It’s not recent NRA propaganda that has made gun owners enthusiastic defenders of their right to bear arms. They’ve been that way for a while.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE I n a single issue in March of 1961, Guns & Ammo ran ads for a “Sniper Model” Enfield Match rifle, a French 8mm machine gun (“used in two World Wars”), a Mannlicher military pistol, a U.S. .30 M1 carbine, and a police-ordnance Ingram Model 6 submachine gun chambered in .45 ACP (only $49.95!). If you’re surprised that these machine guns and high-powered military rifles were marketed to hunters in the 1960s, you might have unconsciously accepted a flawed but popular narrative about American gun culture.

According to this story, gun owners have only recently become “militarized,” thanks to the machinations of


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