Instead, by the time Prohibition ended in 1933, the federal poisoning program, by some estimates, had killed at least 10,000 people.

Although mostly forgotten today, the “chemist’s war of Prohibition” remains one of the strangest and most deadly decisions in American law-enforcement history. As one of its most outspoken opponents, Charles Norris, the chief medical examiner of New York City during the 1920s, liked to say, it was “our national experiment in extermination.”

The state will poison gin to help you be a teetotaler. The state will ship weapons to Mexican drug lords to teach you about the danger of gun violence. It will dump Agent Orange on you and tell you it is safe. It will infect you with syphilis just to see what it does to you. It will test hallucinogenic narcotics on you and never tell you what it is doing.

But by all means, trust the government when it tells you giving up your guns will make you safer.

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12 Responses to When the Nanny State Kills

  1. rj says:

    woof first time I’d heard of that little tidbit…poisoned, thats some seriously fucked up shit….

  2. Uke says:

    “It could never happen here” suddenly becomes, “It already has happened here.”

  3. R.D. Walker says:

    The historical norm for government is, “Do it our way, or we will fucking kill you.” Imagine, the US government was more restrained in this regard than most and yet…

    • Uke says:

      Playing Devil’s advocate, then; they believe since we are trending towards greater civility, then “clearly” we may very well have achieved perfection, eh? We may very well be beyond American governments run amok, right??

  4. BigJimTX says:

    So, let me get this straight. Chuck Norris was Chief Medical Examiner of NYC during Prohibition? What can he not do?

    Seriously though, that’s some downright scary shit there.

  5. Rockheim says:

    Which makes this quote I had read in one of the other gun control stories even more terrifying..

    “sometimes when you give up one liberty, you receive others in return that you could never imagine.”

    Oh. I can imagine..

  6. Pirate Morgan says:

    From the same people that brought you the “Affordable Health Care Act (obamacare)” That should give you a sense of security. Trust them, they have your best interest in mind. (not)

  7. GrandLarsenE says:

    People! Language! Why so goddamn much cursing? Shit!

  8. newshutz says:

    One of the arguments against FDA approval of electronic cigarettes is they will encourage tobacco use, because they are less gangerous.