Published: November 4, 2012
The US has the highest rate of civilian gun ownership in the world — twice as high as the second-place finisher, Yemen. Â In this episode of BackStory, weâ€™re exploring the history of guns in America — whoâ€™s had access to guns, whoâ€™s wanted access to guns, and what the desire for guns has meant for American democracy.
Weâ€™ll look at the role of the government in arming citizens in early America, and ask what the Second Amendment meant when it was written. Â Weâ€™ll also discover that before â€śthe right to bear armsâ€ť was a catchphrase for the political right, it was an animating principle of the left-wing Black Panthers. Â And, weâ€™ll dig into the surprising history of the NRA, which supported many gun control measures right up through the 1970s.
Please help us shape this episode! Â Are you a gun owner? Â Why or why not? Â How has the political debate over guns changed in your lifetime? Â What questions do you think need answering about guns in America? Â Share your thoughts and stories here.