Godwin's Law, for those of you who don't know, is the result of thread-rot in online discussion whereupon the subject at hand eventually winds up being compared to something or somebody in Nazi Germany.
Sometimes the thread doesn't get very far, and when it comes to gun control, two exchanges are usually enough. I believe all of our recent presidents have been compared to Hitler, as have various senators, congressfolk, and secretaries of state, and as often as not, unfavorably ...
I spoke in the follow-up exchanges to that post about laws changing, and a few examples pop to mind. I confess I didn't know the full extent of these, but the weakness of memory can be supplemented by research, so ...
The Harrison Act of 1914 made it difficult for Granny to get her heroin-based cough-syrup. This was because a significant portion of the population was addicted to over-the-counter opiates, which were mostly unregulated. People died routinely from contaminated or inconsistent dosages of such tonics.
In 1915, authorities ran down Typhoid Mary for the second time. Mary, who worked as a cook, was an asymptomatic carrier of the Typhus bug, and where she worked, people got sick and many died. When she refused to quit doing it, she was isolated until her death in 1938. Total violation of her civil rights under today's laws, but consider the situation: If you refuse to stop doing things that are demonstrably killing people, does not the government have a duty to prevent this?
(Of course, allowing the sales of tobacco, even supporting it with subsidies is absolutely hypocritical, but nobody accuses Our Government of consistent thinking.)
In 1934, the feds regulated machine guns and sawed-off shotguns. If you are willing to jump through the hoops, you can still have these, but jump you must, or pay the consequences.
The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act of 1938, the Public Health Service Act of 1944, these addressed similar medical and health issues. Hundreds of people dropping dead from adulterated medicines, going blind from bad booze or patent syrup, this is generally considered a no-no, and thus they were regulated. As have been all kinds of food producers, vitamin makers, even raw milk sales.
Yes, yes, if you want to jump off a building and kill yourself, that's your business, as long as you don't land on somebody else when you do it, but if you feed something to your child and it kills him and you knew that was a good possibility, then you need to be brought to task for it. I'm not talking about a nanny state, I'm talking about protecting those who can't protect themselves here.
OSHA, 1970, because workplace injuries and deaths were shrugged off as part of the job.
You hear that Larry fell into the scrap grinder?
Yeah, too, bad. His wife selling his car?
The Chicago Tylenol Murders in 1982 changed the way all kinds of things were packaged, double-sealed the tops on everything from OTC medications, to Catsup, to bleach. How, I wonder, does one adulterate bleach to make it more deadly to drink? And federal laws were enacted to make tampering with packaging a crime. I, for one, really hate the guy who poisoned those people, because it made life just a little harder–but a little safer–for most of us.
One may disagree with any or all regulations like these, of course. The let-the-market-regulate-itself argument rears its simplistic head: Well, if cough syrup is killing people, then don't buy that brand! They'll go out of business! Sure, but maybe after they kill your family, and is that a price you want to pay? Not me. I don't want to get an injection of a steroid supposed to make me better and wind up dead of some fungal brain infection nobody had ever seen before and couldn't do squat about.
My point is, that laws come and go, and while some are bad, some aren't perceived as such by a majority, so those will tend to stay in force. If that attitude changes, eventually the law will shift to reflect it. Alcohol was banned, but it's back. Marijuana was banned, but it's coming back.
Missionary position only was once the law in a lot of places. Seriously. Going down on your spouse? A felony. Being gay got you sent away.
And there have been laws regulating what kind of hardware John Q. Citizen can own and carry, local, state, and federal, for a long time, and there will continue to be. When the murder rate surpasses the automobile accident rate? Something is really wrong. We are broken, we need to be fixed.
Those of you who would wish all regulations on anything into the cornfield are in a small minority, and you might win a battle or two, but you are going to lose the war.
More gun laws are coming, you can bet the farm on that. Might not be today or tomorrow, but down the road. If you can't see that, go visit your optometrist. While the U.S. might not ever be Japan or England, there will be more regulations. Where you choose to stand and fight against such regulations is up to you, but if you are going to the mat, consider how best to spend that energy.
Will they solve the problem they want to solve? No. But gun laws are on the table.
So, pick your place to stand, and remember that He who fights and runs away may live to fight another day.
Yes, the full-bore anti-gun crowd wants to melt them all down into quiché pans, and yes, they will whittle away at guns a bit at a time. But going to cold-dead-hands for civilianized assault rifles and high-capacity magazines doesn't give you parity with the United States military in any way, shape, or form, and if that's where you choose to make your last ditch?
You are going to be lacking support from the majority.
What was it Bob Dylan said in Subterranean Homesick Blues?
You don't need to be a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.