Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN News

Time Comes Out for Banning Private Sales…Again

Friday, September 19, 2014

With apologies to popular songwriter Paul Simon, Time magazine is apparently “still crazy after all these years.”  Crazy about gun control, that is.

On Monday, Time, which has supported gun control for decades, ran an article subtly promoting “universal background checks” on firearm transfers.  Titled “How Little Has Changed on Gun Control Since 1967” and written by “pop culture and entertainment” reporter Lily Rothman, the article compares President Lyndon Johnson’s campaign against interstate mail-order firearm sales in the 1960s to President Barack Obama’s campaign against so-called “online” sales today.

Rothman gets one important thing wrong, however.  She implies that Johnson never got a ban on interstate mail-order sales of firearms.  In fact, the Gun Control Act of 1968, which Johnson signed into law, prohibited all retail mail-order sales not involving federal firearm licensees, which is why Obama and other gun control supporters are being dishonest with their rhetoric about “online” firearm sales today.

By 1968, gun control supporters in Congress had already been working toward banning mail-order sales for several years at the urging of Sen. Thomas Dodd (D-Conn.).  As law professor Franklin Zimring explained some years later, “When [Dodd] became chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Juvenile Delinquency in 1961, he ‘directed the staff of the subcommittee to initiate a full-scale inquiry into the interstate mail order gun problem.’”

Zimring further noted that Dodd introduced his gun control bill, S. 1975, on August 2, 1963, and three months later “amended his bill to cover mail order traffic in shotguns and rifles.”  Zimring added, “The bill died in the Senate Commerce Committee in 1964, but the forces leading to the adoption of the Gun Control Act of 1968 were already at work.”

At the end of Rothman’s article, Time refers readers to its rabidly anti-gun 1968 cover story, “The Gun in America.”  The story, which Time presented as “news,” was really a six-page rant, and in retrospect shows, as Rothman put it, “how little has changed” in the gun control debate.

With rhetoric essentially identical to that of anti-gun activists today, the article said “Americans have turned their country into an arsenal” and “Americans are engaged in a manic internal arms race.”  It declared “the U.S. must have gun legislation,” and lamented that “Attempts to tighten the absurdly loose laws have repeatedly been defeated.”

As to how the laws should be tightened, Time said “licensing for the owner, and registration for each of his firearms . . . would hardly be an outrageous imposition.”  But the magazine was also willing to go further, quoting a sociologist as saying, “I see no reason why anyone in a democracy should own a weapon.”  Given its radical language, the only clue that the article was written in 1968, rather than recently, is that Time didn’t try to buffalo readers by claiming to “support the Second Amendment,” and it didn’t insult readers’ intelligence by referring to registration, licensing and gun prohibition as “commonsense.”

Playing armchair Freudian psychologist, Time stated, “For the man with a feeling of insecurity or inferiority, a pistol in his pocket is the ‘equalizer.’”  But the magazine’s writers were apparently the ones needing a psychologist, because even though they admitted that “Gun controls obviously cannot stop crime or wanton killing,” they insisted that gun control laws “are essential” anyway.

Time’s accompanying cover not only indicated the article’s tone, it may have inspired the title of the 2001 book, Every Handgun is Aimed at You: The Case for Banning Handguns, by former National Coalition to Ban Handguns staffer Josh Sugarmann, now head of the anti-gun Violence Policy Center.

Curiously, Time neglected to refer readers to its February 1989 “Armed America” issue, which was far more relevant to Rothman’s “universal background checks” topic.

“Armed America” also featured a cover of the sort that eventually inspired Reason magazine to compose a “Top 10 list of the most horrifying, silly, irresponsible, or downright ridiculous Time cover panics from the past 40 years.” 

As the ghoulish cover indicated, the accompanying article was primarily designed to contribute to the media’s intense campaign against general-purpose semi-automatic rifles that gun control supporters called “assault weapons,” which had begun the previous month.  Toward that end, it claimed that “The Federal Government should ban outright the import or sale of paramilitary weapons to civilians.”

But “Armed America” is particularly relevant to Rothman’s article because it also said that Congress should prohibit private firearm sales, something that anti-gun activist groups, and Rothman, didn’t advocate until a generation later.

At the bottom line, Rothman’s message is consistent with that of Obama and anti-gun activists:  Congress is blocking gun control.  And in just over six weeks, those of us who understand where gun control supporters would like “universal checks” to lead will have the opportunity to prove Rothman right, with room to spare.

TRENDING NOW
Washington Post Employs Deceptive Tactic on “Children” and Guns

News  

Friday, September 22, 2017

Washington Post Employs Deceptive Tactic on “Children” and Guns

The Washington Post has surpassed the Brady Campaign and Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety to take a place alongside the New York Times as the premier anti-gun propagandists in the country.

Gun Control Lobby Seeks to Thwart SHARE Act with Hysteria, Fear Mongering

News  

Hunting  

Friday, September 22, 2017

Gun Control Lobby Seeks to Thwart SHARE Act with Hysteria, Fear Mongering

The panic is now starting to set in amongst the gun control lobby, which is desperately searching for ways to smear a bill that has been around for years in various forms without attracting much ...

Reuniting The United States With Reciprocity

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Reuniting The United States With Reciprocity

Most concealed-carry permit holders understand the potential pitfalls of traveling with a firearm, given the outrageous patchwork of state laws involved in even a short interstate trip. And while we haven’t posted much about reciprocity ...

Wall Street Journal/NBC News Poll Throws Wrench in Anti-gun Agenda

News  

Friday, September 8, 2017

Wall Street Journal/NBC News Poll Throws Wrench in Anti-gun Agenda

Demonstrating the importance of the gun issue to the American electorate, 35 percent of respondents reported that “gun rights or gun control” had an impact on their voting behavior. The issue was the highest-rated answer, ...

Anti-Gun Politicians: Blocking Out The Facts About Suppressors

Hunting  

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Anti-Gun Politicians: Blocking Out The Facts About Suppressors

As soon as the Hearing Protection Act was put forward on Jan. 9, 2017, leftists came out of the woodwork to criticize and misconstrue the goals of those who supported removing suppressors from the auspices ...

Rhode Island:  House Gives Final Approval to Gun Control Bill

Friday, September 22, 2017

Rhode Island: House Gives Final Approval to Gun Control Bill

House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello summoned lawmakers back to Providence in a rare September session, and the House passed an anti-gun bill Tuesday afternoon.  The session had abruptly ended in June with the budget and a ...

UK: Growing Support for Arming More Police

News  

Friday, September 22, 2017

UK: Growing Support for Arming More Police

The UK’s fear of firearms, and potential weapons of all kinds, is well-documented. Subjects are urged not to carry any item, such as pepper spray, that might be adapted for self-defense. Officers take to social media to boast of ...

Long Term Trends in Gun Sales Remain Strong

News  

Friday, September 22, 2017

Long Term Trends in Gun Sales Remain Strong

Discussion of the state of the firearms industry began again with the release of the August NICS numbers. Allegations of a fading industry recur every month. Obama was the greatest gun salesman ever, Hillary Clinton ...

National Reciprocity Bill Nears Goal Line in the House but Needs Your Support to Reach the End Zone

News  

Friday, September 15, 2017

National Reciprocity Bill Nears Goal Line in the House but Needs Your Support to Reach the End Zone

Gun owners received good news this week with the passage of the SHARE Act by the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources (see related story). Meanwhile, progress continued to be made on another NRA legislative ...

House Committee Passes SHARE Act by Wide Margin

Hunting  

News  

Friday, September 15, 2017

House Committee Passes SHARE Act by Wide Margin

As we have reported, this year’s version of the SHARE Act is the most expansive and far-reaching yet. Besides previously-introduced provisions aimed at enhancing opportunities for hunting, fishing, and shooting and broadening access to federal lands ...

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -
NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.