;

gun control



  • History Suggests Gun Control Will be an Uphill Fight

    by Joanna Paxton Federico

    The National Rifle Association has succeeded in blocking popular gun control legislation since it overcame strong public support in the 1930s for national handgun registration in FDR's "New Deal for Crime." 


  • Why Andrew Jackson Believed in Gun Control

    by Anders Walker

    Andrew Jackson loved guns, but his correspondence with John C. Calhoun from 1818 shows that he believed that the Second Amendment didn't guarantee an individual right to own them and that regulation was key to public safety. 


  • There Oughtta Be a Law

    by Jim Zirin

    A veteran prosecutor weighs in on how American law must erase the distinction between "fully automatic" and "semiautomatic" weapons and ban the weapons that are used in massacre after massacre.


  • Will SCOTUS Force Us All to Find Out How Polite an Armed Society Will Be?

    by Jim Zirin

    The Supreme Court's oral arguments in a challenge to New York State's gun laws suggest the court is willing to defy precedent and history and assume a power that the Constitution reserves to the people and states, forcing all communities to accept the concealed carrying of firearms.



  • Why are Medieval Weapons at the Center of a Supreme Court Case?

    by Jennifer Tucker

    The history and traditions of English law inform American judicial interpetation today, including efforts to discern the functional meaning of the Second Amendment. A group of historians has briefed the Court that restricting dangerous weapons in public is long-established. 



  • How Racism Permeates the Politics of Guns

    Historians Carol Anderson and Yohuru Williams are featured in a new documentary examining the ways that American gun rights discourse has been filtered through racism. 



  • Letters From an American: March 23, 2021

    by Heather Cox Richardson

    Beginning in the 1970s, the National Rifle Assocaition evolved into a political lobbying organization increasingly enmeshed with the conservative movement. Two recent mass shootings are a tribute to the organization's success. Congratulations. 



  • Why Heller is Such Bad History

    by Noah Shusterman

    Antonin Scalia's opinion in District of Columbia v. Heller ignored the actual history of the early American militia in order to invent an individual right to gun ownership.



  • How Congress Passed an Assault Weapons Ban in 1994

    With Congress prepared to again clash over gun safety, in the aftermath of a murderous August, the circuitous route to passage taken by the assault weapons ban 25 years ago illustrates just how perfectly the legislative stars must align for contentious gun measures to become law. 



  • How the Trail of American White Supremacy Led to El Paso

    We invariably find ourselves locked in conflict with dangerous men intoxicated with their own sense of mission, and drunkenly believing that the only problem with the past is that we ever departed from it at all.



  • The Black Gun Owner Next Door

    by Tiya Miles

    I’m an African-American historian and, on most issues, decidedly liberal. Could I rethink my anti-gun stance?