The Gun The Army Can’t Kill

“I don’t want this thing often,” one soldier said of his .45 automatic pistol, “but when I do, I want it damned bad.”

IN COMMON with all good jungle fighters, the Moros liked to work close up. During the nightmarish warfare that marked the Philippine Insurrection of 1899, a favorite tactic of Moro fanatics was to work themselves up into a religious frenzy, get within twenty yards of an American unit, and then rush in brandishing double-edged swords and bolos. A soldier had only a few seconds to stop his onrushing attacker or be killed. The scene described in after-action reports to Manila and Washington was often the same.Read more »

A Shooting And A Wedding.

An Unfortunate Affair at Fullerton Which at the End is Amicably Adjusted.

Joe Lyons, the nineteen-year-old son of Isaac Lyons of Orangethorpe, shot and seriously wounded Morris Smith, son of W. J. Smith of the same place, at Fullerton at about half-past 9 o’clock on last Thursday morning. Lyons had driven in from his father’s ranch in a cart and awaited the coming of Smith on the sidewalk on Commonwealth avenue near Smith’s butcher shop. The latter shortly after arrived, coming up on horseback through the alley leading out on to Commonwealth avenue in rear of Stern and Goodman’s store.Read more »

The Great Gun Merchant

For years passengers travelling the railroad between New York City and Albany were stirred from their reveries by a Scottish castle looming suddenly from the Hudson River. An outpost of nearby West Point? The domain of an émigré laird? No, this island fortress was once the private arsenal of the world’s largest arms dealer. Read more »

“God Guns & Guts Made America Free”

The National Rifle Association and the Right to Bear Arms

Among the most common mechanical possessions in the households of America, outnumbering even the motor vehicle and possibly outnumbered itself only by the flush toilet and the television set, is a device which, having won the West and championed liberty over the years, some householders would now proscribe as the instrument of our collective undoing. In short, the gun. I mean rifles, shotguns, pistols, and revolvers, at least 150,000,000 of them tucked away in bureau drawers and attic cupboards or racked splendidly above mantel-pieces.Read more »

The Kentucky Rifle As Art

The Kentucky rifle, which because of its astonishing accuracy earned. A substantial credit for American victories in both the Revolution and the War of 1812, was unknown by that name until after the Battle of New Orleans in 1815. A highly popular ballad of that year described how ”…Jackson he was wide awake and wasn’ t scared at trifles/ For well he knew what aim we take, with our KENTUCKYRIFLES.” It was true that most of Jackson’s riflemen at New Orleans were from Kentucky; but in fact, most of their rifles had been made in Pennsylvania.Read more »

“It Don’t Hurt Much, Ma’am“

“Then how come they’re digging a grave behind the old corral, Luke?”

“Oh, Sam, what happened?”

“Nothing serious, Miss Sally—Luke just picked up a little bit of lead.”

“Oh no!”

“Now Miss Sally, don’t you fret. It’s just a little ol’ hole in his shoulder. He’ll be up and about in no time a-tall.” Read more »

America As A Gun Culture

Senator Joseph Tydings of Maryland, appealing in the summer of 1968 for an effective gun-control law, lamented: “It is just tragic that in all of Western civilization the United States is the one country with an insane gun policy.” In one respect this was an understatement: Western or otherwise, the United States is the only modern industrial urban nation that persists in maintaining a gun culture. It is the only industrial nation in which the possession of rifles, shotguns, and handguns is lawfully prevalent among large numbers of its population.

Gunmaker To The World

Samuel Colt’s life was brief but eventful. He was an imaginative inventor and an ambitious pitchman whose legacy included scandal and success—and firearms that were revolutionary in more ways than one

The funeral of Samuel Colt, America’s first great munitions maker, was spectacular—certainly the most spectacular ever seen in Hartford, Connecticut. Jt was like the last act of a grand opera, with thrcnodial music played by Colt’s own band of immigrant German craftsmen, supported by a silent chorus of bereaved townsfolk.Read more »