Top 3 Lessons No One Learned from the 1930’s


Top 3 Lessons No One Learned from the 1930’s

They say that “history is doomed to repeat itself”. The repetition could be avoided if more citizens knew about their history. With daily threats to the Second Amendment and other rights becoming more prevalent, a quick look back at history is warranted before we can look at preventing such repetition.


Officially enacted in the 1920’s, the 18th Amendment outlawed “the manufacture, sale or transportation of intoxicating liquors” and was repealed in 1933.

By 1925, in New York City alone, there were anywhere from 30,000 to 100,000 speakeasy clubs. (Source: A speakeasy was an illegal establishment made to sell and distribute liquor to the public.

According to the law, “Any person willfully violating any provision of section 95 of this title shall, on conviction, be punished for each offense by a fine not exceeding $5,000 or by imprisonment for not exceeding one year, or both.”

Incidentally, $5,000 in 1920 is the equivalent to $65,217 in 2018 US currency.

"Revenuers" would confiscate and/or destroy any alcohol, causing many Americans to die from tainted batches of home brewed liquor.
“Revenuers” would confiscate and/or destroy any alcohol, causing many Americans to die from tainted batches of home brewed liquor.


Gold Confiscation

In 1933, the United States was still on the gold standard. The country was in the midst of the Great Depression after the Stock Market Crash of 1929. Some believed that the collection of gold in the months and years that followed only made things worse. As a result, President Roosevelt signed Executive Order 6102 in 1933 prohibiting the ‘hoarding of gold bouillon, gold coin, and gold certificates within the continental United States”.

Violation of the order carried a $10,000 fine and up to 10 years in prison. That’s $188,186 in 2018. Source:


National Firearms Act

The National Firearms Act (NFA) was enacted by Congress on June 26, 1934 to regulate the sale of machine guns, short barreled rifles (SBR), short barreled shotguns (SBS), suppressors (silencers), destructive devices, and Any Other Weapon (AOW) which meets criteria set forth by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (BATFE).

To own the majority of the items listed above meant approval from the US Government by purchasing a Special Occupations Tax stamp issued by the ATF (originally a part of the Treasury Department) for the sum of $200. That’s $3,735 in today’s money.

According to the ATF, “Violations of the Act are punishable by up to 10 years in federal prison and forfeiture of all devices or firearms in violation, and the individual’s right to own or possess firearms in the future. The Act provides for a penalty of $10,000 for certain violations. A willful attempt to evade or defeat a tax imposed by the Act is a felony punishable by up to five years in prison and a $100,000 fine ($500,000 in the case of a corporation or trust), under the general tax evasion statute. For an individual, the felony fine of $100,000 for tax evasion could be increased to $250,000.”

$250,000 in 1933 is the equivalent to over $4.6M in 2018.

Don't Tread on Me...indeed.
Don’t Tread on Me…indeed.

What Does This Mean For Us in 2018?

No, the government isn’t going to take away our booze.
No, the government isn’t going to take away our gold.
No, the government isn’t going to take away our guns (ok, that one is still up for debate at the moment…)

But this is “NFA, Gold Confiscation, and Prohibition 2.0” as the title suggests, remember?

So instead of taking away your gold…there’ll be a windfall profits tax on it instead…so the government can make money off of you instead – LOTS of money. Think I’m wrong? There’s already a precedent for this! Just look up the Crude Oil Windfall Profit Tax Act of 1980 where up the US government taxed to 70% from domestic oil producers.

And instead of taking away alcohol, you’re currently told what you can and cannot put in your body courtesy of the Food and Drug Administration (not just habit-forming narcotics, but even natural substances like kratom which Big Pharma have yet to get their hands on to drive up the cost on it…another tax instead of confiscation or banning…)

Prohibitionist policy was responsible for 1.5M people being arrested in 2012 for drug abuse violations (source:

Then there’s the obvious – guns. Both sides of Congress (elephants or donkeys, it doesn’t matter) have already shown that they have no problem regulating firearms until owning practically the smallest detent pin or spring is illegal.

The most recent and most shocking suggested regulation to date coming from California where modification to an existing bill (AB2382). According to

The proposed bill text, likely to be adopted soon, would create an entirely new class of highly-regulated items called “firearm precursor parts” that would include barrels, ammunition feeding devices (including magazines for semi-automatic firearms and “speed loaders” for revolvers), “unfinished receivers,” molded or shaped polymer frames or receivers, metallic castings, metallic forgings, receiver “flats” such as Kalashnikov style weapon systems, Browning-style receiver side plates, Kalashnikov style receiver “channels”, finished upper receivers for AR-15 and AR-10 style firearms, unfinished handgun frames, finished slides that are used to enclose handgun barrels, and trigger pack or fire control groups for Heckler and Koch or FN FAL style firearms.

Unfinished receivers – that’s 80% lowers and frames, by the way.

Yes, history is doomed to repeat itself. But never moreso than by those who don’t even know it existed.

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Rachel is a 4-time Best Selling Author and avid shooter. She and her husband own a firearms showroom and machine shop in East Tennessee.

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