1. Mao restricted ownership of guns and started the Cultural Revolution.
despite some portrayals of the Cultural Revolution, Mao had little to do with starting it. The Cultural Revolution began when a literary critic critiqued a play in Beijing for glorifying feudalism and the local police arrested him. Soon after, students went into riot and the local government was partially overthrown. When Mao was asked to put down the movement, he refused and endorsed the actions of the students, and declared it was "right to rebel". Hence, the cultural revolution began. There are two short documents in particular where he endorsed the students, though there are plenty more:
I have received both the big-character posters which you sent on 28 July as well as the letter which you sent to me, asking for an answer. The two big-character posters which you wrote on 24 June and 4 July express your anger at, and denunciation of, all landlords, bourgeois, imperialists, revisionists, and their running dogs who exploit and oppress the workers, peasants, revolutionary intellectuals and revolutionary parties and groupings. You say it is right to rebel against reactionaries; I enthusiastically support you. I also give enthusiastic support to the big-character poster of the Red Flag Combat Group of Peking University Middle School which said that it is right to rebel against the reactionaries; and to the very good revolutionary speech given by comrade P’eng Hsiao-meng representing their Red Flag Combat Group at the big meeting attended by all the teachers, students, administration and workers of Peking University on 25 July. Here I want to say that I myself as well as my revolutionary comrades-in-arms all take the same attitude. No matter where they are, in Peking or anywhere in China, I will give enthusiastic support to all who take an attitude similar to yours in the Cultural Revolution movement. Another thing, while supporting you, at the same time we ask you to pay attention to uniting with all who can be united with. As for those who have committed serious mistakes, after their mistakes have been pointed out you should offer them a way out of their difficulties by giving them work to do, and enabling them to correct their mistakes and become new men. Marx said: the proletariat must emancipate not only itself but all mankind. If it cannot emancipate all mankind, then the proletariat itself will not be able to achieve final emancipation. Will comrades please pay attention to this truth too.
Here is where the famous Maoist expression "Bombard the Headquarters" originated, which expresses the necessity for the proletariat to continue the revolution even after the seizure of state power, in order to continue the class struggle and maintain the proletarian nature of the state and to eventually abolish it.
‘China’s first Marxist-Leninist big character poster and Commentator’s article on it in Renmin Ribao (People’s Daily) are indeed superbly written! Comrades, please read them again. But in the last fifty days or so some leading comrades from the central down to the local levels have acted in a diametrically opposite way. Adopting the reactionary stand of the bourgeoisie, they have enforced a bourgeois dictatorship and struck down the surging movement of the great cultural revolution of the proletariat. They have stood facts on their head and juggled black and white, encircled and suppressed revolutionaries, stifled opinions differing from their own, imposed a white terror, and felt very pleased with themselves. They have puffed up the arrogance of the bourgeoisie and deflated the morale of the proletariat. How poisonous! Viewed in connection with the Right deviation in 1962 and the wrong tendency of 1964 which was ‘Left’ in form but Right in essence, shouldn’t this make one wide awake?
During the Cultural Revolution, the "Four Freedoms" were added to the constitution, which amounted to the right to strike, the right to petition grievances, and the right to debate openly.( Mobo Gao, The Battle of China's Past)
Additionally, Mao himself supported the right to bear arms, even when students and workers to up arms against party officials. Because of Mao's support of the right to bear arms, there were no major regulations against the purchase of weapons until 1981 (The Passion of Mao)
All of these freedoms were removed when Deng took power, and mass arrests took place to make room for the Post-Mao transition.