31 T. M. Cooley L. Rev. 33 (2014)
Gun Owners, Gun Legislation, and Compromise

handle is hein.journals/tmclr31 and id is 51 raw text is: GUN OWNERS, GUN LEGISLATION, AND
An important human aspect offirearms ownership and regulation
includes the reluctance of gun owners to consent to measures that,
viewed in historical isolation, appear quite limited. But this
opposition is understandable if placed in historical context. During
the rise of the modern gun-control movement in the early 1970s, gun-
control proponents publicly proclaimed their objective was a
complete or nearly complete ban on private handgun ownership. And
they made it clear that lesser measures were but a means to that end.
While they subsequently focused on those lesser measures, they
returned to the objective of a complete handgun ban whenever that
target of opportunity presented itself When, in the 1990s, a focus on
handguns became politically inexpedient, they switched the focus to
semiautomatic rfles-notwithstanding their earlier avowals that
rifles were not their concern.
Gun owners thus learned by experience that their opponents were
not interested in genuine compromise, where each party gives up
something to the other. Their opponents had no stopping point, no
exit strategy, no enough is enough. Under these conditions, real
compromise is impossible. Any concession given would not be a
stopping point, but rather a stepping stone to further restrictions.
This conclusion has been underscored by the experience of gun
owners in states with restrictive gun legislation, where waiting
periods for purchase started at one day but were later increased to
three, five, and then ten days. And initially limited restrictions have
expanded to fill over a thousand pages of annotated text. Many of
these measures serve no discernible purpose except to make legal
* David T. Hardy, PC, Tucson, Arizona. The author's prior writings on the right to
arms and firearm law have been cited three times by the Supreme Court of the
United States. Staples v. United States, 511 U.S. 600, 626 n.4 (1994) (Stevens, J.,
dissenting); McDonald v. City of Chicago, 130 S. Ct. 3020, 3033 n.10 (2010)
(plurality opinion); id at 3079 (Thomas, J., concurring). This Article is an
expansion of one that appeared in Reason Online. David T. Hardy, Why Gun
Owners Are Right to Fight Against Gun Control, REASON.COM (July 18, 2013),

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