The Secret History of Guns

This is hilarious. Tell me what you think, gun enthusiasts!


Yet we’ve also always had gun control. The Founding Fathers instituted gun laws so intrusive that, were they running for office today, the NRA would not endorse them. While they did not care to completely disarm the citizenry, the founding generation denied gun ownership to many people: not only slaves and free blacks, but law-abiding white men who refused to swear loyalty to the Revolution.
For those men who were allowed to own guns, the Founders had their own version of the “individual mandate” that has proved so controversial in President Obama’s health-care-reform law: they required the purchase of guns. A 1792 federal law mandated every eligible man to purchase a military-style gun and ammunition for his service in the citizen militia. Such men had to report for frequent musters—where their guns would be inspected and, yes, registered on public rolls.

Scary black nationalists!

The Panthers’ methods provoked an immediate backlash. The day of their statehouse protest, lawmakers said the incident would speed enactment of Mulford’s gun-control proposal. Mulford himself pledged to make his bill even tougher, and he added a provision barring anyone but law enforcement from bringing a loaded firearm into the state capitol.
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 secret protocols of the elders of the NRA!

The NRA today condemns every one of these provisions as a burdensome and ineffective infringement on the right to bear arms. Frederick, however, said in 1934 that he did “not believe in the general promiscuous toting of guns. I think it should be sharply restricted and only under licenses.” The NRA’s executive vice president at the time, Milton A. Reckord, told a congressional committee that his organization was “absolutely favorable to reasonable legislation.” According to Frederick, the NRA “sponsored” the Uniform Firearms Act and promoted it nationwide. Highlighting the political strength of the NRA even back then, a 1932 Virginia Law Review article reported that laws requiring a license to carry a concealed weapon were already “in effect in practically every jurisdiction.”
When Congress was considering the first significant federal gun law of the 20th century—the National Firearms Act of 1934, which imposed a steep tax and registration requirements on “gangster guns” like machine guns and sawed-off shotguns—the NRA endorsed the law. Karl Frederick and the NRA did not blindly support gun control; indeed, they successfully pushed to have similar prohibitive taxes on handguns stripped from the final bill, arguing that people needed such weapons to protect their homes. Yet the organization stood firmly behind what Frederick called “reasonable, sensible, and fair legislation.”

One thing conspicuously missing from Frederick’s comments about gun control was the Second Amendment. When asked during his testimony on the National Firearms Act whether the proposed law violated “any constitutional provision,” he responded, “I have not given it any study from that point of view.” In other words, the president of the NRA hadn’t even considered whether the most far-reaching federal gun-control legislation in history conflicted with the Second Amendment. Preserving the ability of law-abiding people to have guns, Frederick would write elsewhere, “lies in an enlightened public sentiment and in intelligent legislative action. It is not to be found in the Constitution.”

I read your quotes and skimmed the article. Sorry to sound pretentious, but none of that got a single rise out of me. Old news. But it’s always nice when liberals hear about the racist origins of gun control.

And the story about the encounter with a police officer is an absolute knee slapper compared to how it’d turn out with modern day law enforcement, no matter the race. (It would probably involve APCs.)

Yeah, pretty much what Tim said. Didn’t you know all this stuff already?


He also missed an easy opportunity to tie the NRA’s history with the Heller case: He may not have realized serious gun rights activists still see them as sometimes-weak D.C. insiders rather than the uncompromising bogeymen they’re portrayed as.

This may come as a shock, but I don’t know everything about everything! Good to see others are up on this, though. God, those Reagan quotes are hilarious; I had no idea it was him vs. the panthers.

And yet you’ll weigh in on any gun rights debate. The big difference between me and the typical gun guy is that I can learn that I’m wrong, and I’ve done so time and time again on this forum in relation to politics, economics, and ethics. I know you’ve been exposed to most of this information a half-dozen times (I’ve personally explained various pieces of the '34 act that many times at least whenever someone proclaims that “you can’t buy an automatic rifle”)so why hasn’t it taken hold?


I don’t recall anything in that article getting discussed here previously. That’s why I found it surprising.

Simmer down, kids. I didn’t know the stuff that was described in this article, and I’m grateful for its posting, as I learned something from it.

So Tim, Houngan… I didn’t know any of this beforehand. And I appreciate that Jason posted it. :)

Oh I’m not mad at anyone. Jason just asked us what we thought!

I’m not mad, but I’m constantly . . . exasperated that a group of people who talk about guns, play games about guns, watch movies about guns, listen to music about guns, and presumably fantasize about guns don’t bother to learn about the silly things. It’s not like you’re obsessing about Middle Earth and orcs, these things exist in roughly the same numbers as Arby’s.


There are (by one estimate) 61,944 times more guns in the US than Arby’s.

If you count only handguns produced from 1972 to 1993, though, then there’s a mere 11,111 handguns for every Arby’s.

I know a good bit about guns. I’ve shot a wide variety of guns (with next-to-no competence) and learned how to do so without risking shooting other people or myself, which was my larger concern.

They’re a lot of fun. But I didn’t learn about the history of gun control in the US by going to a shooting range in Israel.


Completely off topic, kinda at least, but having shot pistols, it is amazing to me how much more difficult it is to hit a target at any distance at all -I mean, even 20 yards, paint can sized - with a pistol, for someone who has not practiced any amount of time. I can shoot a rifle pretty well, with no real practice, but it was frustrating at how challenging it was to hit a paint can at a relatively close distance.

It’s kind of funny when FPS games make the pistol the most accurate gun to balance them against rifles or automatic weapons.

That’s perfectly understandable, but consider that the annual championship is won by throwing around fifty shots into a 3-inch circle at 50 yards. It’s really a wonderful game.

Thank you for going and finding all this information to disaprove an obviously seriously made statement.

Yeah, really makes me appreciate people trained to shoot a pistol accurately (and Top Shot. ;) ) What type of pistols in the championship? I can’t imagine a standard pistol being precise enough for that kind of shooting.

Well, ok, but this doesn’t describe me at all. I don’t ever think about or care about guns. I rarely play FPSes. I rarely watch movies anymore. Literally my only interaction with the concept is evaluating stat blobs to minmax the optimum character build in the Fallout series - I loved the P90C because it was comically unbalanced. It might as well be wifflebats.

Very well made 1911s, the classic .45ACP from WW2. At that level the gunsmithing does matter, but it’s still mostly the person.


Come to Austria, Jason! We don’t have guns, you’ll have to kill the wildlife with your BARE HANDS!