[Ed. – What was different back then?]
Yet 60 years ago, high school gun clubs were as common in rural America as cheer leading squads and nearly every household possessed at least one firearm.
Sixty years ago we didn’t have the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, or NICS, which buyers now have to pass to purchase a firearm from a licensed dealer. It wasn’t launched until 1998. Before then, if you wanted a firearm you went to the local hardware store, selected and paid for one and walked out of the store with it.
However, the easy availability of weapons 60 years ago — even 30 years ago — didn’t translate to a national gun violence epidemic.
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So what changed? We did.
In a society where everyone wins, everybody goes home with a trophy and athletic coaches are cautioned against running up the score out of fear of embarrassing the other team, something destructive invades the psyche. People became ill-equipped to accept failure, handle misfortune, or for that matter to even deal with opposing viewpoints.