A frequent criticism levied at those who oppose widespread gun control is that they want to return to a kind of “wild west” of violence and criminality.

But now, ironically, more and more people on the left are pointing to the Old West as a model for gun control. They say that conservatives are wrong to think the Second Amendment right to bear arms is ingrained in American history.

A recent article in Smithsonian Magazine called “Gun Control Is as Old as the Old West” laid out the case that some famous western towns, like Tombstone and Dodge City, actually had gun control laws.

But injecting these laws into the modern gun debate would seem to be ill-advised, especially if they are used to argue that “disarmed” societies are necessarily safer.

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