Liberty is an inherently offensive lifestyle. Living in a free society guarantees that each one of us will see our most cherished principles and beliefs questioned and in some cases mocked. That psychic discomfort is the price we pay for basic civic peace. It's worth it. It's a pragmatic principle. Defend everyone else's rights, because if you don't there is no one to defend yours. -- MaxedOutMama

I don't just want gun rights... I want individual liberty, a culture of self-reliance....I want the whole bloody thing. -- Kim du Toit

The most glaring example of the cognitive dissonance on the left is the concept that human beings are inherently good, yet at the same time cannot be trusted with any kind of weapon, unless the magic fairy dust of government authority gets sprinkled upon them.-- Moshe Ben-David

The cult of the left believes that it is engaged in a great apocalyptic battle with corporations and industrialists for the ownership of the unthinking masses. Its acolytes see themselves as the individuals who have been "liberated" to think for themselves. They make choices. You however are just a member of the unthinking masses. You are not really a person, but only respond to the agendas of your corporate overlords. If you eat too much, it's because corporations make you eat. If you kill, it's because corporations encourage you to buy guns. You are not an individual. You are a social problem. -- Sultan Knish

All politics in this country now is just dress rehearsal for civil war. -- Billy Beck

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Michael Bellesiles' Arming America Still Influencing the Gun Control Debate

At least the evidence leads UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh to that conclusion when he disassembles the Second Amendment chapter of a State Department publication on the "Rights of the People." Excerpt:
"In many states regulations continued [following the Revolution] prohibiting . . . propertyless whites from owning guns." I have seen this claim in several places, all of them in the work of Michael Bellesiles. None of those places gave any citations for statutes that actually banned propertyless whites from owning guns. I tried hard to find any evidence of such statutes -- none, to my knowledge, exists. To my knowledge, there were no such "regulations," in any states, much less many states. (Incidentally, it may well be that the author reasonably relied on Bellesiles' work before it was debunked, as did I; but since the publication is on the Web, one would think that it would be updated to correct the errors that reliance on Bellesiles' work has yielded.)


"One scholarly study holds that less than 14 percent of the adult white male population, those otherwise eligible to own guns, actually possessed firearms in 1790." That much is accurate -- but that one scholarly study, unless I'm woefully mistaken, is Michael Bellesiles' now-debunked work. I know of no credible source for such a statistic."
Yet I've seen, over and over, claims that Bellesiles had no political motive in writing his book.

If you believe that, I hold title to this bridge in Brooklyn, and I've got a great deal for you on some prime land in the Everglades...

UPDATE: The web site now shows "(The accompanying essay is under review.)"

I LOVE the blogosphere - a functional feedback loop to political correctness!

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