Slave ownership was once as entrenched in American life as gun ownership.
Historical parallelism is a dangerous game. But in the days after the shootings in Orlando, Florida, as we fall into another cycle of fretting over our continued inability to pass effective gun control laws, I’ve found myself thinking about the steep odds abolitionists faced in the years before the Civil War ended slavery. That social movement wrestled with entrenched public opinion and powerful monied interests, and eventually won. Is there anything to be learned from their success?