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Almost exactly 50 years ago, a Republican governor in a Western state said this:
“I see no reason why on the street today a citizen should be carrying loaded weapons". He also said that guns were a "ridiculous way to solve problems that have to be solved among people of good will."
The governor, of course, was Ronald Reagan, but it is extremely unlikely than ANY Republican governor today would publicly say the same thing that he said 50 years ago.
Then, as now, the best way to force politicians to do what you want them to do is to use organized protests (and 500,000 people will be in D.C. in about a week to protest congressional inaction on gun control)
In 1967, black people were being harassed by the police in Oakland, California. In order to protect their fellow citizens, a new organization called the Black Panthers started armed patrols of the neighborhoods in order to advise the citizen of their rights. Because California law at the time allowed citizens to openly carry loaded weapons, they did.
A Republican congressman named Don Mulford became alarmed at what he saw as civil unrest, and filed a bill in the legislature on April 5 that would prohibit citizens from carrying loaded weapons on the street.
Naturally, the Black Panthers were not pleased.
On May 2, a group of Panthers loaded their weapons into their trunks, and drove to Sacramento. Once they got there, they took their weapons out of their trunks, and marched into the legislature. By coincidence, Ronald Reagan happened to be in the legislature that day.
Naturally, the members of the legislature had what could charitably described as an “oh shit” moment, and Mulford’s bill was rapidly pushed through the legislature, and signed into law On July 26.
In a later press conference, Reagan added that the Mulford Act "would work no hardship on the honest citizen."