Pwning David Barton

Barton is such a lying tool. Chris Rodda catches him in an outright lie: Barton claims that gun accidents didn’t occur in 18th century America, and that he could only find two accounts of such problems. I guess he must be a very bad historian, then, in addition to lacking any sense, because Chris just went browsing and found lots of accounts of accidental shooting deaths and injuries (as you’d expect — guns are dangerous tools, of course you’re going to get accidents!)

One other thing you might do, though, is that a link to the story is on Reddit…and some people have even downvoted it. Why? I don’t know. Rodda’s story is full of hard evidence that Barton was completely wrong. Those of you with Reddit accounts might head over there and give your honest opinion.


  1. says

    Well, back in those days, there weren’t any gun accidents. Anyone one our forefathers shot, they meant to shoot. Even if it was themselves, when the gun misfired while loading the powder and ball. No damn accidents here!!

    Although, it must be said that drive by shooting then took a lot longer back then as the carriage had to circle the targeted house several times.

  2. glodson says

    Why would they down vote it? Because fucking guns. Barton creates that lovely narrative that guns are safety, and any notion to the opposite, however founded in evidence, must be wrong. Or bad. Or just tarring his name.

    That, or Barton’s fans just don’t like the truth. There can be some overlap here.

  3. says

    America was founded on good Christian principles, and the entire Constitution came from the Bible, therefore all gun “accidents” were part of God’s plan, because nobody interfered with God’s plan back then. Ergo, no gun accidents.

    Bet you smartass atheists didn’t see that one coming, did you?

  4. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Remember, Dave Barton, “historian”, thinks people can walk on water and that the great flood actually happened.

  5. Anthony K says

    Why would they down vote it?

    Because it’s Reddit, otherwise known as “Exhibit A” when Q comes to put humanity on trial and find it guilty.

  6. Rob Grigjanis says

    In related news; there were zero flint axe accidents in the Neolithic. Except for that one time Thag was distracted by a passing aurochs, but that was only a flesh wound, and he didn’t die from the infection for another month.

  7. says

    Btw, on the subject of downvotes, reddit uses a couple of tricks to hide the upvote/downvote status of a post from spambots, by fuzzing the number of up and downvotes by an equal (but random) amount. Articles will have more downvotes than they really do, particularly if they’re popular articles.

    Not to say that people haven’t been downvoting it. There’s always someone who’s unhappy when their favorite subject is being subjected to a reality check.

  8. Ichthyic says

    Bet you smartass atheists didn’t see that one coming, did you?

    nope. but then, my mind doesn’t fathom “irrational” well at all.


  9. spamamander, internet amphibian says

    Reading the instances that occurred it seemed the newspapers had absolutely no qualms about chastising people for leaving firearms unattended or for allowing kids to go use them for hunting before they were ready to do so. The NRA would have us believe it’s the child’s fault.

  10. busterggi says

    While they weren’t exactly founding fathers, Wild Bill Hickock and Wyatt Earp are pretty famous for their respective pistol usage. Of course, Wild Bill accidentally shot his good friend Mike Williams to death in the middle of a gun fight because he shot without checking to see whom he was shooting at. And Earp accidentally shot himself in his ass or leg (accounts vary) when his pistol fell out of his pocket.

    But real gun experts never have accidents.

  11. Menyambal --- son of a son of a bachelor says

    Why is gun safety a vital part of every child’s education, but sex education a tool of Satan? I mean, not every household even has a gun, but almost every person has sexual equipment of some sort … near at hand, so to speak.

    Every argument Barton makes for gun safety would be better applied to sex education. But I’ll bet he’s opposed to that.


    By the way, it was little harder to have gun accidents with old-timey guns, as they few people owned guns back then. Loading and firing was complicated, and not easy to do without noticing.

    But, the buggers will go off by themselves—which Barton wouldn’t count as an accident. Anybody who loads a muzzle-loader learns to not put the palm of the hand over the end of the ramrod, in case the powder goes off. Soldiers on sneak attacks were ordered to partially disassemble their muskets, to prevent accidental firings.

  12. DonDueed says

    “Dangerous tool” is a pretty good description of Barton, as well as of the guns he likes so much.

  13. taylorseim says

    As I write this the Reddit post currently has 488 up votes and 181 down votes. If you’re not familiar with Reddit it might look like 488 people have upvoted it and 181 people have downvoted it. This is not the case. I don’t remember the reason why, but Reddit obscures the exact numbers. The total, 307, will be correct, but it’s possible that it actually has 310 upvotes and 3 down.

    Another thing about Reddit is that a submission can get downvoted for reasons completely apart from content. Someone can downvote something because someone else has already posted it, or because they think it’s been posted to the wrong subreddit.

    Just to cover my ass as I’m a new poster here, (though I’ve been an avid reader for years) I do not condone Reddit use, it is mostly a terrible place full of terrible people. It is a pretty good place to find funny pictures of cats though.

  14. kevinalexander says

    Gun accidents only happen to libruls and there warn’t no libruls before they let wimmin vote.

  15. DLC says

    What ? what bizarre kind of idea is this that accidental discharges of firearms never happened in the 18th century ? Has Barton never heard of “don’t go off half-cocked” ? crikey, what a dufus.

  16. anuran says

    #16 Menyambal writes:

    Why is gun safety a vital part of every child’s education, but sex education a tool of Satan?
    Both should be taught along with Driver’s Ed, “drop and roll” and other basic preservation skills. Of course, sex, fire and automotive safety are more important since almost everyone drives or has sex, and fire is an ever-present hazard

    By the way, it was little harder to have gun accidents with old-timey guns, as they few people owned guns back then. Loading and firing was complicated, and not easy to do without noticing.
    That isn’t completely accurate. People who had guns had fewer. In the US today a smaller percentage of homes contains a gun even as the total numbers increase. Depending on where you were the fraction of households with them could be very high.

    They were much less safe than today’s firearms. Cap-and-ball and flintlocks are notoriously easy to fire when dropped or jarred. That’s where we get the term “Going off half-cocked”. Old single-action revolvers were carried with the hammer over an empty chamber precisely because they tended to fire when dropped.

  17. says

    Once an article has a few votes, the total will be correct, but the upvote/downvote numbers will be lies. This is apparently deliberate, so that spammers don’t know if their efforts are working. (I have no idea how that’s supposed to work, but that’s the reason they give.) So a lot of those “downvotes” are nothing of the sort.