In the aftermath of D.C. versus Heller, we at the VPC Blog have decided to go on the offensive, attacking anyone who ever paid lip service to the NRA extremists. First up, and surprisingly, is the New York Times.
While the New York Times largely supports our desire for Reasonable Gun Control, this was not always the case. Back in the year 1856, a reporter, undoubtedly receiving wheelbarrows full of cash, wrote a piece on the calling forth of the New York City militia:
According to the law of this State, every citizen is bound to parade once a year, “armed and equipped as the law directs,” excepting those for good and sufficient reasons.
The reporter acts like he expects the bulk of the people of New York City to be armed! And he calls them the “ununiformed militia”; probably a new Gun Blobber term for right-wing militia whackos. Fortunately, he also writes:
…It is the legal duty of the Captain of each company to notify all the citizens in his district to attend the parade. This is found to be almost impossible, and is the cause of much irregularity, as it often occurs that notices are served to those legally exempt…
…The majority of those who appeared on the street corners on Monday, were poor Germans and Irishmen who couldn’t afford to pay…
…and in no squad could we get more than two “armed and equipped as the law directs.”
…the proceeds are said to be equally divided among the organized companies for their benefit…
This proves Michael Bellesiles correct. There was no gun culture before the American Civil War. Sure, the Gun Blobbers will complain that a bunch of poor immigrants won’t bother paying for a relatively expensive musket or rifle, but we at the VPC Blog know the situation in New York City reflected the national view on arms.
And the article says nothing about handguns (a perfect weapon for city-living), so, according to the “Michael A. Bellesiles method of data gathering“, no handguns were owned by those immigrants, either.
We ask all our readers to mail the editors of the New York Times and demand a retraction to this 150 year old story. It reflects an endorsement of the extremist view of the Second Amendment and should be expunged from their archives.