George L. Roman Quote

“I am convinced that we can do to guns what we've done to drugs: create a multi-billion dollar underground market over which we have absolutely no control.”

Ratings and Comments

Anonymous, Reston, VA US

Sure, we "can", but we can also do better than that... heck, we can also fix that too! It is facinating to note that for the most part the very same people who advocate zero gun control (so they can own machine guns) are also in favor of 100% drug control... hum, let me see... machine gun for killing others - ok... grass for getting self high at home - not ok... makes perfect sense... NOT!

Brian D. Pickett, Tampa, Florida

Should be no control by government over either. Just don't use them at the same time.

Joe, Rochester, MI

Alcohol prohibition did NOT work. Drug prohibition is NOT working. Gun prohibition will NOT work. Prohibition forces a huge black market. The only way to fix any of these is remove the prohibitions. Reston, why do you say people will buy machineguns to kill, kill, kill? You are emotionally charged with no basis in fact, logic, reason, nor statistics.

E Archer, NYC

Prohibition of any kind is BIG business for the State. The ATF and FBI both got huge boosts from alcohol and drug prohibition -- get ready for gun and tobacco prohibition, too (in some form). The US has been building prisons like crazy, now imprisoning more people than even China. Hundreds of thousands of police officers depend on these laws to be broken. Using logic about personal responsibility is useless -- the State's object is to take more and more power. If drugs and firearms were 'legalized' (not sure how they could ever have become illegal in the first place -- oh right, the interstate commerce clause -- hmmm) these standing armies -- er, police forces -- would be unnecessary -- the prison business would be hurt terribly; police forces would have to be cut (or maybe we could have them pick up a broom and sweep up a bit); the lawyer business would be hit hard; the courts would be nearly vacant -- and billions of dollars being spent on the War on Drugs could not be borrowed (so the banks would be hurt). Plus, the CIA and US military are often found to be using drugs as cash for their operations. Prohibition is BIG business and that is the PRIMARY reason we have it. The common man is just a tool for his own bondage.

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Chicago    3/24/06

The temptations are too great for many police and military personnel to resist the massive profits of the illegal drug trade. If the common man cannot be trusted, how can the common man in a position of authority be trusted? I can see it now -- "The War on Guns" -- nothing could guarantee drive-by shootings more.

E Archer, NYC

Hey, Rosenthal, how can you support this quote when you so adamantly defend drug prohibition? Seems hypocritical to me -- especially since the two go hand in hand -- most of the criminal use of guns today is due to the huge black market created by drug prohibition.

Terry Berg, Occidental, CA

Since all the bases appear to have been nicely covered I'm ALMOST speechless (fooled ya) so, failing silence, I'd just say: After the Roman god Bacchus gave King Midas the golden touch it was too late. The MORAL being: Be careful what you wish for - it might come true and turn out to be NOT EXACTLY what you had in 'mind'.

Mike, Mt.lake Park,Maryland

Excellent article!

Michael, Naples, Fl

Did prohibition have anything to do with the Kennedy's importing business? Such as, homemade whisky was cutting into the Kennedy's whisky import industry. How can anyone compare guns to drugs? Iraq has both legalized and look at them, they go and pick a fight they can't win.

Mike, Norwalk

Using human nature as the basis, the quote gives an example of how and why black markets flourish.

Mick, Manchester

Does this imply that people are addicted to guns? That they would go to great lengths to create a black market to get their gun fix if they weren't produced and distributed legally?

Mike, Norwalk

Mick, the answer to your question is, NO! ! ! In an iconic example of socialism, toilet paper is a hot item in the black market. Using your logic, are Venezuelans addicted to toilet paper sufficiently that they are going to great lengths to create a black market to get their toilet paper fix - even when toilet paper is produced and distributed legally (or not)? Your statement, in a question form, only works in a conversation of liberals/progressives protected by an enclave of ignorance.

Mick, manchester

No Mike. Using my logic you would say that people are addicted to wiping their ass and the nice feeling that results... and you could use other things to do that...although toilet paper has the market cornered...iconic example of capitalism. People are not usually addicted to the 'thing' but to the effect it produces. What's the addictive effect of weapon ownership? Power? an antidote to feelings of inadequacy? just the thrill of the kick back? Just to gaze at that shiny metal life taker, the devil's right hand? All addictive stuff!! and there's no substitute.

Mike, Norwalk

wow Mick, except for its reality, it is hard to fathom that someone can be as consistently wrong as you are. "Effect" does not generate the addiction, it is a tangible such as a drug dependency (endorphins, dopamines, alcohol, nicotine, etc.) - its NOT the glossy white paper, gazing at the glowing embers at the end of the small mesmerizing stick or the billowing smoke that rises therefrom - the tasty tabacco life taker, the devil's right hand; that is the addictive stuff.

Mick, manchester

Mike, read something on the mechanics of addiction, you may find it illuminating - and why are you bracketing endorphins and dopamine with alcohol and nicotine when the production of endorphins and dopamine is the 'effect' of using stimulants? May have to concede though that tobacco may even cause more death than even gunshot in the USA.

E Archer, NYC

Mick, read some Buddha sutras. Your definition of 'addiction' relates to that of 'attachment.' Addictions are attachments, but not all attachments are addictions. Are you addicted to your car or house or children? Are you addicted to your job, your sexual preferences, your food choices? Are you addicted to life? Maybe.

Buddha talks about the 'path of liberation.' Liberation from what? Good question!! ;-)


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