Ready to aim

Submitted by Bill St. Clair on Tue, 13 Feb 2007 12:53:10 GMT  <== RKBA ==> 

Robert VerBruggen at The Washington Times - a review of Clayton E. Cramer's book, Armed America: The Remarkable Story of How and Why Guns Became as American as Apple Pie. [scopeny]

Mr. Cramer writes in a clear if dry style, patiently cataloguing example after example of guns' historical prevalence. The book weighs in at a tidy 243 pages (excluding the bibliography and footnotes, but including the helpful gun-terms glossary) yet demands some effort and concentration.

It will surprise even pro-gun readers how pervasive firearms were in Colonial days. By law, white men liable for militia service often had to own guns, but they were far from the only demographic that chose to. Well before the Declaration of Independence, women had guns. Free and even slave blacks had guns. Soon after contact with whites, American Indians became dependent on firearms for hunting.

Widespread gun possession led to control efforts then as today. Governments could ban black gun possession, but seldom with complete success; "grand juries in South Carolina complained that masters were bringing guns to church, as the law required, then handing them to slaves to hold during services."

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