Thirty years after a powerful gun-control movement swept the U.S., Americans are embracing the idea of owning and carrying firearms with a zeal rarely seen since the days of muskets and militias, says the Christian Science Monitor. A combination of favorable court rulings, grass-roots activism, traditional fears of crime, and modern anxieties about government has led to what may be a tipping point on an issue that just a few years ago was one of the nation’s most contentious.
Gun rights have now expanded to the point where the fundamental question seems not to be “should we be able to carry guns,” but instead is “where can’t we carry them?” The answer: not very many places. Hundreds of gun-friendly laws have been enacted by states and localities in the past few years alone. Mississippi, for instance, now allows gun owners who take an extra safety class to carry hidden weapons on college campuses and in courthouses. Ohio has granted people with permits the right to bring concealed weapons into restaurants, bars, and sports arenas. In 2009, three times as many pro-gun laws were passed in the U.S. as antigun measures – a trend that experts say has only accelerated since then.