Another Jefferson Lie From Barton

David Barton’s book The Jefferson Lies may be the most appropriately titled book ever written, as it was packed full of lies. And he continues to add new ones to the list. Warren Throckmorton catches yet another one, and as usual it’s Barton taking one tiny little nugget of truth, ignoring everything else and both distorting and exaggerating its meaning. On his radio show, he said that Jefferson would have approved of conceal carry being allowed on college campuses because he included gun instruction at the University of Virginia:

Barton: I gotta tell you, this happened just this week. We’re always looking through original documents, finding new things. It’s kind of like the Bible, the BIble describes itself as unsearchable to get to the bottom of all of the knowledge that’s there. Just this week, in looking at Jefferson and the University of Virginia, ’cause we’ve dealt with that in the book Jefferson Lies, going through that looking at what he did in teaching religion there. But we also found Jefferson, at the University of Virginia, required that every single student go through gun exercises at the University of Virginia. If you’re going to go to his university, you’re going to have to know how to use the gun, learn how to use the gun. You had to know how to be militia, they took you through military exercises as well. That’s kinda like an ROTC program; every single student. And I thought, you know, we’re talking about here in Texas, doing something like campus carry or something else. Wouldn’t that drive the liberals crazy to find that Jefferson required every student on campus to go through gun training and guns and use guns and etc.

But as Throckmorton points out, students were actually forbidden from having weapons on the University of Virginia campus. The “substitutes in the form of arms” — that is, fake guns — were used for the training, which was for the purpose of physical exercise. And they were owned by the school, not the student. So the reality is, in fact, the exact opposite of what Barton claims. Jefferson explicitly and emphatically did not allow guns on the campus of the university he founded.


  1. slc1 says

    Kind of like an ROTC program. Sounds like Barton never took ROTC. I have a flash for him, at least at Berkeley, the guns (M1s at the time) were handed out at drill and collected after the session was over. In no way, shape, form, or regard, were students allowed to bring their personal weapons to ROTC drills.

  2. says

    The only thing that stops a bad guy with a substitute in the form of arms is a good guy with a substitute in the form of arms.” ~ Thomas Jefferson

  3. wscott says

    It’s kind of like the Bible, the BIble describes itself as unsearchable to get to the bottom of all of the knowledge that’s there.

    It’s kindof like a Rorshach blot that way.

  4. anubisprime says

    Seeing as the push seems to favour teachers being armed with anything from a hunter’s wet dream…all will be rozy and gay in the American dream until a classroom accident occurs.

    There are statistically bad odds that children starting school now will actually finish their education in high school!

    From 2005-2010, almost 3,800 people in the U.S. died from unintentional shootings.
    Over 1,300 victims of unintentional shootings for the period 2005–2010 were under 25 years of age.

    People of all age groups are significantly more likely to die from unintentional firearm injuries when they live in states with more guns, relative to states with fewer guns. On average, states with the highest gun levels had nine times the rate of unintentional firearms deaths compared to states with the lowest gun levels.


  5. Reginald Selkirk says

    Wouldn’t that drive the liberals crazy to find that Jefferson required every student on campus to go through gun training and guns and use guns and etc.

    This might be the root of DB’s problem: the inability to distinguish a wishful thinking brain fart from an actual fact.

  6. Reginald Selkirk says

    tommykey #5: I figured it would be kind of hard to conceal a musket in your pocket or backpack.

    It’s high capacity powder horns that are the real threat.

  7. Don Williams says

    1) When the University was established by Jefferson, there was a conflict between the Southern students –many of them scions of aristocratic families — and the German professors he imported from Europe. The University’s Honor Code was established after one of the students anonymously shot one of the professors in the back. Er..Under cover of darkness.

    2) Basically, the Honor Code says “We will not lie, cheat or steal –nor tolerate among us anyone who does.”
    Enforcement is left to the students — if you see someone violating the Code, it is your duty to order them to leave the University. Professors leave the room when exams are being taken and take no measures to detect much less punish cheating.

    3) The famous Confederate guerrilla leader, John Mosby , was small and frail when he attended the University.
    He was suspended after he dealt with a violent bully there by shooting the sonofabitch.

  8. Don Williams says


    Hmm. I thought it was one of the German professors who was shot –but that apparently was not the
    case. It was Professor James Davis.

    “1836: The first recorded instance of a U.Va. student invoking a sense of honor occurred during the violent rebellion of the Student Military Company in November. The armed and defiant 63-member group refused to turn over its guns and obey faculty rules. The student soldiers rioted for three days until the local state militia took control of the Grounds…
    ….1840: In the process of commemorating the anniversary of the student rebellion of 1836, a student, Joseph G. Semmes of Georgia, shot and killed law professor James A.G. Davis in front of his home, Pavilion 10, on Nov. 12″

  9. Don Williams says

    Hmmm. The unpopular German professor hired at the founding of the University by Jefferson was not shot –he was fired.

    “While Dr. Blættermann was considered an excellent scholar and taught Modern Languages for fifteen years at the new University, his curmudgeonly disposition did not make him popular. He was finally dismissed from his position by the Board of Visitors in 1840, because he had been seen beating his wife. The problem was not that he was beating his wife, but that he was doing it in public, which could have affected the reputation of the entire school.”

  10. slc1 says

    Re Don Williams @ #12

    I myself kept a 357 magnum revolver when I studied there.

    What a wimp. Nothing less then a .50 Colt Desert Eagle. That’s a gun for real men.

  11. Don Williams says

    “Real Men” prefer a concealable pistola which does not have that annoying
    ATF paperwork attached to it.

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