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Stephen Mihm

FDR's Gun-Control Strategy: Tax 'Em

His administration gave gangsters 3,700 reasons to stop buying machine guns.
Gangster preferred.

Gangster preferred.

Photographer: Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Another school shooting, another debate over gun control. An overwhelming majority of Americans want stricter gun laws, but Congress is unlikely to ban assault rifles outright, and some of the president’s proposals -- a ban on “bump stocks,” for example -- have unclear paths to success.

But there is another approach that would be constitutional and well supported by historical precedent. It might even help reduce the budget deficit that Republicans just sent skyrocketing. Of course, Washington is showing no signs of even considering it.