This age would seem to be the era of awful reboots in Hollywood, so it would seem fitting that in these times Pamela Haag would reboot an awful Academic book The Gunning of America: Business and the Making of American Gun Culture which is essentially Michael Bellesiles Arming America repackaged.
Clayton Cramer has been looking into this new work and is finding a lot of problems. The latest article of his is a must read, published by the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE). In this article, Clayton refutes Haag’s assertion that the market for firearms in gold rush California was “saturated.”
Coltâ€™s letter (or at least Haagâ€™s characterization of Coltâ€™s letter) is clearly wrong: A strong and vigorous gun culture already existed in California before 1853. Worse, that Haag never questioned the validity of this idea suggests either a gross ignorance of Californiaâ€™s turbulent history during the 1850s or an intentional unwillingness to verify the claim she purports to have found.”
Clayton also found this stunning piece of ignorance:
Throughout her book, Haag uses the word â€œsemiautomaticâ€ to refer to guns that are not. On p.179, she writes, â€œThe family name, which became the rifle name, eventually stood for the genus, becoming a synonym for repeating, semiautomatic rifles.â€ On p.88, she asserts that â€œAs the semiautomatic ancestor of automatic machine guns, the Henry performed â€˜a terrible work of deathâ€¦’â€[emphasis added] Â On p. 204, â€œWinchester had emerged the preeminent name for semiautomatic rifles.â€
Let me just say if you don’t know that the Henry Rifle and Winchester Rifle were lever-action repeating arms and not semiautomatic rifles, you really don’t have any business writing a book about guns. I suspect the rest of Clayton’s findings won’t reveal so much academic fraud as Bellesiles work, but rather stunning ignorance piled upon ignorance, and an unwillingness to apply any real academic rigor.