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Were Guns Scarce in Early America? Answering Bellesiles’s Claims

Monday, October 28th, 2002

Were Guns Scarce in Early America?
Answering Bellesiles’s Claims

“If this now flourishing City, and greatly improving Colony, is destroy’d and ruin’d,
it will not be for want of Numbers of Inhabitants able to bear Arms in its defence.
‘Tis computed that we have at least (exclusive of Quakers) 60,000 Fighting Men,
acquainted with Fire-Arms, many of them Hunters and Marksmen, hardy and bold.”
Benjamin Franklin (1747), B.F. Papers, vol. III, p.202

“As for Michael Bellesiles … this guy is turning out to be the Milli Vanilli of the academic community.”
Russell Baker of Atlanta, GA in a great e-mail now quoted in the Washington Times 1/01/02

“Bellesiles’ dubious scholarship won’t provide the foundation for some
landmark decision by the Supreme Court.” [emphasis added]
Roger Franklin (a gun control supporter) in
Historian wounded as theory backfires

HOT! ! ! BELLESILES’ PUBLISHER TO DISCONTINUE SELLING ‘ARMING AMERICA’ (ASSOCIATED PRESS 1/7/03)

HOT! ! ! SAF APPLAUDS COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY FOR WITHDRAWING BANCROFT PRIZE (12/16/02)

Flashback: SAF DEMANDS REVOCATION OF BANCROFT AWARD FROM DISCREDITED AUTHOR (10/28/02)

HOT! ! ! Bellesiles’s Case Shows Need For Institutional Reform In Bancroft Committee And Columbia History Department. (COLUMBIA COLLEGE CONSERVATIVE CLUB 12/18/02)

HOT! ! ! An academic comeuppance: Attempt to use a history book’s claims for political ends has backfired. (Omaha World-Herald 12/17/02)

HOT! ! ! Prized, No Longer: Columbia University rescinds Michael Bellesiles’s Bancroft Prize. (National Review 12/17/02)

HOT! ! ! Columbia rescinds prize for controversial book on guns. (Cleveland Plain-Dealer 12/17/02)

HOT! ! ! What Is Knopf Waiting For? (The History News Network 12/16/02)