I don’t like the phrase “the right side of history.” For one thing, history doesn’t pick sides. While there are some things we can look back on and know they were evil–slavery, the Holocaust, the Armenian Genocide, etc.–most things are far more nuanced than that.
Gun rights, however, are one of those things that shouldn’t be up for debate.
And, as the NRA notes at their America’s 1st Freedom, the right to carry is clearly showing the right side of history.
Gun-control advocates like to pretend that the arc of history is on their side and that America will inevitably follow its “peer” Western democracies in heavily restricting firearm ownership and banning armed self-defense. If you limit your reading to anti-gun newspapers like The New York Times or The Washington Post, you might be tempted to believe them. But my 29 years with the NRA tell a different story, with America’s ever-increasing embrace of the right to carry handguns for self-defense demonstrating that Second Amendment freedoms are as vital and relevant now as at any time since the nation’s founding. The fact that permitless concealed carry is now the majority rule among U.S. states underscores that history is on the side of law-abiding gun owners.
America’s right-to-carry experience made it clear that the public had nothing to fear from law-abiding people carrying concealed firearms. Violent crime rates fluctuate, but research has shown that licensed concealed carriers are among the most law-abiding Americans. Violent crime peaked in 1991, after which 26 states adopted shall-issue concealed carry laws. By 2012, the nation’s total violent crime rate had decreased 42% to a 42-year low. It’s true that in the last few years, violent crime has been on an upswing, but those years have featured the havoc wreaked by COVID-19, calls by left-leaning activists to defund the police and “criminal-justice reform” that in practice has meant turning a blind eye toward crime.
Throughout it all, law-abiding Americans have been acquiring and carrying firearms in record numbers. They know predatory criminals aren’t waiting for official permission to carry guns. And they also know that lawful concealed carriers have successfully defended themselves and their communities from violent attack. By 2021, Gallup polling showed support for a handgun ban had dropped to an all-time low of 19%.
You should go and read the whole thing, of course, but the overall point is pretty clear. People value the right to carry a firearm.
Gun rights are winning.
Yes, the media is spinning things so that the public starts to shift against certain aspects of gun rights, but the handgun really was demonized for quite a while. After all, remember that this is the firearm most used by criminals. They weren’t completely off-base by focusing there as a way to reduce crime.
Except for the fact that gun control doesn’t actually work, that is.
The “right side of history” is still an annoying thing, but the truth is that it’s usually selected by the victors. Whoever wins declares they were on the right side of history, at least until something changes and another group is victorious and they rewrite history.
Yet gun rights are on the right side. Preserving, protecting, and restoring individual liberties is always the right thing, and if it’s not the right side of history then history is wrong.
Our right to keep and bear arms matters, and what we saw with handguns in the past may harken to the future of modern sporting rifles. What is today a grave threat will likely be a non-issue in days yet to come.
We just need to hold firm and not let these rights be taken away from us now or else it may be too late to reroute history.