Gut Rumbles

December 03, 2003

dry counties

I blame this post for making me ponder this subject.

I know a lot of places in Georgia where nobody can legally sell alcohol. In Effingham County, vendors can sell beer and wine, but no liquor. Randall's Liquor Store is conviently located right on the county line between Effingham and Chatham. The fucker has a gold mine there.

I can be at Randall's in less than five minutes from my house and I take a well-maintained dirt road to get there. No cops, no speed traps and no roadblocks to worry about on that trip. I NEVER see a Chatham County license plate in his parking lot. They are all Effingham.

In the last election, a referendum to allow selling liquor and mixed drinks in Effingham County was on the ballot. The Bible-thumpers turned out in droves to vote that idea down. The dumbasses didn't stop anybody from buying liquor-- they just voted their tax dollars to Chatham County and Randall's instead of their own coffers.

Dry counties remind me a lot of the sheer futility of the War On Drugs. Declare an alcohol-free zone and guess what happens, every time? People buy their liquor somewhere else and bring it home, or bootleggers start selling it illegally. Either way, anyone who wants a drink is going to get one.

Bootleggers don't card anybody, because they already operate illegally. Therefore, the end result of attempting to legislate human nature just to make yourself feel righteous results in making it EASIER for under-age people to get a drink. Where is the logic in that?

Bah! A lot of people don't think logically. People do stupid things all the time and believe that they are smart when they do. They are stunned when 14 year-old Johnny comes home staggering drunk in a dry county. HOW COULD THIS HAPPEN? WE LIVE IN A DRY COUNTY!

I know how it happens. I've bought liquor in a bootleg joint many times in my life.


A'men, my opinion, you should NOT get the gov. involved in restricting personal liberties...

Posted by: Eric on December 3, 2003 06:17 AM

I second that. Another ridiculous idea is a dry campus. The campus I was at was supposedly dry, but you know people got creative in finding places to stash their stuff for when they wanted to get their drink on. And of course, there's always the sympathietic soul that can give someone else the hookup. They did that in my dorm. Hell there was a trove behind the mirrors that you could stash your liqors of choice.

Yeah...dry campus my ghetto fabulous ass. That makes about as much sense as those bible thumpers against the lottery because its [gasp] gambling...nevermind the money could go for improvements in like roads, schools, etc. Operative word is could.

Posted by: Chelle on December 3, 2003 07:00 AM

Many Americans fail the freedom test on vice issues; it has been a shameful feature of our history, and a stain on our honor.

Posted by: Brett on December 3, 2003 07:50 AM

We have something like that in Washington State, only with Tobacco instead of booze. Taxes on tobacco products are 150%, which drives the price up to near heart attack levels. All the tax money was supposed to go to "poor kid's healthcare", but they haven't seen a dime of it, of course.

Anyways, they did a study on smoking, because tobacco purchases had dropped dramaticly, and the health nazis all wanted to nod to themselves and congradulate each other about how wise they were. What they found was that 40% of the tobacco being smoked in this state was smuggled in.

It's a hop-skip-and-jump to either Oregon or Idaho. Every time I visit my parents in Coeur d' Alene, I pick up two or three cartons of smokes for my buddy. $24 for a carton of Camels, vs. $40 in the store where he lives. I load up on cigars when I go over as well. The communists in Olympia aren't getting one god-damned cent more out of me if I can help it.

Posted by: Raging Dave on December 3, 2003 10:35 AM

What do Liquor Laws,Drug Laws,and Gun Laws have in common?
I think we have a winner!!
They don't do any good
If you want a drink or to do drugs or get a gun to do something illegal like murder rape or rob.
I'll make a bet with any law enforcement person or Congress Critter you can plop me down anywhere in this country with a few bucks in my pocket and I can have Drugs,Liquor,or a gun in less than a day.
Does anyone have any idea why we are spending or tax money on this crap make it legal and tax want to drink i don't have a problem with that.DWI and go to jail.want to do drugs and screw up your mind,your mind;steal from me to support your habit go to jail.Want 2800 guns great hurt someone with one and go to jail kill someone and die.
Perhaps Im simple maybe I'm missing something here?

Posted by: Airboss on December 3, 2003 11:42 AM

Airboss, I've never been in a hotel or in a cab, no matter WHERE I've been in this country, when I couldn't get liquor, dope, a gun or a woman just by asking the right person (a good bellhop or a taxi driver) where to go.

Tip well and they'll bring that shit TO YOU.

Posted by: Acidman on December 3, 2003 11:53 AM

Rob, Airboss,

You're right. These laws don't really make sense because they aren't enforceable. The problem could be cured by MORE FREEDOM. Example: you want to do drugs, no sweat. Do all the drugs you want. Everything legal--heroin, oxy, everything. Just don't give me any grief as an employer about refusing to hire you if you do them. Also, no whining about doing hard time if you get caught under the influence behind the wheel.

The word "discrimination" has taken on a pejorative connotation in this country. People should be free to discriminate in any fashion they choose about anything they choose. Allow that and you can make a lot of laws that the government spends a lot of time and money trying to enforce go away.

Take on the most sacred of taboos: the color bar. If I run a hotel and I don't want to rent to blacks, I shouldn't have to. Who am I hurting by not renting to them? Myself, primarily, because even if their skin color is different, their money spends exactly the same so I'm turning good custom away, which is something only someone who doesn't intend to be in business long does.

To be even more brutally honest, take away the anti-discrimination laws and I might even hire black people where, right now, I probably wouldn't. The reason I wouldn't now is because if I get a black person, and they turn out to be a bad employee, I'm pretty well stuck with them unless I want to go through a lot of grief and expense in getting rid of them. Why risk it? Just don't hire them in the first place using some acceptably valid excuse. No anti-discrimination laws--I might very well hire the black employee. Then he wouldn't have the "am I going to be stuck with a useless bum" question attached to him that he now does with the discrimination laws
prohibiting me from firing him if he doesn't work out. It might also make HIM a better employee if he knew that he would either keep or lose his job based solely on his performance rather than on some protected status granted by skin color.

The general answer to all these problems is to give people more freedom and let the invisible hand of free market economics work its magic. We'd save a hell of a lot of money in taxes and have a more just and peaceful society.

Posted by: Dan McWiggins on December 3, 2003 12:34 PM

I've got this wonderful little Mom & Pop likker store around the corner from Lion Central. Open 24 hours, gets me any kind of Scotch I ask for, and generally forgets about that whole tax thing if I pay in cash.

What's this? Yankee central does something better than the south? :)

Posted by: Mr. Lion on December 3, 2003 02:40 PM

This reminds me that I have GOT to get around to making a still.

Not that I can't buy liquor (relatively) cheaply and with great ease, but there's a certain satisfaction in doing things yourself.

(And for those who haven't looked into the laws, it's perfectly legal, for reqasonably "small" quantities, if you don't sell your hooch. Not that I have any great respect for those particular laws, but it's nice to know when you are or are not breaking one.)

Posted by: Sigivald on December 3, 2003 03:42 PM

Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, should not be a government agency, it should be the name of a store.

Along those same lines, I especially like the folks who bring truckloads of illegal fireworks from Indiana to Illinois. An excellent cottage industry!

great blogging as usual.

Posted by: mark on December 3, 2003 10:05 PM

It's the only thing that chaps my ass about the South. As you drive south from Chicago, the gun laws get more sensible, the liquor laws more idiotic.

Here in N. Texas, I can buy a handgun gun and ammo easier than I can buy a bottle of Scotch. At least, the gun stores are closer to my house than the liquor stores (beer & wine aren't liquor). Don't even get me started on the stupid "club" bullshit at restaurants.

In Chicago, I could buy Scotch at the supermarket 24 hours a day, but I couldn't own or carry a handgun, legally.

Fucking bastards, all of them.

Posted by: Kim du Toit on December 4, 2003 11:23 PM

During the Samuel Johnson days they had big men enjoying small talk; today we have small men enjoying big talk.

Posted by: Nardo Abby on January 25, 2004 04:42 PM

Shouldn't we make it harder for people to hurt themselves? Or hurt others. Sure limitations do not stop the problem, but at least staisfying a vice that is not good for anyone, takes work.

Posted by: Jessica on February 4, 2004 08:00 PM

I need to know if Nashville,Tennessee,or the surrounding area is dry county,and what do they do to you if they catch ya.E-mail me at,ya'll.

Posted by: john on March 10, 2004 11:21 PM
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