We’ve Come A Long Way

Tam takes a look at what thinks looked back in the 90s and early 2000s. She includes a link to a forum post from circa 2000, asking people what they thought things would be like in 2010. Needless to say most people are not optimistic, and the people who everything thought were wild dreamers were actually closer to reality.

Ten years ago, a major party Presidential candidate was running on a platform of universal licensing and registration for all gun owners. The guy NRA was backing only went so far as calling for the assault weapons ban to be renewed (though, no one really thought he meant it, and it turned out he didn’t).

Now we’re getting pretty close to having national reciprocity, and our opponents are happy if they can get members of Congress to even mention them by name. Things have definitely changed in ten years, but we still have a ways to go.

UPDATE: More from Joe Huffman, who says it was worse.

11 thoughts on “We’ve Come A Long Way”

    1. Jacob, there’s a little thing we like to call personal experience that leads many people to have different opinions. Considering that you live in NY, I doubt you have seen much in the way of changes.

    2. I seem to recall paying 130 bucks for a 15 round Glock 19 magazine back in 2002. Now I can get one for twenty bucks. I’d say things back at that time were a lot worse.

      1. I recently inherited a bunch of old ILA reports from the early 80s. They used to print them in newspaper format and mail them every couple of weeks. I could cut stories from them, change some names, and rerun them now.

  1. The guy NRA was backing only went so far as calling for the assault weapons ban to be renewed (though, no one really thought he meant it, and it turned out he didn’t).

    Since Congress never sent it to him, we’ll never know now, will we?

    He said he’d sign it though. Whatever his other faults, he never struck me as a liar…

    1. If they had sent it to him, he would have signed it.

      But he didn’t use any political capital to get Congress to act either. By not pushing Congress for it, we never had to find out.

  2. In regards to Bush and the AWB Alan Gottlieb once told me, “You can’t expect the king to take point.”

    He probably didn’t want it on his desk but he didn’t want that information publically stated so his political opponents could use it against him either.

  3. Oh, how I remember the bad old days. In a practical sense, things are even worse today in California than they were back then. The difference is that today in California there is real cause to hope for a better future.

    Even though I personally witnessed the worst of the last-great-push of the gun-control crusade (which I mark as beginning with the Patrick Purdy murders of 1989) and at times I really believed the U.S. might be sliding into a civil war over guns, the fact is the U.S. political process worked after all. The election landslide of 1994 made me a believer again that right would eventually triumph over demagoguery and injustice.

    I was one of those 2000-2004 online optimists who believed that the 1994 Clinton gun ban would sunset and not be renewed. I watched what GW Bush did as Governor of Texas as opposed to what he said running for President, and shared my belief that the Bush statements about signing an AW Ban renewal were mere political pandering and not what he would really do.

    Because Bush was in office, we got Roberts and Alito named to the Supreme Court who ended up as part of the DC v Heller and McDonald v Chicago majorities. And that has made all the difference. Can you imagine who Gore or Kerry would have appointed to the Supreme Court instead? If they had that chance the 2nd Amendment would be dead today.

    Even though today there remains a real threat to the 2nd Amendment, and things may get worse in some localities (such as California) before they get better, I remain optimistic about the future of gun rights. Stick with the political process, even if you might have to vote for the lessor of two evils. Keep pushing. And eventually we will see the gun-control crusade ground into the mud; dead and buried with other historical failures like Alcohol Prohibition.

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