Thanks to Greg for pointing out that Google has newspaper archives, and you can search through and look at old newspaper archives.Â For instance, this article from the Eugene Register, dated October 29th, 1981, certainly would make the folks down at the Brady Campaign pine for the good old days:
What is the fastest growing outfit in the country?Â A likely candidate for that honor is Handgun Control, Inc., which recently announced a current membership of 451,000.
Just six months ago it was only one-quarter that size, and thus has quadrupled its membership in the half-year that saw the killing of singer John Lennon and the wounding of President Reagan, both with handguns.
They had a goal of reaching a million members by March 30th 1982.Â Looking at articles from around that time, it would seem they never reached their goal.Â In this March 29th article, they speak of having a bit north of 565,000 members, only 165,000 of which had contributed any money.
Interestingly enough, you can do a search and see when the media was speaking most about the issue.Â The one thing you can definitely see is how assassination of prominent figures does drive the issue.Â But it seems to be that we, as a nation, most talk about the gun control debate, when gun control is a major political issue.Â Look at the spikes in the 90s, to see what I mean.
I also found this article from 1967, when the NRA refused to let Teddy Kennedy speak at their annual meeting.Â Or how about this article from July of 1968 speaking of the NRA trying to derail a bill to register and license guns and gun owners, and this article here which speaks of the Gun Control Act of 1968 being passed by the Senate, and then this one which shows the Senate bill in trouble . They even call us the “gun lobby.”Â Notice also that most of the articles speak to NRA’s opposition stymies progress every step of the way, despite the fact that many of our modern revisionists like to argue that NRA just rolled over on GCA ’68.
Shame shit, different decade.Â But man, do I hope the Secret Service is on the ball with Obama.Â There’s a common thread that runs through all these articles, if you read them.Â And Ted Kennedy was at forefront of all these bills.Â No wonder the Brady folks really miss him.