Monday, February 4, 2013

More Barton Debunking

This is like shooting fish in a barrel, but as long as Barton keeps appearing on television with Glen Beck and influencing so many people with his distorted views of history, historians and other critics will keep writing.

The latest critique comes from J.L. Bell at Boston 1775 and it has to do with Barton's claim that there were only two gun accidents in the entire founding period.  Bell actually found five incidents in a little over a year.  Read Bell's entire post, but here is a taste:

According to Chris Rodda at Free Thought Blogs, in a recent sit-down with television entertainer Glenn Beck, the debunked author David Barton stated:
I have searched and in the founding era I think I’ve only ever found two gun accidents and everybody was hauling guns back then. You took your guns to church, you were required by state law in some states to take your guns to church. We didn’t have accidents because everyone was familiar with how to use them.
It’s not clear what “law in some states” about taking guns to church Barton had in mind. Clayton Cramer’s Armed America notes laws in colonial South Carolina in 1724 and 1739 requiring white men to bring their weapons to church because of fear of slave rebellions, but those were exceptions. If it had already been usual for “everybody” to go to church armed, the colony wouldn’t have needed new laws to require the practice.

It is clear that Barton’s search for “gun accidents” in the “founding era” was inadequate and produced findings that match his political preferences, not the historical record.

Keep reading here.  Why do Christians and Glenn Beck followers keep turning to Barton as a source of historical information?