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. They had a rifled barrel for accuracy and the repeating percussion caps provided for several shots with cartridges making it simple to reload quickly. But, Colt 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. There was a saying after the Civil War that went something like this: “Abe Lincoln may have freed all men but Sam Colt made them equal.”
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. It’s not a new debate as communities attempted to control handguns back in the late 19th century in the western United States when visitors in a city limits had to surrender their 6 killers to the sheriff until they left town. That is a little different than preventing ownership or confiscating their guns. But, it was a form of gun control. Not sure how Chuck Heston would have liked that rule.
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. I mean, can you imagine any invading army trying to get to the boys in the mountains of Tennessee or West Virginia? How about the Cajuns in South Louisiana? The mountain men in the Rockies would be no easy task and I can tell you, the state of Texas would be the largest armed camp known to man. 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.
Weather Bottom Line: Here’s the bottom line with the weather. It’s going to be cold for the forseeable future. I doubt that we get above freezing for another two weeks. I see on tv that a certain cable channel is claiming a high of 34 for Wednesday but I don’t quite get it. Well, I do know what they are up to in that we have a very strong bowling ball of an upper low tumbling down from the northwest and what they want to do is move the temperatures up just above freezing advance. Yes, temperatures will rise but I doubt if it will get above 30 0r 31. But so what? If we do get above freezing it will be for about an hour or two because when this guy comes through, it will bring us our best chance for snow of the year for Thursday and Thursday night….maybe some leftover flurries or snow showers on Friday….then we go back into the deep freeze.
The GFS that I have posted above is claiming about 4 inches for the 12 hours ending at about 10pm on Thursday night. That is not unreasonbable to expect, though at this point the GFS seems the most bullish. But, the ECMWF and the Canadian models both have a fair amount of moisture right over the top of us and we certainly have plenty of cold air. That’s why I say its the best chance for snow this season. Now, we do have a slight chance of a little somethin-somethin Monday night into Tuesday but the far better opportunity is later in the week. The real story is that the cold will continue…no global warming around here for a few weeks at least. Good thing that global natural gas prices are about 1/3 what they were about 18 months ago. Now I just hope that my heater doesn’t fail like it did last year when it was below zero.