Attorney Bushnell's proposal to abolish the Watch and Ward Society, however welcome, is not really startling. Their activities of recent years have made such a suggestion perfectly natural, and the need for such an organization is not particularly evident to the average man, Bostonian or otherwise, who is rather inclined to think that with the aid of proper legislation he can take care of his own morals.
But that seems to be the difficulty--proper legislation--and also seems to be the only excuse for the existence of such societies as the Watch and Ward. An interesting development of this latest discussion is the fact that the book censorship law, and particularly that section now under fire, dates back to almost half a century before the Revolutionary War. Thus indeed are the sins of the Puritan Fathers visited even unto the seventh generation.
Not only this law, but many others now on the statute books of this country, demand rejuvenation. In the minds of many people, there will always be a need for anti-vice societies of one kind or another despite their tactics, until there is efficient administration of a modernized body of law to take their place. The first step towards their eventual abolition must be taken by the legislators of the state.