There’s a perception among the Democrats, that gun laws affect Republicans most. In a 50/50 state, passing anti-gun laws harasses enough Republicans into leaving to guarantee future electoral majority for the left. There’s also a perception among Republicans that most drug users and sellers are Democrats, so prosecuting the “drug war” brands enough of them as disenfranchised felons to guarantee future electoral majority for the Republicans.
These perceptions are probably cultivated by those who have something to gain from enforcing these laws, just like the Inquisition got a new lease on life once asset forfeiture became a standard practice. So these ridiculous laws criminalizing possession of plant leaves or bent metal washers more harshly than assault or rape are probably here to stay. Too many cops, lawyers, propagandists and bureaucrats are playing into the worst prejudices of bigots who are convinced that they won’t get swept up in the frenzy of vicious prohibition enforcement.
With guns, there’s also an angle of control. Firearms are subject to excise taxes, which are presented as a sort of “luxury tax” but historically have been levied on life-sustaining essentials. For example, salt and alcohol have been highly taxed through most of modern history. Both taxes were collected with deadly force readily used, and both untaxed salt and alcohol have been poisoned by tax collectors to prevent their use by humans.
The importance of salt before refrigeration cannot be overstated. Likewise, alcohol was one the only available method of disinfecting water besides less field-expedient boiling. So restrictions on these substances were meant to affect essentials for healthy living. Guns fit right into that category, being extremely useful for maintaining personal safety. Unlike salt and alcohol, guns are also useful for fighting the tax collectors and other government impositions, so the main fury of modern revenuers is on weapons more than it is on salt or alcohol.
When we see bad laws viciously enforced, we need to look past the official justifications and see who profits…or merely think that they profit. Blue laws have more trade than religion behind them, as do other apparently nonsensical restrictions. Without an understanding of evil, it’s difficult to eradicate it.