We typically think of gun rights as starting with the Founding Fathers and that the Second Amendment has roots in self-defense. The Atlantic provides a different view of history, pointing out that in the early days of America, the government required gun ownership and even required training. And some of the advocates of gun rights including The Black Panthers, who believed that gun ownership was essential to challenging the government.
The Atlantic article begins:
The Ku Klux Klan, Ronald Reagan, and, for most of its history, the NRA all worked to control guns. The Founding Fathers? They required gun ownership — and regulated it. And no group has more fiercely advocated the right to bear loaded weapons in public than the Black Panthers — the true pioneers of the modern pro-gun movement. In the battle over gun rights in America, both sides have distorted history and the law, and there’s no resolution in sight.