Saturday, July 15, 2006


I recently did a post on Michael A. Bellesiles' Arming America: The Origins of a National Gun Culture, which I supposed, given the credentials of the author and the fact that it and he had, at the time of the printing of my copy of the book, won several prestigious awards, to be an authoritative work. It turns out, however, that, unbeknownst to me, there was - after the printing of my copy of the book, thus explaining why I was able to but it off the remainders market for $1 - a great deal of scholarly controversy over the book.

It is clear to me now that Bellesiles' book is not a good source, and that the quotes from it in my post should not be seen as authoritative. The conclusions that I draw from the quotes assume that the quotes in question survived the peer review process, which they did not. As such, while my political ideology concerning guns has not changed, and while some of my own arguments on the subject remain, that particular post is entirely without value, as best as I can tell.

Thanks to the essentially annoynmous commenter JayWoodhamTheMan for drawing the controversy surrounding Bellesiles (who was forced to resign from Emory) and his book to my attention. Here are some links concerning the Bellesiles and Arming America controversy:

From George Mason University's History News Network

From Reason Online

From Emory University

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