Flip that around -- expiration of "Assault Weapons" Ban, record numbers of states amending carry laws, record numbers of firearms purchased, carry permit increase, Discovery Channel programming, etc etc etc.
What changed? Why/how did the US go from "Gunz R bad" to "Guns are cool"?
I put that on the growth of the Internet, and the freedom of information residing on it. For years, the Anti's and Laddites spewed factually incorrect GARBAGE about the capabilities of firearms, the "inherrent" dangers, and made up numbers. People really had no way of refuting it, short of listening to the recitations from the media. Enter the era of wide-spread access to the Internet.
Lo and behold, turns out firearms aren't the "mass-murdering machines" we've all been led to believe....turns out shooting is actually quite an enjoyable time. Turns out its actually LEGAL to carry a concealed weapon (subject to State and local laws of course)!
Nowadays, the "Anti's" can't make a single statement in the media, Facebook, Twitter or in person without it being thoroughly fisked before they can even shut down the laptop. Most Americans understand that forearm owners and users aren't the mass-murdering criminals they've been portrayed to be.
Plus, a beautiful night out at the range is a thing of beauty!
Thank you Internet! I think I owe you a cold one!