My off again/on again study of the changing themes in gun advertising from 1917 to today is back on again. Thanks to two Wake Forest students, I have finalized the coding scheme and we are currently working on one randomly selected issue of The American Rifleman each year going back to 1917 and one of Guns magazine each year going back to its inception in 1955. I am hoping to present the research findings at a Gun Studies Symposium at the University of Arizona this coming October.
As we were doing our practice coding, one issue we looked at was the August 1966 issue of Guns.
Although I was looking primarily at the advertisements, I couldn’t help but notice one of the cover stories: British Gun Laws Don’t Stop Crime!
It’s often said that resistance to gun control is a relatively new phenomenon, a product of the hardened stance taken by the NRA-ILA after the Revolt at Cincinnati in 1977. But many of the old magazines I have looked at have stories or editorials in them resisting the idea of criminalizing the behavior of law-abiding gun owners, which is a common consequence of gun control efforts. The NRA’s history is more complex than is commonly portrayed.
Of course, I spent most off my time looking at ads, which are an amazing way to step back in time. One that caught my eye was for an original German G3 ASSAULT RIFLE!
Except that if you read the text, the rifle is actually a semi-auto. I thought assault rifles were full-auto? Surely Josh Sugarmann is too young to be writing ad copy in the 1960s.