In the "conversation" about the Second Amendment and gun-control hysteria, we may be overlooking two of the best lessons from history.
Lesson One: This Nation tried Prohibition once, and found it wanting. In 1919, a political organization composed of evangelical Christian churches and women's rights advocates seized sufficient control in Congress by generating public hysteria over the evils of alcohol, that their actions were rewarded with a Constitutional Amendment, the Eighteenth, which banned alcohol manufature, sales, and eventually, possession. The history of how these people came by their political "juice" makes for an interesting read, or just view Ken Burns' excellent TV mini-series about it. Basically, alcohol itself, not the criminal behavior claimed to result from it, was demonized, both in the pulpits by the preachers who needed a hook to hold the attention of their congregants, and on the street-corners by politically active women who, well, wanted more political power. Note that women got the right to vote immediately after they had convinced the Nation to ban alcohol as the root of all present evil. The Nation put up with Prohibition and all it's accompanying problems for just 13 years, then the 21st Amendment was passed in 1933 repealing Prohibition. The Lesson from History is that the substance, alcohol, was not the cause of the hysterically over-blown social problems that the "Drys" claimed it to be, so Prohibition failed miserably, and it's unintended consequences were far worse than the "evil" itself. Cure worse than the disease. End of story.
Lesson Two: This Lesson is found in the history of the practice of Abortion, the termination of the gestation of a human foetus (fetus). The practice of abortion has been banned by most Western societies throughout their history, until just recently. Scholars may argue forever why it was banned, but it seems to be more about population management than anything else. Remember that religion itself was a construct invented to channel the thoughts of societal leaders, and societal leaders all have worried about under-population until the past century. When modern medicine and agriculture began to flourish, coupled with modern militaries making killing in war a much more efficient process so wars were less frequent, societal populations had their restrictive pressures removed. The institution of women's rights generally was the beginning of the end of restrictive abortion-bans in Western Civilization. In more modern times, abortion was facilitated by modern medical practices, even while it was still illegal. Did we ban the surgical instruments or the non-surgical methods used in abortion (coat-hangers for curettage)? I'm not here to fan the flames of the abortion "debate", but I am here to point out that the case of abortion shows that it is NOT necessary to ban the instrumentalities of a prohibited practice in order to keep the practices from occurring. For example, modern surgery would be impossible without suction devices, but those are used to facilitate abortions. If we follow the ill-logic of the gun-control advocates, we would have to have banned the surgical instruments to ban abortion. We realized that was the wrong approach in the abortion debate, pre- Roe vs. Wade, so why do we propose this failed strategy as a crime-control measure now?
With the failed experiment of banning an instrumentality of societal mis-behavior, alcohol, and the opposite and correct failure to ban the instrumentalities of the previously-banned practice of abortion, we have a complete demonstration of just why gun-bans fail all tests of logic. Add this failure of logic to the statistical proof of the failure of gun-bans to prevent gun-crimes (example: Chicago), and the case against gun-bans is complete. Any further advancement of this cause simply fails the test of logic and reason, and thereby attempts to encode hysteria as the law of the land.
I don't want hysterical people encoding hysteria as the law of MY land.