More citations might be given proving the legality of joint smashing by the crusaders, but the foregoing is ample, for all fairminded, loyal people. Had the joint smasher’s cases been tried on their merits, not one would have been convicted of a misdemeaner. They were arrested, tried, convicted, imprisoned and fined for disturbing the “peace” of a common nuisance, and “malicious” destruction of rebel paraphernalia. Their only intent was against the treasonable liquor traffic. Had there been no liquor dispensing there had been no smashing. This the liquorized courts would not admit for a moment. Every ruling was a burlesque on civil law, a travesty on justice and a contemptible farce. The whole proceedings from beginning to end were a miserable outrage.
Today the country is ringing with the cry of political bribery, boodle and official corruption, from the highest to the lowest. The rum traffic is the principal factor in demoralizing and destroying the dignity, honor and integrity of civic life. It is the insidious foe that is hatching and nursing crime. Startling complication of statistics, obtained from the replies of over 1,000 prison governors in the United States to a circular letter addressed to them, and a summary shows that the general average of 909 replies received from the license states, gives the proportion of crime due to drink at no less than seventy-two per cent; the average from 108 officials in Prohibition states giving the per centage at thirty-seven. A considerable number of the latter were “boot-leggers” in jail for selling whiskey. Out of the 1,017 jailers, only 181 placed their estimate below twenty-five per cent, and fifty-five of these were from empty jails in prohibition territory. The relation of drink to pauperism is much the same as that of drink to crime. Of 73,045 paupers in all the alms-houses of the country, 37,254 are there through drink.
According to official statistics as gathered by Commissioner Carroll D. Wright, of the Bureau of Labor, there are 140 cities in the country having a population of 30,000 and upwards.
In these cities there were in 1898, 294,820 people arrested for drunkeness, almost ten times as many as now comprise our army in the Philippines.
If this great army of drunkards were marshalled for a parade, marching twenty abreast, it would require four and one-half days, marching ten hours a day, for them to pass a given point. And these 295,000 drunks do not include the arrests for “disorderly conduct,” “assault” and a dozen other offences which grow out of the licensed rum business. The total arrests for all causes in these cities was 915,167. Counting the moderate estimate of three-fourths of these as being the victims of the lawful saloons, it would require more than a week’s marching twenty abreast, for the great procession to stagger past a reviewing stand, and the rum product of only 140 cities heard from.