Chicago . . . it was voted that the women should buy firearms and learn how to use them…
[El Paso Daily Herald, El Paso, Texas, March 10, 1900. 20th Year, No. 58 Pg. 2]
THE TRADE IN PISTOLS.
It is Large and Has Its Fluctuations
The trade in revolvers, rifles and shot-guns has its fluctuations like other branches of business,” said the manager of the sporting department of one of Washington’s large department stores, “and I don’t know that a recent notable shooting has had any material effect in increasing the sale of firearms; perhaps it would be accurate to say that I have noticed a slight increase for this time of year, for, though revolvers sell at all seasons, they sell better in the summer, when the weather permits target and out-of-door shooting.
It will surprise you when I say that our records show that last year we sold over 2,000 revolvers and rifles, the sale of both of which firearms we are required by police regulation to keep a record of the name and address of the purchaser. There are several other places in the city where firearms are sold, so it would be impossible to estimate accurately the total number sold in Washington in a year, but it will not amount to over double the figure I have armed.
Current events have an influence. For instance, when the colored population were making it lively for the Chinese laundry men and storekeepers the trade took a big sport, and we would sell twenty or thirty a day for a time while the excitement was acute. The Spanish war gave the revolver trade a big boom, and in the two years prior and succeeding it this house alone sold over 8,000 revolvers and rifles, mainly the former. We are not required to keep a record of the sale of shotguns. During the Spanish war the spurt in Washington was participated in all over the United States, especially in the east and along the eastern seaboard. This I learned from drummers and others in the trade. I assume that it was the instinct of self-preservation which prompted people to buy, for if any fighting were to be done here it wouldn’t have been with hand firearms in the hands of citizens, except in the instance of mob violence and the attack of squads of roughs upon peaceful citizens, though the militia would probably have looked after that element.
The hammerless revolver sells the best, as does the hammerless shotgun, and the standard caliber of the former is 38. This is the regulation caliber for target shooting also, and the distance is usually thirty feet, or, as the code duello required, ten paces. At thirty paces I can understand how one if two belligerents, or both, might miss, as duellists stand sideways. but at ten paces both men ought to drop at a simultaneous firing. The reason why more men are not killed in the many discharges of revolvers in street affrays or arrests is because very, very few men know how to shoot, as a mater of fact though every man thinks he does, and the shots go wild. The slightest deflection at the point of aiming will send the bullet several feet wide of the mark.
Yes, sales are frequently made to ladies, though if a woman wants a revolver for her personal or house protection her husband, brother or some gentleman friend makes the purchase for her and her name not recorded. We are not permitted to sell to minors or to persons whom we believe to be of unsound mind. Ninety-nine per cent of the sales of revolvers is made are the purpose of protection and not aggression. For instance: A young man to whom I sold a revolver recently asked me what chance I thought he’d stand on a country road or lonely street against a burly footpad. I told him none, as he was delicate, and a strong man could rob him and break him in two afterward. Small or delicate men whose business requires them be out late, travel or ride alone in the country know that they stand no chance for their valuables or their lives in the presence of a strong ruflian, and a large contingent of our customers constitute this class. Many other men enjoy target shooting, as it is a sport which keeps them out in the open air with an occupied mind. In fact, gunning is one of the most healthful of sports if you don’t fill yourself, or your fellow-sportsman or the dog, with shot.
[The Evening Star, Washington, D.C., Friday, January 11, 1901. No. 14,937. Pg. 5]
Discharging Firearms — Subscriber, City. No one has a right to discharge a firearm within 300 yards of any public highway or upon any ground set apart as a cemetery or public square or park or within 300 yards of any dwelling in the city and county of San Francisco.
[The San Francisco Call, San Francisco, January 8, 1902. Pg. 6]
PISTOLS LIKE GUNS.
Must be carried In South Carolina
Not to Violate the Law.
“Pistol toting” is a very common practice in Savannah, and especially among the colored population. Pistols and razors vie in the estimation of the colored sport. One will maintain that a thirty-eight is the best means of offense and defense, but another will not admit its superiority over the traditional weapon of his race, the razor.
If the South Carolina law, which became active on July 1, should ever be enacted by the Georgia Legislature, the razor, perforce, would grow in popularity. It is much easier to carry and to secret about the person than an ordinary revolver. In comparison with the cannot that the South Carolina law ordains one must carry, if he carries a pistol at all, a razor would appear an infinitesimal adjunct to the person of a colored sport.
In South Carolina it is unlawful to carry or even to sell a pistol that is less than three pounds in weight or twenty inches in length. Such a law here would mean that there would be no pistols carried. The concealment of such a monster would defy the capacity of the deepest pocket, and, besides, its weight would be a handicap that would probably take the nerve out of the most enthusiastic advocate of the advisability of being always armed.
A visit to one of the dealers in arms yesterday developed that there was not a single weapon in his place, save shotguns and rifles, that would have enabled a purchaser to keep within the bounds of the South Carolina statute. The heaviest piece of pistol ordnance he had was a thirty-eight, and it weighed one pound and 2 3/4 ounces. Its length was about nine inches. It may, therefore, be understood just what the dimensions of a South Carolina gun that is within the law are. A special make of forty-four caliber will probably be in demand in South Carolina, if those who like to carry arms keep within the law.
MARKSMANSHIP FOR BOYS AND GIRLS
Every child, male and female should, be taught the use of firearms and it should also be taught in the schools, for there comes a time in the life of of everyone when it would stand them in good need. In the South women are often left alone on the plantations while the men are absent, and where it is known they are thoroughly acquainted with the use of firearms they are never molested.
During the civil war two of my cousins, Miss Jimmie Hardin and Miss Lizzie Hardin were banished from Kentucky by the Federal authorities. They were escorted by six soldiers. Reaching the mountains ot Tennessee the two ladies drew pistols and caught the caught the two guards unaware. The men made no resistance, saying they did not want to harm women. The two women marched off with the revolvers cocked, made their way through an unknown country and finally reached the Confederacy unaided. Both were expert shots and felt capable of caring for themselves under any circumstances, the knowledge of firearms giving them this confidence.
Roosevelt left New York to organize the Rough Riders because the men selected, the Westerners, were everyone a crack shot. If marksmanship be taught in the schools, in case of war you can organize an army in half the time. If women can shoot they can say to the men “Go to the front; we can take care of the home.”–Philadelphia North American.
[The Evening Times, Washington, [D.C.], Tuesday, August 12, 1902. Number 2196. Pg. 4]
[Lincoln County Leader, Toledo, Lincoln County, Oregon, March 03, 1905. Volume XIII. Number 1 Pg. 6]
Practical exoneration of the charge of extortion, but “dismissal from service for a broach of rules” was the decision of the board of fire and police commissioners Saturday afternoon, after hearing charges preferred against Patrolmen Casper Jones and William Johnson by M.C. Reasons, a constable from Dyer county Tennessee. Reasons charged that the patrolmen forced him to give up $16 and three pistols on threats that they would lock him up for carrying concealed a deadly weapon.
Reasons testified that he was arrested by the patrolmen, searched, and three guns were taken. He claims that Patrolmen Jones and Johnson forced him to leave $16 in a horse trough in the stable. No one saw the act and commissioners had only the word of Reasons. The accused policemen admitted searching Reasons but declared that they found nothing on him. During the course of the trial several witnesses were asked if Reasons was drinking. Reasons then asked if “someone else did not drink.” This lead to testimony that Patrolmen Johnson and Jones took one drink of liquor in the saloon.
Reasons was given his pistol after trial and instructed to be more careful with his firearms when out of his native state In the future. He left for home Saturday night.
[The Paducah Evening Sun, Paducah, Ky., Monday Evening, September 30, 1907. Vol. XXII No. 75 Pg. 2]
It is not the police that the housebreaker fears, but the defensive weapon of the citizen whose house he enters with criminal intent.
[The National Magazine, Oct., 1907 to March, 1908.]
“Will Manufacture Silent Firearms . . . Will Make Sporting Rifles at Present…”
[The Washington Times, Washington, [D.C.] Tuesday Evening, September 22, 1908. Last Edition, Number 6103. Pg. 14]
“The government has been selling firearms of discarded patterns to anyone who wanted them for a dollar apiece.”
[The Citizen, Berea, Madison County, Kentucky, June 24, 1909. Vol. X No. 52 Pg. 6]
The Right to Own and Carry
Deadly Weapon Question
Representative Sisson of Mississippi has introduced a bill in Congress which would impose a tax of $10 on every deadly firearm manufactured, sold, stored, kept or owned by whomsoever. The second clause in the Constitution gives the people the right to keep and carry arms. New York has a law against owning as well as carrying any weapon of the pistol or revolver type. Missouri by statute imposes a penalty of $50 for carrying concealed weapons. All of which, in the several states undertaking to promote the peace and therefore, is as effective as prohibition or local option in the discouragement of the drink habit. Not a metropolitan daily any where but which recounts each morning from one to a dozen robberies, burglaries, holdups, strong arm jobs, purse snatching, rape, hair clipping, deadly political encounters and other crimes, and in 99 cases out of a hundred, the victim intimidated by some fire arm. The spectacle of a dozen big, brave enough men being ordered out of a coach or automobile van, lined up with hands up and ransacked of everything about them by one or two robbers, worse still, passenger trains “gone thru” by a lone bandit, and not a man with means of protection to use if desired. The law abiding citizen has everything to lose and nothing to gain and the thug everything to gain and nothing to lose by such enactments. No legislative enacts laws intentionally which would operate to the disadvantage of the peaceable, business man, but under stress of politics and such laws have been passed and of course, as the community approve or disapprove they are observed or disregarded. So long as there are thieves, thugs and various other kind of crooks, there will be reason for means of repelling them, and no statute law which deprives the good citizen of the right to so prepare himself, should be permitted to remain in the book.
“American Boy Scouts, 300,000 strong are to have an official arm–a special model .22-calibre Remington UMC Rifle . . . They will be taught to know and respect firearms…”
[Mountain Advocate, Barbourville, Kentucky, Friday, August 30, 1912. New Series: Vol. I. No. 51. Pg. 2]
Right to Bear Arms.
The words from Article II., amendments to the Constitution of the United States, “A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of free people, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed,” evidently have a community meaning; but they also carry along with them the right of the individual to safeguard himself and his house by keeping himself armed with the necessary means of defense. The law against carrying concealed weapons, now on the statute books of most of the states, is a matter quite foreign to the broad principles of the right of keeping and bearing arms.
[The Pickens Sentinel, Pickens, S.C., June 18, 1914. Volume 44 Number 6 Pg. 2]
Right to Bear Arms.
The words from Article II., amendments to the Constitution of the United States, “A well-related militia being necessary to the security of a free people, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed,” evidently have a community meaning; but they also carry along with them the right of the individual to safeguard himself and his house by keeping himself armed with the necessary means of defense. The law against carrying concealed weapons, now on the statute books of most of the states, is a matter quite foreign to the broad principles of the right of keeping and bearing arms.
[The Tensas Gazette, St. Joseph, Louisiana, Friday, August 14, 1914. New Series, Vol. XXIV Number 45 Pg. 6]
Attorney Clarence S. Darrow, “The Constitution guarantees every citizen the right to bear arms, but every organized town can pass an ordinance preventing the citizen from carrying a pistol.”, May 18, 1915
[The Washington Herald, Washington, D.C., July 11, 1915. No. 3195 Feature Section, Pg. 4 – Excerpted from the article “Is The United States Neutral?”]
Firearms Seized In Coal Fields To Be Returned To Owners
(By Evening Herald Leased Wire)
Denver, Aug. 20.–The distribution of between 2,000 and 3,000 firearms seized by the Colorado national guard during its occupation of the coal mining districts during the strike of 1913-14, will begin at Trinidad, August 23, according to an announcement made today. The distribution will be in charge of Captain A.H. Dehlene who later will go to Walsenburg to return firearms to former owners.
Firearms seized by the United States troops during their occupation of the strike zone already have been returned.
[The Evening Herald, Albuquerque, New Mexico, Friday, August 20, 1915. Vol. 5. No. 122. Pg. 1]
K.C. Police Arm Columbus Citizens
[The Daily Ardmoreite, Ardmore, Oklahoma, Monday, April 03, 1916. Volume Twenty-Three Number 153. Pg. 5]
“A number of women and children have been sent north to Deming, while the men are sleeping by their firearms.”
[The Bisbee Daily Review, Bisbee, Arizona, Tuesday Morning, February 20, 1917. Vol. 19. No. 220. Pg. 1]
“Registration of firearms has proved to be little or no check upon criminal shootings. If it is impossible to restrict ownership or possession of deadly weapons by constitutional measures . . .”
[Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Honolulu, Territory of Hawaii, Wednesday, September 26, 1917, 3:30 Edition, Pg. 6]
Everyone Had A Gun . . . The automatic sounded its staccato “put-put-put-put-put-put” the shotguns and rifle . . .
[The Daily Ardmoreite, Ardmore, Okla., Tuesday Morning, November 12, 1918. Vol. 26. No. 33. Pg. 1]
There is no wisdom in forbidding the making of submarines. Law-abiding nations would obey the order; criminals would secretly build. That is like the foolish law forbidding the possession of firearms. The honest man obeys and is at the mercy of the criminal, who carries his weapons regardless of the law.
[The Washington Times, Washington, [D.C.] Friday Evening, January 17, 1919. Number 11,046. Final Edition Pg. 1.]
[The Sun, New York, Thursday, July 31, 1919. Vol. LXXXVI.–No. 334. Pg. 4]