Op-Ed: Why former slave states became the foundation for American gun culture
The first thing any gun historian knows when researching gun culture in America is that it didn’t really exist until the 20th century. It was all about weapons that were illegal in the United States. Guns were simply tools of political warfare until the Second Amendment was ratified in 1791.
The gun became a tool in American culture in the 1800s. We have to thank the Southern states for creating the myth that a gun is a good thing.
The fact of the matter is, the guns were manufactured in China and were smuggled over the border using a network of friends. Our ancestors didn’t have guns in the 1700s—they had bows and arrow. The guns we thought of as a “right” are actually a myth.
The myth that you can “own” a gun is a myth that was created by the state. In the early 1800s, the West was still a place of hunting and of horse and cattle herds, not guns. When guns first hit stores, those who had guns were considered to be rich men from the South. They didn’t have guns in the 1800s because they had no reason to have guns.
The American idea of a firearm begins to take shape in the late 1800s when the first American manufacturer, Alexander Graham Bell, invented the telephone. He sold the idea to the U.S. government because he wanted a tool to use for warfare. Bell was given a patent on March 2, 1876 and the first phone was sold to Henry Ford on October 1, 1876.
The idea of having a gun was finally planted in people’s heads after the Civil War. The Second Amendment to the Constitution allows for the right to bear arms, but the wording is ambiguous and doesn’t specify that the right to bear arms extends to the home. After the Civil War and the passage of the 1875 Clotel Act, every American over the age of 14 had to be in service to the federal government. It was illegal for any American to have guns, even for hunting.
In 1872, Congress passed the Mann Act which made illegal the buying and selling of women for sexual purposes. A woman could be arrested by a man