The first recorded use of a firearm was in 1364. Since then, issues of gun rights and gun violence have surfaced and increased in number.
The Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which states, “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed” was ratified in 1791.
Kentucky was the first state to ban carrying concealed weapons in 1813, and in 1822 the law was repealed because it was unconstitutional.
In 1837, Georgia was the first state to ban handguns. However, this law was also considered to be unconstitutional and was thrown out.
The National Rifle Association was founded in 1871 to help troops improve marksmanship.
In 1934, after the attempted assassination of President Franklin Roosevelt, Congress created the National Firearms Act. The purpose of this act was to regulate and tax machine guns.
The NRA then formed a Legislative Affairs Division in 1934 to fight against attacks on Second Amendment rights.
In response to the murders of Martin Luther King Jr. and Sen. Robert Kennedy, Congress passed the 1968 Gun Control Act, which is still in effect today.
The Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 made the sale of semi-automatic weapons illegal. It also gave more funding to law enforcement and prevention programs.
The shooting at Columbine High School in 1999 was the start of another gun control and safety campaign.
In 2000, Maryland was the first state to adopt a law that required all firearms to carry child-safety locks.
In the same year, thousands of mothers and children gathered in cities across the nation to demonstrate for gun control.
The Virginia Tech shooting took place in 2007. The attack led to increased discussion of gun laws and mental health.
In 2008, Washington, D.C.’s, ban on handguns was determined to be unconstitutional, and the Supreme Court threw out the 32-year-old rule.
Most recently, in 2012, the Colorado movie theater shooting and the Sandy Hook shooting have further increased debate on gun control.
After these recent events, there has been an increase in gun sales. There are two possible explanations for this increase.
One explanation is that people feel less and less secure each time they hear of shootings. They want added protection so they go out and buy a gun to make themselves feel safer.
Another explanation is that with these shootings comes more talk of gun control.
Because people fear that they will soon be unable to purchase guns, they want to go buy them right now while they have the chance.
Many people also believe that there has been an increase in mass shootings. However, studies done after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting have determined that there has not been an increase.
The number of mass shootings has fluctuated over the years and this can make it seem as though there has been a dramatic increase or decline from year to year.
Also, the increase in media involvement has contributed to the public feeling that gun violence has increased. Whether gun violence has increased or not, the debate on gun control continues.