“Of all the artifacts that were aboard the good ship Mayflower, not a single gun is known to have survived,” CBS News “reports.” in their article/TV package. “But historians believe they were probably there, accompanying the pilgrims to Plymouth Rock.” Wait. What? Is CBS suggesting — even for a moment — that the Pilgrims weren’t armed? Hello? Myles Standish was the colonists’ military commander. Could it get worse? It could!
. . . were we really BORN a gun culture? Historian Pamela Haag says, not necessarily.
“Listen to how many sentences begin with something like ‘Americans have always….’ ‘They have always loved guns. They have always had guns.’ These things are much more complicated than that. The meanings of guns have changed.”
In her book, “The Gunning of America,” Haag says most settlers viewed the gun as a tool — as necessary, and yet as ordinary, as a plow or an ax.
“We think we have a gun culture because of this special exceptional status with guns, but really, commercially, the gun was extremely unexceptional,” she said. “It was very much treated like any other commodity.”
At the start of the Revolutionary War, we didn’t even have enough arms to outfit the Continental Army. Today, however, it’s estimated we have more guns than people.
Which proves what, exactly?
First that CBS News is pimping a book; basing their entire series around it, in fact. Second, that the “Tiffany network” has lost the plot. [Note: NPR gave Haag’s book not one but two huge wet kisses.] CBS’ thinly-veiled indeed explicit attempt to remove the importance of firearms freedom from American history is nothing less than loony-tunes.
So what’s CBS’/Haag’s theory? America’s “obsession” with firearms is all down to . . . wait for it . . . the gun lobby!
It’s not just a matter of salesmanship, but gun industrialists like Oliver Winchester and Samuel Colt did their level best to create a market for their wares. Out of their factories in Connecticut — what came to known as “Gun Valley” — they would soon produce firearms with the same speed and efficiency as Henry Ford would later do with the automobile.
Best known: the Winchester ’73 and the Colt Single Action Army revolver — two of the guns that won the West.
But as the frontier disappeared, so did the desire of many Americans to own a gun. They were not, Haag said, “flying off the shelf.”
So by the 20th century gunmakers started to market their guns not just as a tool, but a feeling. “What was once needed, now had to be loved,” said Haag.
While there’s no question that firearms marketing plays on its audience’s emotions — their desire to feel safe or empowered or part of a club — so what? Is it wrong? And that desire is hardly mutually exclusive with the Second Amendment’s intent.
Anyway, time to pivot!
“Americans have always had mixed feelings about guns,” said Haag. “So for as much as the gunslingers are part of our heritage, so, too, is disquiet and discomfort with guns.”
Haag’s cites our country’s gun control history — from Tombstone to the Gun Control Act of 1968 — without once mentioning civilian disarmament’s racist roots. Or the role gun control played sparking the American Revolution.
This serious omission demonstrates the dynamic in play here: cherry-picking historical data to “prove” that America’s love of firearms is a marketing scam perpetuated on gullible. weak-willed citizens. A perspective that CBS shares but anyone with real knowledge of history — or human psychology — rejects. Utterly.