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Reminiscing About The Good ‘ol Days

The devil’s in the details but you’re still resisting. Good for you.

Bob Rogers

Today’s Gun Headlines, above, has a certain disqualifying threat to America’s gun culture. As might be interpreted by outsiders beyond the reach of these pages – in other words, non-gun owners and those who think the Second Amendment is nothing more than legislative legalese to fill space – guns are a nuisance they either don’t need or they want declared illegal. Colluding with the myriad of gun control groups and doing the group’s bidding, much of this country’s media has declared gun rights to be invalid and they want all guns gone. Which takes us back to the 1950s.

At that time in the history of the United States guns were seen as commonly used tools to dispatch vermin, provide personal and property security, and put food on the table via recreational hunting, few if anybody gave much thought to guns as other than a killing machine used by Billy the Kid or Chicago gangsters to commit crime. Unfortunately, crime is still with us but guns are going away.

They’re going away because America’s social manners have hit new lows. We’ve become divorced from all forms of reason since the launch of the internet and the birth of social media. The mainstream media first saw this phenomena as threatening…until they realized they were losing their subscribers, first to radio, then to television and then to the diversion of politics which became an incubator of opposition to the freedom of speech; anybody’s speech about the value and need for guns as a socially protected instrument.

If you’re old enough, you’ll remember when both old men and young boys drove around town with mostly lever action rifles hanging unsecured in rear view gun racks. Almost nobody would steal them while their owners were busy having lunch or running errands, or were still in schoolroom classes or on the gridiron or baseball diamond. The guns were there because after-school activity included bringing home a shot dead rabbit, or anything else from a legal hunting season, for family dinner. Hunting in those times was socially accepted by most and tolerated by everyone else.

In succession, something else happened. President Kennedy was shot dead in 1963; his killer shot by a political reformer. Reverend Martin Luther King was assassinated in March of 1968, followed by former Attorney General and then Senator Robert Kennedy who was killed by Sirhan Sirhan in June of 1968. Pro-gun President Reagan was shot in 1981 but survived and was hesitantly moved by the injury to his friend and press secretary, Jim Brady, to sign the first of a growing string of legislative gun controls.

Despite those events, the country’s gun culture not only survived initial politically charged attacks but gained strength, thanks to the NRA‘s reaction to the Brady Bill.

Since that time the gun control movement has gained strength. Following the Vietnam war and Desert Storm in the middle east, a deranged killer attacked school children in Stockton, California in 1989 with a Chinese knockoff of a Russian AK-47 rifle. That event pushed President Bill Clinton to sign the Assault Weapons Ban (AWB) which triggered broad public reaction that even surpassed the earlier political assassinations. Thus began the growing gun control movement with which we all deal with today.

The Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Act (AWB) was enacted as part of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994. The prohibitions expired on September 13, 2004. The Act prohibited the manufacture, transfer, or possession of “semiautomatic assault weapons,” as defined by the Act,  which sun-setted, as prescribed by law, in 2004.

Continued change in social and political emotions took us to the brink of the blooming resistance to firearms fostered by not just the ne’er-do-wells in American society but by the growing political influence of the country’s changing attitudes on guns, thanks to an anti-gun print media which found itself as a growing influence over its electronic rivals.

In a “politics isn’t the only thing; it’s everything” movement at the federal level followed by imitators at the state level in heavily populated urban America, gun control fostered and festered its mind and opinion altering influence.  Politicians, ever protective of their quietly enriching careers, began choosing sides; liberal democrats versus conservative republicans and libertarians; and set about responding to ideological constituencies, primarily the NRA versus the gun control movement.

Today, the gun controllers are enjoying expanded victories in their efforts to turn red states into blue states. That transition isn’t going away despite whatever victories or defeats gun advocates endure in the current political climate. Ultimately, the future of the Second Amendment and all it entails will be up to not presidential party changes in the White House and in Congress but to the third rail of American politics, the United States Supreme Court.

Whatever happens come November 2020 with President Trump versus the biggest platoon of liberal Democrats in our campaign history, nothing will be so permanent than the 2A, the only rule-of-law that can’t be overturned by anything other than a constitutional convention, and that doesn’t appear likely, credit going to those majority suburban and rural states that, despite all efforts to the contrary, remain hopeful for the rebirth of reminiscing over what, in the 1950s, was culturally acceptable and even revered.

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