Sunday, April 5, 2015

More Evidence We Have Not Advanced Since 1875

The reason [why handgun training manuals remain scarce] possibly lies in the fact that the pistol has hitherto been looked upon either as a toy or as the weapon of the desperado. As a toy it was not worth while to enter seriously upon a course of instruction in regard to the best methods of using it; as a -weapon for slaying our fellow men, the subject appeared altogether too brutal and horrible to admit of quiet discussion. To undertake deliberately to study the best charges of powder and ball calculated to kill or disable a human being, and the most vulnerable parts of the human body in which to plant these charges, does seem rather inhuman. But let us look at the other aspect of the case. The house of one man is attacked, and because he either has no weapons, or does not know how to use them, his property is carried off and his wife, perhaps, outraged before his eyes. Under very different circumstances the same ruffians, emboldened by previous impunity, attack another house. The owner has given careful study to the powers of his weapon, and to the best methods of utilizing these powers. Cool and self-possessed, because he knows not only that he is invincible but that his cause is just, he takes aim with steady eye and firm hand; the villains fall before him like beasts of prey beneath the hand of the skilful hunter, and his home and all that it contains is saved. Which of these two men will carry to the grave the most torturing mental horrors? He whose imbecility saw his home violated and destroyed while the ravishers went free, or he whose superior skill and courage saved all that makes home home, and this at the trifling expense of the death of a few nameless ruffians?
This statement from
THE PISTOL AS A WEAPON OF DEFENCE IN THE HOUSE AND ON THE ROAD (1875) perfectly describes why I first bought  a pistol in 1981.

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