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Articles on Gun laws

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Reenactments of Old West gunfights, like this one at a tourist attraction in Texas in 2014, are part of the mythology underpinning the United States’ gun culture. Carol M. Highsmith via Library of Congress

American gun culture is based on frontier mythology – but ignores how common gun restrictions were in the Old West

A scholar of gun culture looks at the roots of Americans’ love affair with firearms – and their willingness to accept gun violence as a price of freedom.
The front page of the local newspaper in Uvalde, Texas, on May 26, 2022. Allison Dinner/AFP via Getty Images)

Why gun control laws don’t pass Congress, despite majority public support and repeated outrage over mass shootings

The nature of elected office combines with the lasting priorities of public opinion to put gun control on the back burner, even in times when it does get massive public attention.
Many mass shooters show signs of distress before their attack. Smederevac via iStock/Getty Images Plus

Accused Buffalo mass shooter had threatened a shooting while in high school. Could more have been done to avert the tragedy?

When young people plan a mass shooting, especially at a school, they typically reveal their plans in advance. Two scholars weigh in on whether the warning signs are being heeded in the right way.
The Second Amendment declares the importance of state-government authorized militias, like these National Guard troops guarding the California State Capitol building. AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli

Why the Second Amendment protects a ‘well-regulated militia’ but not a private citizen militia

A recent federal court ruling appeared to expand Second Amendment rights to private citizen militias, which a historian of early America explains is not what the founders intended.

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