40 Years Ago...
I keep seeing this post about how 40 years ago, guns were in every pick up truck window, and yet there were no mass shootings. So, "What changed?"
The responses are usually pretty singular. "We stopped raising our children right."
Justifications go from, "We stopped disciplining them (i.e. spanking)", to "This generation doesn't know how to be human beings."
However, there are a lot of things that are different today than 40 years ago that have nothing to do with how we raise children. I grew up in a place where we used to be allowed to have a gun in our vehicle at school and then the rules changed so we couldn't. I remember how upset people were that we couldn't wear camo to school or have our hunting weapon in our cars. Mainly, we were mad because it meant we had to take a few more minutes to go home first instead of going straight to the favored hunting spot. It was a race to get our limits before everyone else shot all the good game.
So, with that said, I would like to point out some of the differences between now and then.
- There are more guns in our society now than there were then. Today there is at least one gun for every adult in the US.
- We are manufacturing more guns than ever before. I used to sell guns in a sporting goods store, and so I was up on all the trade information at the time. I read all the stuff about the new models, and that number grew almost weekly at the time. Now, every manufacturer makes certain kinds of guns; AR15s, polymer-framed semi-automatic handguns, other "tactical" firearms.
- Tragedy is a boon for sales...not a call for moral introspection. After Sandy Hook, when the President said it was a moral imperative to address gun violence in schools, sales increased to unheardof numbers. When I started work as a salesman, we couldn't keep certain kinds of ammo on the shelf because everyone was stockpiling. It was kinda crazy.
- The largest lobbying group for gun safety in America, one that helped create a gun control bill in 1964, became the largest gun rights group. Now, it argues for more deregulation of gun sales.
I know this post is not as spicy as, "40 years ago..." mainly because it is long, and there are sources at the end. I don't care.
I know someone is going to say something rude as a comment. That's OK. If you can't have a civil tongue in your head, I have a delete button for that.
I'm just tired unto death of this craziness. I'm tired of the vitriol, and I'm tired of cynicism wrapping itself in the American Flag and proclaiming individual rights are greater than the general welfare.
More Americans support stricter gun laws. They won't make it perfect, and maybe they aren't the best legislation. But telling me that your 2nd Amendment is more important that someone else's life is not an argument. It's a statement of opinion, and while everyone can have one, they are not equal.
Rev. Will Thomas-Clapp is the Interim Minister with Youth at Westwood Baptist Church in Springfield, VA. He writes at https://theoheresy.blogspot.com/.