Interesting piece, from well over a year ago, about the history of gun control in this country, and very little of it was anything I ever knew. I'd heard quotes from Ronaldus McDonaldus Maximus over the years, about the right to put limits on civilians carrying the fieriest of firearms intended for military combat (every one of which is "taken out of context" if it's quoted by a filthy liberal like me), but I hadn't heard of his role in passing one of the most stringent pieces prohibiting the carrying of any kinds of guns in public, back when he was California's governor:
Republicans in California eagerly supported increased gun control. Governor Reagan told reporters that afternoon that he saw “no reason why on the street today a citizen should be carrying loaded weapons.” He called guns a “ridiculous way to solve problems that have to be solved among people of good will.” In a later press conference, Reagan said he didn’t “know of any sportsman who leaves his home with a gun to go out into the field to hunt or for target shooting who carries that gun loaded.” The Mulford Act, he said, “would work no hardship on the honest citizen.”
The fear inspired by black people with guns also led the United States Congress to consider new gun restrictions, after the summer of 1967 brought what the historian Harvard Sitkoff called the “most intense and destructive wave of racial violence the nation had ever witnessed.” Devastating riots engulfed Detroit and Newark. Police and National Guardsmen who tried to help restore order were greeted with sniper fire.
The Mulford Act, named for its right-wing Republican sponsor, was one of the first in the nation to prohibit the carrying of any firearm in any California city- and both Reagan and the NRA supported it. For years, the article goes on, the NRA supported many regulations consistent with the first operative words of the Second Amendment, which are "well regulated." They thereby maintained a long and sad history among "conservatives" of supporting gun laws when they were aimed mainly at stopping scary black people from owning or using them.
So now that the scariest black guy of all is in charge of the world's biggest arsenal, I suppose it makes sense (in the sense of making no sense at all) that the pendulum has swung the other way and the gun nuts are so viscerally opposing even the limitation of Death Star equivalents of personal weapons.
Even sadder, though? If the ol' Gipper were to rise from the dead today (and Limbaugh, I'm sure, hasn't ruled this out), I honestly doubt he'd be able to find more than a few dozen "people of good will" left among us to solve problems with. Certainly he'd be a stranger in his own party.
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