USA – -(Ammoland.com)- For years gun-control-groups and their supporters, as well as assorted politicians and their media allies have been proclaiming that the availability and “easy access” of guns that is the primary factor driving “gun violence” in the United States.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Of course, gun control as an ideology is as allergic to the truth as a vampire is to garlic.
The fact of the matter is that from the 1750’s up through the 1980’s, there were far fewer gun laws, and guns were more readily available to people, including kids, than they are today and yet Mass Shootings were reasonably rare events.
I grew up in the 70’s and 80’s and turned 18 in 1991. Like many kids of the era, we had both access to real firearms and a collection of incredibly realistic looking cap guns of various types. From the traditional style .38 Chiefs Special that took “ring caps” to the old “Cowboy” type revolvers that used paper “strip caps” to more modern types like 1911 pistols, replica’s of Walther PPK pistols, .357 Magnums, Luger’s and others and even full size copies of MP-5’s, Mini Uzi’s, AK-47’s
These newer types all used “magazines” that fed a plastic strip of caps into the “action,” they advertised on the packaging that they had functioning actions and even “ejected” the “spent rounds.”
It was a regular part of growing up than to spend summer days and or weekends when school was in session, running all over town or the woods with your friends from the neighborhood, playing “cops and robbers” or “war” or whatever people called it in their specific part of the Country.
The point being, 10 to 20 kids would spend all day playing and “shooting” at each other, and those same kids all had unfettered access to real firearms, yet the idea of actually shooting someone with a real gun never entered our minds!
We were able to differentiate between “play” or “make belief” and the real world but the two never mixed in our minds.
Kids also used to take their real guns to school for a variety of legitimate reasons, in all parts of the Country during the same period and again, mass and school shootings were rare events. The late Justice Scalia told a story of taking his rifle on the subway and El in NYC when he was growing up to shoot on the school shooting team, and no one blinked. Can you imagine the over the top response to something like that today?!
Some kids took their guns to school because they were, like Scalia, part of the school supported rifle or trap or skeet teams, some because they hunted before or after school. Some because they were in wood or metal shop and were doing repairs or making parts to get a grade in that class.
So what changed? Our culture did ! Hyper-violent movies, as well as video games, play at least some sort of role in this. But that's a topic for another column. But its clear to me that the availability of firearms is far from the primary factor in whats causing our current spate of mass shootings by kids.
More articles, commentary and information by D. Roberts available at That Every Man Be Armed.com