Reaganomics, without a doubt, was the beginning of the end of the American middle class, where one patriarchal income could actually support an entire family. A decent factory job could enable a man to raise a family while the wife helped raise the children and groom them for an eventual college education. Women, though paid less, are now forced to work. The jump in working women has been especially prominent among those who are mothers — from 37 percent in 1968 to 65 percent in 2011. If men were always the sole breadwinners and now rely on women to help a family to simply survive, a seldom-discussed consequence of this is emasculation and resentment of women. Misogyny, known best by the label “Feminazis” (thanks Rush) has made many men turn to violence through guns, but not always against women. Guns are a substitute for the emasculation of their earning power.
Right in the heyday of Morning In America, 1982, Senator Orrin Hatch teamed up with the NRA-ILA to make Americans reexamine the 2nd Amendment, which was almost as irrelevant as the Third (the government cannot force citizens to house soldiers in their homes). Hatch’s viewpoint was an insurrectionist interpretation, in which the Second Amendment is thought to allow for a militia of armed citizens to protect themselves against government, not the original framers’ intent of preventing uprisings against the government by the states. Slowly but surely, the conversion of the middle class to the working-poor took its toll on the masculine psyche. There is no question, Reaganomics commenced the hollowing-out of the middle class.
The power and influence of the NRA, even after there was an assassination attempt on the Deity of the Republican party, Ronald Reagan, skyrocketed thanks to the Republican alignment with the gun industry. Gun ownership has always been fairly high for Americans, but the laws regarding gun-control legislation have become less and less popular. Because of insane contributions from the NRA-ILA, gun laws have been relaxed, even though most (78%) Americans are for stricter laws for the acquisition of guns.
If you look at the history of mass shootings in America, coincidentally, the count begins in 1982. Does this irrefutably prove the decline of the middle class causes more gun violence? No, not entirely. But it certainly seems suspicious the reinterpretation of the Second Amendment coincided with the evisceration of the middle class that began under Reagan’s tenure.