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« Spam Du Jour | Main | The Legacy Of Zheng He »

More Lies From Mike

Our man from Davison, he of great physical, and trivial mental, girth is at it again. He's hawking his latest anti-gun propaganda (using Columbine as the backdrop) at Cannes.

Growing up in Michigan, Moore was surrounded by guns. In northern Michigan, on the opening day of deer season, over a million enthusiastic sharpshooters take to the woods. Moore was a crack shot himself.

Now he's just a crack pot.

Next, he rewrites American history.

Moore's own conclusions are bleak. "The early genesis of fear in America came from having a slave population... that grew from 700,000 to four million," he states. The Colt 6-shooter, invented in 1836, was cheap and portable, and was just what the white folk needed to "contain slavery" for the final 25 years. "It's something we're raised with in the United States ? to believe in not only the gun, but using violence to get what we want and enforce a class system, so the have-nots stay there."

This is a novel interpretation. If there was such tremendous demand for the six shooter to hold down the "nigras," why was their main recorded use prior to 1846 killing Indians in the west? Why was Colt unable to sell so few of them until he got an order from the Army during the Mexican War, that finally established the company? Surely, if this is the reason for the skyrocketing demand for handguns, wouldn't there be some evidence of large six-shooter sales in the antebellum South, instead of some of the earliest implementations of concealed carry laws in the young nation?

Mr. Moore wants us to believe that the same states that were so fearful of their slave population that they loaded up on six-shooters (when long guns were just as effective for holding down slave rebellions), also passed laws against carrying those very same weapons?

This is the Internet, Mike. We can fact-check your ass, particularly when it's as large and lardy a target as yours.

Maybe he and (hopefully-soon-to-be-ex) Professor Bellisles can get together and co-author their next work of historical fiction.

Posted by Rand Simberg at May 20, 2002 12:46 PM
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There is of course a connection between slavery, Jim Crow laws, and gun rights. But maybe not the one Michael Moore is thinking of. First of all, Chief Justice Taney, in the infamous Dred Scott case, cited the right to bear arms as a list of one of many rights that a free citizen had, and that a slave obviously didn't. Secondly, many if not most of the early gun-control laws were designed at keeping blacks and other "undesirables" from getting guns.
These are no arguments for gun control, of course, no more than the deplorable effort to prevent blacks from exercising the right to vote means that the right to vote should be curtailed for all.

Posted by John Thacker at May 20, 2002 09:43 PM

Yes, and all that occurred after the war, not before. Moore is simply out to lunch (so what else is new?)

He might be entertaining if so many people didn't take him seriously.

Posted by Rand Simberg at May 20, 2002 10:21 PM

Part of the problem is that there is apparently a spate of "new historians" out there promulgating utterly fact-less interpretations of the past. (I first encountered a variant of this when I was told that "history" is a sexist word, made up of "his" and "story," never mind etymology and Latin and all that.)

In this case, a Professor Carl Bogus (real name), in a piece in a CA-based law journal, argues that the entire Second Amendment is rooted in the desire to keep guns in the hands of white slave-owners. I kid you not.

I think Volokh's web-site has more on this. So, Mikey's got company (even if it is Bogus---sorry, I couldn't resist).

Posted by Dean at May 21, 2002 10:39 PM

Oh, you checked his facts and they were untrue? Hey, can't you tell...? That's satire!

Posted by Dan Dixon at May 22, 2002 05:49 AM

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