I bought my first pistol in 1967: a Colt Woodsman sport and target model. I purchased it over the counter, across state lines, for cash. My father drove me to the gun store; I was 16 years old and didn’t have a driver’s license. It cost $60 including a holster. The Colt’s served me well over the decades and half way around the world. I mention this bit of history to keep it from being flushed down the memory hole by the civilian disarmament industrial complex. They would have Americans believe that guns are “easier to buy than a book.” The exact opposite is true . . .
In 1965, you could buy guns, including anti-tank and anti-aircraft guns, through the mail. Pistols required a federal license to mail order. The license cost a dollar. And gun rights were fighting for their lives.
In 1968, “inspired” by the assassinations of John F. Kennedy, Bobby Kennedy and Dr. Martin other King Jr., fueled by political unrest and the bloody conflict over civil rights, the media cartel mounted a full-court press to convince the public that it was time to enact “serious” gun control. Not just in the South, where racist gun control was born. But nationwide.
If it was even discussed, the Second Amendment was mentioned it was painted as a”collective right.” The press insisted that imposing radical restrictions on gun sales was not only reasonable, it was required to stop crime.
This was pre-internet, when three major TV networks and a handful of newspapers dominated the nation’s political discourse. When a mimeograph machine and direct mail were considered “guerrilla media.” There was no effective way to rally public opposition to gun control.
Lyndon Johnson was able to bully Congress into passing the Gun Control act of 1968. Crime rates immediately shot up, and didn’t return to 1967 levels until the last few years.
I want to preserve the 1967 Life magazine editorial for all to see, because we’re hearing the same tired old arguments today. If you read the editorial carefully, you will note that they never explain why “anti-tank guns” should be banned. They never list a single crime committed with such guns. If they had an example, they would certainly have used it. They simply state their opinion as if it were fact.
Thankfully, we now have the Internet. The NRA, GOA, SAF and hundreds of pro-rights groups can rally their supporters in minutes rather than months. Websites such as TTAG and social media can counter the propaganda produced by the vestiges of the once all-powerful “mainstream media.” The Orwellian named “fairness doctrine” no longer hobbles free speech on the radio channels.
A great political awakening has occurred in the last 25 years. We now have the Heller and McDonald decisions, re-affirming the right to keep and bear arms as an individual rights. And the current crop of presidential candidates are talking about defending our rights, and the Constitution. It’s about time.
©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.
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