Archive for January, 2008
Strong Storms With Wind Possible This Afternoon
January 8, 2008
Uncle Sam Helps Arm the Nation with Handguns
January 5, 2008
After our 3 days in the icebox, we will warm up for over a week as the west gets snowbound and our temperatures soar. Showers on Saturday in advance of a warm front will help keep the temperatures just above seasonal averages but then we jump to the upper 50′s and low 60′s for the next few days. A front may even trigger some t’storms on Tuesday followed by cooler but still warmer than average conditions. But don’t put away the heavy coats just yet. At this point, it appears that we will be in for a change again starting next weekend.
On This Date In History: On this date in 1847, the Federal Government more or less began the arming of America with handguns. Not directly or on purpose, mind you, but it had the same affect. Samuel Colt had invented his revolver in 1836, but he had no money. Except for dueling, handguns were not that practical up to that time due to inaccuracy and also the fact you had to reload everytime you shot. Most pioneers preferred big knives like the Bowie Knife for close in action. Colt’s revolver solved that problem be he had no money and his guns were very expensive….too expensive for most Americans. But on January 4, 1847 Sam got a contract from the US Army for 1000 revolvers. That gave him cash. The army liked it so much that they ordered more..that gave him more cash. He then teamed up with Eli Whitney to more efficiently mass produce the weapons and suddenly the prices fell and everyone could afford them. Naturally his business grew and between 1850 and 1860, Colt sold nearly 270,000 weapons of various types.
Today, gun control advocates point to the millions of handguns in America as reason for controlling their sale. Others say that people need them for self defense and many states even have right to carry laws. Some say the proliferation of guns as the cause of an increase in violent crime whereas others point to data that suggests handguns in the population has actually resulted in a decrease in crime.
I won’t deal with that debate, but I will say that a college friend of mine once opined this…that is that the United States could never be conquered by an outside foe because it is the only country in history that has a generally armed population. I think he has a point there. Now, whether or not an outside invasion is ever likely or will ever be an issue is another topic, though one might say that it would never be an issue or be likely because everyone is armed. Nevertheless, it is what it is and on this date in 1847, the US Government was largely responsible for the proliferation of handguns across America….whether Uncle Sam knew it or not.