Re: Legislation can save lives.
@ Pen-y-gors:"Someone elsewhere in a lovely bit of whataboutery said that 10,000+ people are killed in car incidents involving drunk drivers, but no-one is calling for a ban on cars or alcohol. Actually really not a good example. In the UK we decided to leave cars and alcohol alone, but come down hard on the combination. Drink driving was explicitly banned in the UK in 1967. By 1979 (first year of statistics) there were 1640 deaths on the road where one driver was drunk. Last year it was 200. And it's been down to a consistent 230-240 for the last six years."
The US has similar rules governing alcohol in combination with both cars and guns. The former were enacted during roughly the same period that you mention, albeit with less extreme results: We used to attribute roughly half of fatal auto accidents to alcohol, but by the time the total number of deaths peaked several years ago, it was down to a third.
It's complicated to estimate because US states use different definitions of intoxication, and reporting is inconsistent both geographically and over time.
Where I am, it's illegal to carry a pistol if you have any detectable alcohol in your blood. (The standard for driving is 0.08%.) It's also illegal to carry one in public without a permit.
(I mis-posted my reply to @AC here, and it should have been more explicit: A lot of the aforementioned immigrants had very bad experiences with government and don't trust it to be their sole protector. That doesn't mean that they don't appreciate it or make use of it when it works. My Irish ancestors fled Great Britain for the Americas only to be stuck in a war among Englishmen when the Colonists declared independence. They left for Quebec. They did not hate the British or the Colonists - or the Protestants for that matter. In fact one generation was married in a Protestant church. They were just free-spirited frontier people who didn't want to be caught in collective wars. )