What is meant by "Prohibitionist"?

Copyright 1999 by Hugo S. Cunningham

first posted 990620
last updated 990620

From a Usenet thread

Subject: A Working Definition of "Prohibitionist"
From: hcunn@removethis.tiac.net (Hugo S. Cunningham)
Date: Thu, 06 May 1999 01:17:32 GMT

Like many libertarians and their fellow-travelers, I use the word "prohibitionist" as a term of abuse, as in "Gun Prohibitionist," "Drug Prohibitionist," or "Alcohol Prohibitionist." In each case, prohibition creates more problems than it solves.

But where does one draw the line? Would one sneer at an "H-bomb prohibitionist" for outlawing backyard H-bombs?

As a draft, I offer the following--

"Prohibitionist" --

1. (public impact) someone who would respond to a minority's misuse of a product or right by denying that product or right to the majority who use it responsibly.

2. (private impact) someone who would employ the coercive power of the government against private, non-criminal behavior. (Behavior can be "criminal" only if it harms or unreasonably endangers another person without that person's informed consent.)


--Hugo S. Cunningham

My post provoked some comment from the talk.politics.drugs newsgroup, but not from talk.politics.guns