Apart from a question on assault weapons in the second presidential debate, President Obama and Mitt Romney rarely discussed gun rights or gun control in the 2012 campaign. Despite the lack of presidential rhetoric on the issue, the gun control and gun rights debate continues, especially in the wake of the Aurora shooting last July.
While the culture wars over gun rights may seem never-ending, the truth is that American gun laws, and our attitude toward gun ownership, have changed radically over time. Gun rights and gun control were hardly mentioned in national discourse until the 1960s, when social and cultural upheaval throughout the country, including riots in nearly every major American city and the assassinations of John F. Kennedy, Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr., brought the issue forward. The crack epidemic of the 1970s and 1980s only furthered the gun control debate.
Author Craig R. Whitney explains the history of gun rights and gun control in his new book, "Living with Guns: A Liberal's Case for the Second Amendment." Craig believes in the right to bear arms, but argues that liberals and conservatives should be able to support specific firearm regulations that would help ensure the safety of all Americans.
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