what happened? guns were easy to get, now not so much
"Students carried their rifles to school on the subway in the morning and then turned them over to their homeroom teacher or a gym teacher — and that was mainly to keep them centrally stored and out of the way. Rifles were retrieved after school for target practice (http://tinyurl.com/yapuaehp). Virginia's rural areas had a long tradition of high school students going hunting in the morning before school, and they sometimes stored their guns in the trunks of their cars during the school day, parked on the school grounds.
During earlier periods, people could simply walk into a hardware store and buy a rifle. Buying a rifle or pistol through a mail-order catalog — such as Sears, Roebuck & Co.'s — was easy. Often, a 12th or 14th birthday present was a shiny new .22-caliber rifle, given to a boy by his father.
These facts of our history should confront us with a question: With greater accessibility to guns in the past, why wasn't there the kind of violence we see today, when there is much more restricted access to guns? There's another aspect of our response to mayhem. When a murderer uses a bomb, truck or car to kill people, we don't blame the bomb, truck or car. We don't call for control over the instrument of death. We seem to fully recognize that such objects are inanimate and incapable of acting on their own. We blame the perpetrator. However, when the murder is done using a gun, we do call for control over the inanimate instrument of death — the gun. I smell a hidden anti-gun agenda."