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  • Originally published 05/09/2013

    Alan Brinkley: Fighting the Gun World

    Now, almost five months after the killing of 20 first-graders in Newtown, Connecticut, riveted the nation, Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) is talking about trying to resurrect his bill on gun background checks that was defeated in the Senate last month.

  • Originally published 05/06/2013

    Incoming NRA president calls Civil War the "War Of Northern Aggression"

    "The NRA was started, 1871, right here in New York state. It was started by some Yankee generals who didn’t like the way my southern boys had the ability to shoot in what we call the 'War of Northern Aggression.'  Now, y’all might call it the Civil War, but we call it the War of Northern Aggression down south."

  • Originally published 04/18/2013

    The Senate's Shameful Lack of Courage on Guns

    “These [46] senators made their decision based on political fear and on cold calculations about the money of special interests like the National Rifle Association."--Gabby Giffords

  • Originally published 03/25/2013

    Steven Conn: The Fetish of States' Rights

    Steven Conn, editor of To Promote the General Welfare: The Case for Big Government (Oxford University Press USA/2012), is professor and director of Public History at Ohio State University. Ronald Reagan kicked off his presidential campaign in 1980 with a speech in Philadelphia, Mississippi. It's worth remembering, especially in light of several recent events, why that was so important.Philadelphia was a small sleepy town like dozens of others in the South, brutally segregated according to Mississippi law and customs, just like dozens of others. It became nationally famous -- and symbolic -- when three civil rights workers doing advance work for Mississippi Freedom Summer in 1964 were murdered by some of the local white supremacists. They instantly became martyrs to a heroic cause.Sixteen years later, candidate Reagan didn't mention James Cheney, Andrew Goodman or Michael Schwerner in his speech. Instead, Reagan announced: "I believe in states' rights," and he promised the all-white Mississippi crowd that he would "restore to states and local governments the power that properly belongs to them."

  • Originally published 02/07/2013

    What's Still Missing From the Gun Control Debate

    Behind the gun control debate lies a deeper one that we need to have. It would show that the danger to our freedom isn't coming from government censors and conspiracies but from marketing sensors that are bypassing our brains and hearts on the way to our gut instincts and wallets.

  • Originally published 02/07/2013

    Did gun control enable the Holocaust?

    As gun control moved toward the top of the American agenda after the Dec. 14 massacre at a Connecticut elementary school, gun rights activists began to invoke a curious analogy: the Holocaust.

  • Originally published 01/22/2013

    Missouri GOP Rep.: Japan Didn't Invade U.S. in World War II Because of Armed Populace

    There are good reasons to bring Japan into the gun control debate in the United States: the relative success of firearms regulation in Japan, the recent rise of gun violence connected to organized crime, the history of weapons-carrying elites, etc. But WWII had nothing whatsoever to do with gun rights, gun control, or the 2nd Amendment.

  • Originally published 01/16/2013

    In gun debate, even language can be loaded

    WASHINGTON — When the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence wanted to promote more restrictions on firearms after the Connecticut school shootings in December, it turned to a firm to help publicize its position. The firm’s name? Point Blank Public Affairs....The ubiquitous nature of such language has caused people on both sides of the emotional debate in recent weeks to take back, or at least think twice about the phrases they use, lest they inadvertently cause offense in a moment of heightened sensitivity.“It’s almost second nature,” said Andrew Arulanandam, director of public affairs for the National Rifle Association. “They’re such mainstream phrases, you almost have to check yourself and double-check yourself.”But it also says something about the long American romance with guns and the nation’s self image. “All of that ties into the frontier tradition, rugged individualism, a single American with a flintlock or a gun of some kind holding off the Indians or fighting off the British,” said Robert Spitzer, a scholar of gun control at the State University of New York at Cortland....

  • Originally published 07/09/2002

    Could Bellesiles's Problems Undermine Gun Control?

    Emory University recently announced that an outside panel of scholars will examine Michael Bellesiles’s Arming America—with results to be announced this summer. If the investigation discredits Bellesiles then it could hurt the arguments filed by gun-control advocates in a major Second Amendment case ( US vs Emerson) that is coming before the Supreme Court.

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