Ronald Reagan has become the gold standard of conservatism. But interestingly it's usually people I don't consider conservative that most often apply this Reagan Gold Standard. And they usually apply it to show how crazy modern conservatives are on any given issue. This is the "Ronald Reagan wouldn't be conservative enough for you nuts" argument.
Kathleen Parker, who doesn't work for the New York Times but has established herself as what I call what passes for a conservative at the times, takes this fraud to a new level in this piece. First she points out that Reagan saw no use for people carrying loaded weapons in public in the 60's when it was the Black Panthers doing the carrying. She then literally imagines that Reagan was support an assault weapons and high capacity magazine ban:
One also imagines that the old Reagan would say there's no reason a citizen needs an assault weapon or a magazine that can destroy dozens of people in minutes. He would certainly be correct and, in a sane world, possibly even electable.
The Black Panthers were a lawless organization, a radical anarachist group. For Parker to compare that with law abiding citizens legally carrying guns is laughable. Yes, Reagan may have been caught up in the "law and order" movement that Richard Nixon would run for President on in 1968. But the color of the Black Panther's skin likely wasn't Reagan's concerns, but rather their methods and motive(If Parker can project beliefs onto Reagan, so can I)
Ms. Parker, how much firepower, in your estimation, do law abiding citizens need? This question needs to be answered by anyone who plays the "you don't need..." card.