Pistol-Carrying Quasi-Humor: 1892

Until the end of the [19th] century, the press tended to treat pistol-carrying in a quasi-humorous fashion, as though it were more a whimsy than a serious menace. In 1892 the [New York] Tribune published such an essay on “that pleasing American custom of carrying deadly weapons,” which it held to be the practice of “a very fair percentage” of New Yorkers: “Let a mad dog, for instance, take a turn around Times Square, and the spectator is astonished to see the number of men who will produce firearms from some of that multitude of pockets with which man, as constructed by the tailor, is endowed.” Of one hundred men who fired at the dog, the Tribune continued, ninety-nine would miss, and one in ten would put a bullet through a bystander’s leg, for “the average New Yorker who carries a pistol cannot hit anything with it.”

— Lee Kennett and James LaVerne Anderson, The Gun in America (1975), pp. 170-71

5 comments

  1. So the average ‘journalist’ attitude about armed citizens is unchanged in almost 130 years? Seems that journalists are the least evolved of Americans, as to attitudes and general insight. LOL

    Liked by 1 person

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