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Yesterday’s tragedy in Texas causes us to ask, once again, how did we get here? Historian heather Cox Richardson has the surprising answer, in today’s Letters From An American essay. All it took was one evil NRA leader in 1975 (Wayne LaPierre?), one actor-turned-politician (Ronald Reagan) in 1980, and hundreds of millions of dollars spent by the NRA post-1975 to change the country’s culture and “norms”. So if we see how we got here, can’t we see a way back?

In 2022, money influences politics, law, and culture. Perhaps it always has, but it’s more overt these days. I would join and contribute to an organization that had some or all of these goals:

  • Require training, registration, and certification for gun ownership.
  • Make penalties for illegal ownership harsh.
  • Rescind the idiotic “open carry” laws of many states.
  • Pass and enforce Red Flag laws in every state.
  • Educate parents and teenagers on the dangers of gun culture and what they can do about it. Create a voting bloc that can offset the gun lobby.
  • Form an actual militia, with training and service, for those who want to own and use a gun.
  • Require some kind of public service and/or civil education for 18-year-olds, particularly males. The most dangerous person in the world is an emotionally immature, lonely or angry 18-year-old young man with no purpose and no guidance. Over and over, these are the shooters.
  • Halt the sale of guns at ALL retail outlets except for tightly regulated and licensed outlets. Why should Walmart or Cabela’s be selling guns to Americans?

It took a generation for the Second Amendment to be perverted into the madness it is today (sadly, it was my generation). It will likely take an entire generation or two to find our way back. But we should start now.

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