Sam Colt Merchant of Death. Celebration of War Profiteers Is In Very Bad Form.

Posted: July 8, 2014 in for your reflection, In Remembrance

On July 19, 2014 Happy Birthday will ring out in the city of Hartford. Happy Birthday dear Sam Colt, Happy Birthday to you. We at Furbirdsqueerly send out this essay as food for thought. It is put together as an appropriation collage for the service of the people. Each one of us have an individual responsibility in the teaching of history to think twice and then think again about the folks who we put up on a pedestal, people we call hero. Now please don’t get us wrong all you who celebrate. We are not asking anyone to spit on the birthday cake. BUT_______________.

Celebration of those who profit /profited from war, from death of thousands is in very bad form to say the least. Yes a hundred + years have past but it is as living today as it was when it was happening. We want to ask a few questions. Would we dare to stand and sing Happy Birthday to those who invented the Atom Bomb? To those who invented the Drones? The Missiles? The nuclear weapons that if launched will end all Happy Birthdays on the planet? We as artists who stand for the giving of life could never celebrate and disinfect the war profiteer Samuel Colt of Hartford Connecticut. But some would say to us, get off it, look at what his money bought for us to enjoy today. Enjoy all those wonderful things that were brought with buckets of blood. Man we have heard of folks who have their hands in blood up to the elbow but this man, this Samuel Colt, this birthday boy, his whole body is drenched and the blood has splattered each and everyone of us. We love this quote from Bessy Marie writing in a piece after visiting the Allyn Museum, Bessy wrote, “It seems to be the same old, same old, always something has to die, or some area is devastated just to give the citizens the chance to learn about or to see art. Do we use the final outcome as an excuse to forget or to sanitize the how? From death and destruction comes our art museums, libraries,  universities, churches, and all sorts of other things provided to us by the filthy rich. Do these practices of the wealthy pacify the people from questioning the why, and mitigate the crimes that have been committed, and are still going on here today with companies and business executives who are making millions on death and destruction. Art and murder funny bedfellows.”

Now that the buffalo is gone. Art that helped conquered the west. In service of death.

Colt was the first American manufacturer to use art as a marketing tool. Around 1851 Samuel Colt commissioned George Catlin to do a series of paintings showing the artist using Colt rifles and pistols during his travels. Catlin’s paintings were reproduced as lithographs, a common practice at the time, and distributed to promote the Colt line of firearms. A total of six different lithographic posters were produced.  Apparently Catlin was one of the very first American artists to promote a commercial product. Yup, and all those folks seeing those lithographs said, “Going west, gotta get me a Colt in-case them no good Injuns attack or I run into a herd of buffalo.”

Catlin the Artist Shooting Buffalo with Colt’s Revolving Pistol. Circa 1851

Yes the guns that won the west. Offing Buffaloes as they go.

until we get to

Piles of Buffalo Skulls

Let them kill, skin, and sell until the buffalo is exterminated, as it is the only way to bring lasting peace and allow civilization to advance.”

– General Philip Sheridan

By the end of the 19th century, only 300 buffalo were left in the wild.  (1 )
As the quote by General Sheridan can attest, U.S. government officials even promoted the destruction of the bison herds as a way to defeat their Native American enemies, who were resisting the takeover of their lands by white settlers. One Congressman, James Throckmorton of Texas, believed that “it would be a great step forward in the civilization of the Indians and the preservation of peace on the border if there was not a buffalo in existence.” American military commanders ordered troops to kill buffalo to deny Native Americans an important source of food. (1A)
More white settler “bufello” dung.
Early Americkkkan settlers called bison “bufello” due to the similar appearance between the two animals, and the name “buffalo” stuck for the Americkkkan variety. The Americkkkan Bision lives only in North Americkkka, while the two main buffalo species reside in Africa and Asia. Both the Buffalo and the Bison belong to the Bovidae family which includes more than 100 species of hoofed mammals. So now we called them buffalo.
I am a buffalo
Me I am a Bison
We first heard Buffy St. Marie way back in the 60′ and consider her to be among the greats of folk singers and writers. This song, Now that the Buffalos Gone has always been a most haunting song worth listening to again or maybe for some the first time.

Think its not going on today? Think again. Check out what the site Onkwehon: We Rising  has to say. This is a very important quote from our longtime comrade Eaemaehkiw Tupaq Kesiqnaeh who writes for the site:

“As indigenists, as revolutionaries, we stand firm in our rejection of all heroes of empire and the distorted histories around them spun by both the forces of the colonial state and its loyal opposition among the so-called left”… Eaemaehkiw Thupaq Kesiqnaeh

Where are the bison today? Check out some of our notes.

 

 

Clearing out the west for advancement of empire this expansion meant one thing, removing the original inhabitants of the lands from their lands. This expansion was being blocked by the so called “Five Civilized Nations”) (Creeks, Cherokees, Choctaws, Chickasaws and Seminoles. Nations that had already been recognize as sovereign territorial entities in U.S. Treaties. Under the leadership of President Andrew Jackson the U.S government ended even its limited recognition of Indian Sovereignty and openly encouraged land speculators and local settlers to start seizing Indian land at gunpoint. (2) The removal act that was passed by Jackson which authorized him to use the army to totally relocate or exterminate all Indians east of the Mississippi River. So began the Trail of Tears, the extermination of a people. A people who were considered by the whites to be members of the 5 civilized tribes, friends, trading partners. (2A)

Firearms were a key tool in the settlement of the American West. Part of a larger technological revolution that transformed the United States from an isolated agricultural nation into the world’s leading industrial and military power, firearms manufacturing and expertise came of age when Western expansion was at its peak. More than two million people flooded into the West in the last four decades of the nineteenth century, and almost all of them relied on firearms in one way or another. The two firearms that are commonly cited as “the gun that won the West” are the Winchester Model 1873 Rifle and the Colt Single Action Army Model Revolver.

“So by “Winning West” as in “tame this nation”, can we assume that means this gun killed the most Native Americans? You know, the millions of people that had been living here for 40,000+ yrs? Smallpox may have got lots, but armed militias and stalwart pioneers finished the job.”

See our notes for an article well worth reading: Indian Genocide and Republican Power, tracing the extermination of the Plains Indians by ruthless generals and the US Army.

Guns, Guns, Guns, I sell guns to both sides in war. All for the money am I, am I.

Colt didn’t seem to mind to sell weapons to both sides during war as during the Crimean War (1854-1856)

The Crimean War (October 1853–February 1856) was fought between the Russian Empire on one side and an alliance of the British Empire  France, the  Ottoman Empire , and the Kingdom of Sardarnia on the other. The war was part of a long-running contest between the major European powers for influence over territories of the declining Ottoman Empire. Most of the conflict took place on the Crimean Peninsula, but there were smaller campaigns in western Turkey, the Baltic Sea, the Pacific Ocean and the White Sea. Colt went to Russia in 1852and told the Czar that the sultan of Turkey had just purchased 5,000 pistols. After the Czar scrambled to likewise arm his troops with 5,000 revolvers. Colt then went to Constantinople to tell the sultan that the Czar of Russia had just bought 5,000 pistols. Colt created a mini-arms race and made 10,000 sales.

Tending to the Wounded and dying soldiers on both sides of the battle. A real deal Sheroe.

A true sheroe  of the Crimean War, Mary Seacole a Jamaican nurse who traveled to the front lines during the Crimean War to help wounded soldiers. On several occasions she was found tending wounded soldiers from both sides while the battle was still going on. (See links)File:Seacole simpson sketch.png

“She (Mary Seacole) had, during the time of battle, and in the time of fearful distress, personally spared no pains and no exertion to visit the field of woe, and minister with her own hands such things as she could comfort, or alleviate the sufferings of those around her; freely giving to such as could not pay, and to many whose eyes were closing in death, from whom payment could never be expected”…Lady Alicia Blackwood.

Guns to both the North and the South, the name of the money making game. (3)

NARRATOR: With the onset of the Civil War,. Sam Colt’s company was about to meet its greatest success. Colt himself, like many industrialists of his day who did business with the South, was anti-abolitionist. He vigorously marketed guns to both North and South before the outbreak of war. He was once again hugely controversial.

SLOTKIN: He was shipping weapons South because he was being paid for weapons South and there was an opportunity to make a sale. That kind of almost amoral willingness to deal the instruments of death to both sides as long as there’s a demand for weapons is something that really becomes marked later in the century where Colt is selling weapons to both sides in European wars, continental wars, Asian wars.

“It is generally understood that Colt’s establishment…[is] incessantly occupied…in making arms for the Southern States…to be used in waging war against the United States…Treason…consists either of levying war upon the United States…or ‘giving aid and comfort to the enemies,’ as is done daily, constantly and by contract, by individuals in Connecticut…”
–The New York Times, 1861.

As the American Civil War approached, Colt supplied both the North and the South with firearms. He was a capitalist and regarded slavery not as a moral wrong but as an inefficient economic system. He abhorred abolitionists, denounced John Brown as a traitor, and opposed the election of Lincoln for fear the Union would be destroyed—and a lucrative market thereby lost. He felt if left to its own devices it would fade away as an inefficient system. He had been known to sell weapons to warring parties on both sides of other conflicts in Europe and saw no difference with respect to the war in America. In 1859 Colt considered building an armory in the South and as late as 1861 had sold 2,000 revolvers to Confederate agents. Although trade with the South had not been restricted at that time, Colt was labeled a Southern sympathizer and traitor to the Union by the major newspapers of the day.

Perhaps that is why Sam Colt stopped running guns to the south once the war started. Maybe folks would be serious about trying him for treason. The war began on April 12 and we read that a shipment of guns left Hartford 3 days later. And where were the good folks of Hartford? Why didn’t they rise up pitchfork in hand against the treasonous monster of murder and mayhem. The man who was arming the enemy to kill their sons.  There must be a special place in hell for folks like him and his ilk.

Historian Ellsworth S. Grant in writing about Sam Colt had this to say, “ as the North and South raced toward cataclysm, Colt was busy making enormous profits by filling the demands of both sides for what he sardonically called “my latest work on ‘Moral Reform.”‘ He seriously considered building a branch armory in either Virginia or Georgia. The Armory’s earnings averaged $237,000 annually until the outbreak of the Civil War, when they soared to over a million.

“The good people of this world are very far from being satisfied with each other and my arms are the best peacemakers.”
–Sam Colt, 1852

Throughout its history, Colt has played a crucial role in arming the United States Armed Forces in the American West and around the world. Recognizing the importance of military patronage, Colt has even designed a variety of firearms exclusively for the military, ranging from revolvers and automatic pistols to longarms and machine guns. Many of the these models have been successful, such as the Model 1911 Automatic Pistol and the M16 Rifle, while others, such as the Franklin Military Rifle and the Aircrewman Model Revolver, have been utter failures.

The second Semiole War

“The government is in the wrong, and this is the chief cause of the persevering opposition of the Indians, who have nobly defended their country against our attempt to enforce a fraudulent treaty. The natives used every means to avoid a war, but were forced into it by the tyranny of our government.” Major Ethan Allen Hitchcock

The association between Colt and the United States Military dates all the way back to Samuel Colt’s first revolvers. In January 1838, the government ordered twenty-five revolving handguns and fifty revolving rifles from the Patent Arms Manufacturing Company for use primarily in Florida during the Second Seminole War. As a result of the Second Seminole War (1835–1842) about 3,800 Seminole and Black Seminoles were forcibly removed to Indian Territory (the modern state of Oklahoma.)

Osceola by George Catlin

Osceola, Seminole resister to the war of aggression against the Seminole Nation during the Second Seminole War. Osceola led a small band of warriors in the Seminole resistance when the United States tried to remove the tribe from their lands in Florida. He became an adviser to Micanopy, the principal chief of the Seminole from 1825 to 1849. Osceola led the war resistance until he was captured in September 1837 by deception, when he went to a US fort for peace talks. Osceola and Coa Hadjo, another chief, requested a parley with General Jesup. A meeting was arranged south of St. Augustine. When Osceola and Coa Hadjo arrived for the meeting, also under a white flag, they were arrested. Oh yes once again the white man proved that not only had he a forked tongue but lied and couldn’t be trusted.

The war began when the Seminole Nations of Florida refused removal to Oklahoma. A key disagreement was the whites insistence that the Seminole’s be separated from the black Seminoles (former run-a-way slaves) who then would be re-enslaved and auctioned off. In 1842, the Armed Occupation act provided free land in Florida to anyone who owned a gun and was willing to use it to protect their land from Indians.(4)

So again Mr. Colt profited from the death and misery of thousands of people. Again he profited from a “Final Solution”, yes let’s call it that as we read more and more about President Andrew Jackson and his democracy which made clear one thing, that there was a profit to be made in genocide and anyone willing could reap their reward.  Using First Nation land to help solve the white peoples economic troubles and land issues was the name of the game as more and more settlers from Europe moved into the ever growing empire. More land was required and more land was gained by the barrel of the gun.

Just another way to kill a Indian for the Empire.

As a little bit of a side note here and for your information: Can you believe this?  “There was even a special gun designed to kill Filipinos, the Colt.45 1902 “Philippine Model”, where only 4,600 were made. This is the real American history that historians, academicians, and scholars forgot to tell us.” (5) 

Right now we need to listen to this beautiful Navajo Healing Song sung by Navajo and The Sioux.

The Colt Factory Not A Working Person’s Paradise. 

Our comrade Steve Thronton a labor, peace, civil rights and social justice activist wrote a wonderful essay on Colt a few years back. One we would like to point to within this discussion. One that is very important as the sugar coating and disinfecting of Sam Colt as a friend of his workers is played to the hilt by the celebrators. Oh he build libraries, wash stations and gave a one hour lunch break. Yes he built housing in Coltsville for some of his workers but Steve has written a true story of the man, no friend of the workers. here are a few excerpts from the article, Don’t Glorify Colt- Samuel Colts Legacy Is Tarnished By His Support For Slavery and His Treatment of His Own Workers.

“Colt coerced his employees to vote the way he wanted them to, sometimes by stopping the machines and forcing workers to listen to his “suggestions” for which candidates to support. He timed layoffs around elections as a warning to workers that their fate was in his hands. He positioned his secretary at the ballot box where his workmen voted. Colt even kept a secret journal on his employees’ political affiliations, and fired workers who were anti-slavery Republicans.

The colonel was described as an “autocratic maniac” who ran his operation like a Southern plantation. “While Colt’s workers were not legally enslaved, it was always more a matter of degree than kind,” wrote William Hosley in “Colt: An American Legend.”

The young, unmarried women who worked for him were employed to produce ammunition, dangerous jobs that Colt kept a safe distance from his precious weapons factory. For this extremely risky undertaking, the women were paid a fraction of what Colt’s male employees earned.”

-in another section of the article we read these lines:

“Colt decried the “Black Republican Devils” he employed, and asked a politician friend to publicly encourage manufacturers to fire employees who supported abolition. Northern business interests “promoted, prolonged and profited from slavery,” according to “Complicity,” the book recently written by three Hartford Courant reporters, who documented Northerners’ dependence on slavery in building financial empires.

This profit connection was made crystal clear on Dec. 16, 1859, at Hartford city hall. The building was packed with local supporters of “states’ rights,” a coded phrase that justified Southern slavery. Southern states were being unjustly attacked “from a class of men at the North who constantly harp at Slavery,” said one speaker. Another used thinly disguised racist rhetoric to make his point. “Lovers of negroes become haters of white men,” former Hartford Mayor William J. Hamersley told the crowd.”

To read the rest of Steve Thornton’s article go to our links.

Nearer My God To Thee

colt guns with crosses 50

Under the symbol of the cross are representations of different gun parts and the fabrics in the making of guns. Around the cross and under its wings are guns . I talked with a very nice Episcopal lady the other day who told me she once went on a tour of Armsmear and the tour guide told the story on how Mrs. Colt never liked what her hubby did for a living and that is why she gave away so much of her art, and built a church, a Parish House, and a wing of a museum. Funny woman that Mrs. Colt was if she was so down about the way Sammy made a living then why would she have a church built and decorate it with guns? I would think that some symbol of forgiveness should have been used. Forgive us oh lord how we made our money killing anyone whom we could get our barrel on.  You all know these Christians can be a strange lot. I wonder some times who and what do they really follow. I wonder if Jesus really likes this church? Does Jesus like guns? Does Jesus like killing Indians and Buffaloes? Did Jesus like making millions of dollars on death? Who would Jesus kill? I don’t know.

Mrs. Colt built this church in honor of her late husband so the workers at the Cold Factory would have a place to worship. I wonder where all the workers members of the Episcopal Church? Did the workers feel obligated to go to the church? Old Sammy boy made his workers feel obligated to vote the way he wanted them too, so making them go to church even if it wasn’t their church is not so far flung. You know how these folks can be get more disciples into the church means more moo-la coming in the collection plate and more white souls saved for the lord god almighty.

Furbirdsqueerly stands firmly here.

We cannot change history we all well know and none of us seek to do so. This disinfecting, sanitizing and glorifying a man responsible for the murder of thousands we can not fathom. No story told no matter how eloquently can ever erase or sooth the wounds as the wounds bleed still in the memories of many. All of us can choose what sheroes or heroes we celebrate from history, tell their stories and learn from these the lessons as presented. We can choose the good and uplifting or the ugly and evil. We can point out the errors in the ways of those who have gone before and by doing so hope that our words do not fall on folks who do not care, folks who go about repeating the mistakes of the past or celebrating and glorifying merchants of death. All that which is celebrated, this ill-gotten loot is not worth the lives that were lost.

Whenever we say, “oh that happened 100 or so years ago, different people with different values, Sam Colt was a capitalist out to make as much money as possible, or the best one yet, “No he probably isn’t a person that you would invite over for dinner but we love him warts and all,” we dishonor all those who lost their lives because of this merchant of death and we are making excuses for all of the merchants of death who work the planet today.  Many folks condemn the immoral business of the 1% today, so why not condemn the same type of folks from history past? This blog and a good number of our readers would never celebrate the 1% of today and it would follow to reason that none of us would celebrate the 1% of yesteryear.

Celebration of a man who through intimidation, fear, for sport, began an arms race among the population of Americkkka. Buy a gun save yourself, there’s a savage in the woods, a shifty slave, a black freeman,  a big bad buffalo to chase down and kill. There was a saying that Lincoln freed the slaves but Sam Colt made them equal. This folks celebrate. Equal to kill, equal in blood up past their elbows. Yes all these good things brought to life by murder and mayhem. 

All of the so-called good that came about because of the Colt’s bloody money can never outweigh or excuse how they got their money in the first place. 

But sadly and obviously lessons remain unlearned, the revolver still turns and the mistakes of the past are repeated and applauded.

We at furbirdsqueerly call for immediate reparations to the ancestors of victims of Sam Colt. If this means selling off all of the bloody ill gotten treasures then so be it.

STOP DISINFECTING AND SANITIZING SAMUEL COLT!!!

IMMEDIATE REPARATIONS TO ALL PEOPLE OF THE FIRST NATIONS LIVING ON THE OKLAHOMA RESERVATIONS!!!!

 

NOTES & REFERENCES  

The beautiful video Now That The Buffalo Is Gone was put together by paulbnoble and posted by rghnd46gf on you tube. We thank both of them for this work.

The video Navajo Healing song was posted on You Tube by Helen. We hope everyone takes the time to listen to this song.

(1 ) Read more: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/where-the-buffalo-no-longer-roamed-3067904/#q0urlultrD4qDTFU.99

(1A) American Buffalo: Spirit of a Nation.

(2 ) Settlers, The Mythology of the White Proletariat, J. Sakai, page 26. You can read this book on line see HERE.

(2A) The Five Civilized Tribes.   So the whites even did in their friends among the first nations. Yes white man speaks with a forked tongue. A very important point to consider here is this: “The term “civilized” as applied in this case has been considered at various times and places (for example in the writings of Vine Deloria, Jr.) as insulting or derogatory, as implying that other Native American tribes were not civilized and that the five tribes could only earn the designation of being “civilized” to the extent they took up the cultural values and ways of the European Americans. This conception of civilization was internalized within the membership of the five nations, who used it themselves.”

(3 )  Colt Legend and Legacy: A conversation with Curators, William Hosely, Karen Blanchfield and Kenneth Simon.

(4 ) Settlers, The Mythology of the White Proletariat, J. Sakai, page 27. For more on these wars see in our links, Black Seminoles: The Christmas Eve Freedom Fighters.

(5) Filipino American History 

CompassRose 2

Compass Rose. Colt Guns as art. The Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art.

Links:

The following essay concerns an exhibition of Colt at the Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford Ct.

https://furbirdsqueerly.wordpress.com/2011/12/02/more-colt-more-die-for-the-money/

If you want to read of some real deal sheroes and heroes of the civil war period check out the following essay.

https://furbirdsqueerly.wordpress.com/2011/10/28/push-aside-sam-colt-stand-up-real-deal-sheroes-and-heroes-of-the-civil-war/

The following essay concerns an exhibition of Colt at the Wadsworth Atheneum of Art, Hartford Ct. It also has links to The Manhole Cover Project: A Gun Legacy by Tarry McCullum which was organized to provide a contemporary counterpoint to Sam and Elizabeth: Legend and Legacy of Colt’s Empire, an exhibition of artworks collected by Hartford gun manufacturer Samuel Colt. The Manhole Cover Project by artist Bradley McCallum was a collaborative public art project that responded to Hartford’s past and also attempted to gain perspective on the current problem of gun violence in the city.

https://furbirdsqueerly.wordpress.com/elegant-deadliness-guns-blood-and-art/

Black Seminoles: The Christmas Eve Freedom Fighters. article about the Christmas Eve Battle of Okeehobee Flordia when Seminole and Africans threw back the advance of the U.S army. Published over at Kasama project December 26, 2009.

For a excellent article written by Steve Thornton, “Don’t Glorify Colt: Samuel Colt’s Legacy Is Tarnished By His Support For Slavery And His Treatment of His Own Workers,” click Here.

In the second Great Teachers Lecture Series, history’s Michael Bellesiles explains how the gun culture that exists in the United States was spawned in the 19th century by the self-promotion and salesmanship of Samuel Colt.

Michael Bellesiles lays blame for U.S gun culture at the feet of Sam Colt. 

Information about Mary Seacole  can be found, The Crimean War, Spartacus Educational.

Where the Buffalo Roam.

Old West Legends, Buffalo Hunters

Trail of Tears

Here are a few Other things to think about:

Sitting Bull 1885

“What treaty that the whites have kept has the red man broken? Not one. What treaty that the white man has ever made with us have they kept? Not one. When I was a boy the Sioux owned the world; the sun rose and set on their land, they sent ten thousand men to battle. Where are the warriors today. Who slew them? Where are our lands? Who owns them?….Sitting Bull

Indian Genocide and Republican Power

The following are a few quote from the excellent article, Indian Genocide and Republican Power. Thomas J. DiLorenzo, Consortium News, 10/7/2010

“The genocide against Native Americans remains one of the most shameful chapters of U.S. history (and indeed one that continued through Ronald Reagan’s presidency with U.S.-backed slaughters in Central America).

However, from the Civil War through the end of the 19th Century, the extermination campaigns also merged the dangerous forces of a standing army with the business/political interests of the Republican Party

“We are not going to let a few thieving, ragged Indians check and stop the progress [of the railroads],” Sherman wrote to Ulysses S. Grant in 1867.  [See Michael Fellman’s Citizen Sherman: A Life of William Tecumseh Sherman.]

The U.S. government dehumanized the Plains Indians, describing them as “wild beasts,” in order to justify slaughtering them, just as Sherman and his wife, among many others, dehumanized Southerners during and after the War Between the States.”

The same dehumanization by the government’s propaganda machine would eventually target Filipinos, who were killed by the hundreds of thousands at the hands of the U.S. Army during their 1899–1902 revolt against the U.S. conquest of their country barely a decade after the Indian Wars had finally ended.”

**To read another excellent article about General Sherman See: General William Sherman: Some Thoughts from a Radical Indigenist, Eaemaehkiw Thupaq Keiqnaeh.

***”In the history of massacres against Indian people, colonizers attempt not only to defeat Indian people, but also to eradicate their very identity and humanity. They attempt to transform Indian people from human beings into tobacco pouches, bridle reins, or souvenirs — an object for the consumption of white people. However, as Haunani Kay Trask’s essay in this issue demonstrates, this colonized violence continues to manifests itself today in a variety of forms. Trask articulates the relationship between colonization and violence as “a quiet violence.” That is, the violence of colonization is evidenced not merely in the most obvious forms of the history of massacres against indigenous peoples in the Americas, but in the continuing institutionalized forms of racism, discrimination, and housing that manifest themselves on a daily basis in the lives of Native peoples.”…Andrea Smith and Luna Ross, Native Women and State Violence

****But  gun ownership began to rise after 1840, and Arming America traces the processes that would by century’s end produce a distinctive national gun culture. The techniques of mass production and serial fire perfected by Samuel Colt made guns cheaper to own and easier to use. The handgun — which had been a luxury item in the days of the single-shot flint pistol — was now a viable weapon for the ordinary citizen interested in self-defense and killing small game. But lower prices alone did not cause gun ownership to spread. The California Gold Rush and the opening of the Far West to settlement increased population and activity in the contested borderlands between the United States and Mexico and around Native American tribes. The expansion of slavery into unsettled districts and the growth of large plantations (coupled with abolitionist agitation) led to more arming of planters’ households and patrols. (Colt is said to have conceived the repeating pistol to enable a single white man to defend himself against an unruly gang of slaves.) One of Bellesiles’s most important conclusions is that “racism determined the presence and nature of American violence more than any other factor.” from The Fall Into Guns, Richard Slotkin.

The bison, North America’s largest mammal, provides one of the last evolutionary links to the Pleistocene era, a period (1.8 million to 11,550 years ago) when huge mammals dominated the landscape. Just two centuries ago, between 30 and 60 million bison roamed the continent’s grassy, shrubby plains and prairies, and their range extended from Mexico to central Canada. In the late nineteenth century, sport-hunting and mass slaughters of this mammal brought the species to the brink of extinction. In 1906, only about 1,000 bison, wild and captive, remained in North America.

Since then strong conservation efforts that mobilized in the early 1900s—the continent’s bison population was able to grow to about 450,000. But fewer than 20,000 of these animals range freely and many contain genes from cattle or other bison subspecies. The vast majority of today’s bison are raised as domestic livestock destined for the tables and mouths of americkkka.

Bring them back for their meat. Bison burgers are good to eat.

Most of the bison on the landscape today as for commercial purposes.(1 ) Over 90 percent of bison today are under private ownership, raised like cows for bison meat.  Ted Turner has the world’s biggest bison herd, with 55,000 head living on his 2 million acres spread over 28 properties, including 17 ranches in Nebraska, Kansas, Montana, New Mexico and South Dakota, as well as in Argentina, making him the second second biggest landowner in North America. Since 2002, he has opened 44 Ted’s Montana Grill restaurants in 16 states, with a menu featuring bison nachos, bison chili, bison pot roast, bison short ribs, bison meatloaf, bison steaks and signature burgers – available with either beef or, you guessed it, bison meat.

Eat it to save it” may seem like a counter intuitive strategy for preserving an uncommon species, but it may be key to their survival. It’s a rallying cry for advocacy groups like Slow Food, activists and chefs who believe that the loss of biodiversity in our diets is a recipe for disaster. CNN founder Ted Turner is at the forefront of the movement, with his campaign to acclimate American palates to bison meat.

Notes:

(1) American Prairie Reserve an excellent source on the Bison restoration and Prairie reserve.

Interesting fact, ‘Known for roaming great distances, bison move continuously as they eat. The females, or cows, lead family groups. Bulls remain solitary or in small groups for most of the year, but rejoin the group during mating season.’ 

Deal Puts Yellowstone Bison on Ted Turner’s Range, Kirk Johnson, NY Times 2010.

The Arms Trade Today. Yes folks still going on here today.

I fear you, you fear me, buy a gun and we’ll both be free.

The United States is the biggest supplier of arms today in the world. We find out these facts from  the blog P.A.P//Human Rights in an article Statistics on Arms Trade.     Here are some interesting facts from the article.

“12 billion bullets are produced every year – enough to kill everyone on earth twice. In fact, every minute, one person is killed by armed violence. There are almost 1 billion guns in the world (of which about a quarter billion are in the U.S.). Guns or other light weapons are involved in roughly 60% of all human rights violations. Three quarters of all the weapons in the world – light and heavy – are supplied by the 5 permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany.

In 2011, exports of arms by the U.S. rose to 3 quarters of the total market. Three-quarters of all exports in the past five years since 2007 were made by five or six countries: the US, Russia, Germany, the UK, China and France (in decreasing order). The US alone represents a third of global weapons exports.

Over 600 million items of small arms are in circulation. According to Oxfam, around 500.000 individuals die in small arms-conflicts every year, approximately one death per minute. About 60% of human rights violations documented by Amnesty International have involved the use of small arms and light weapons.

Last year [2000] the U.S. controlled half of the developing world’s arms market…. This dominance of the global arms market is not something in which the American public or policy makers should take pride in. The U.S. routinely sells weapons to undemocratic regimes and gross human rights abusers.”

Uncle Sam World’s Arms Merchant Again; In 2000 U.S. Sells $18.6 Billion Worldwide, $12.6 Billion to Developing Countries, Arms Trade Insider—#53, Arms Trade Oversight Project, Council for a Livable World, August 20, 2001

 

 

There is an excellent site, Global Issues that has published a must see article, The Arms Trade Is Big Business. This article is researched and brought together by Anup Shah.  Here are some of the following interesting topics in sub sections:

It Does Not Seem To Matter Who Arms Are Sold To, World Military Spending Out Does Everything Else, Hidden Corporate Welfare, The Arms Trade Is Corrupt.

Guns and fear today.

Yes it is still going on. Tell the folks that the Boogeyman is at the door and may climb under their bed and guns sales jump up sky high. We found this in an article on gun sales and fear: Check out the full article, Gun Industry Already Looking Forward to 2016 Election Paranoia For Even Bigger Profit.

“The mood is upbeat, but the crazed buying frenzy of last year is over. Demand for ammunition is still unbelievably strong, but the gun makers know it’s time to market and sell product, not simply write orders that can’t possibly be filled. The next ramp-up in sales may not occur until the 2016 presidential campaign gets going in earnest. The more likely a Hillary Clinton victory looks, the more advance ‘fear buying’ will recur. While most may vote Republican, manufacturers and retailers secretly hope for a repeat of the ‘Obama surge’ that has boosted sales since 2009.

The gun lobby’s use of paranoid theories to boost gun sales has been a common tactic during the Obama administration. In both 2008 and 2012, the National Rifle Association told its members that Obama secretly planned to confiscate firearms, despite Obama’s conspicuous silence on the issue of gun violence throughout the election.

In the lull between elections, manufacturers hope to expand its consumer base by attracting women. Rather than adjust its policies to appeal to women — like supporting background checks favored by a majority of women — the gun industry now sells pink guns and bras.

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The NRA and its allies in the gun industry have realized that fifty percent of the population is a rather large market to leave untapped. Unfortunately, the most visible attempts to broaden the gun lobby’s appeal to women at the NRA convention this week haven’t been newly moderated policies, but stands that sell pink guns which can be strapped to a bra.

Or check out this one: Gun Deaths Cost US Billions Each Year While Firearms Makers Thrive.

“Making and selling guns and ammunition is a lucrative business for U.S. firearms companies, which will earn nearly $1 billion in profit this year, according to the market research firm IBISWorld. But for the public, the prevalence of guns in American life comes at a steep price — more than 30,000 deaths a year that cost the health care system and the economy tens of billions of dollars, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data show.”

 

 

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Comments
  1. Mary Lou says:

    The celebration of this racist bastard who helped and fostered the “final solution” of the peoples of the first nations is much more than in “Bad Form.” It is an outrage. I stand squarely with Eaemaehkiw, these are not our heroes. Lots of food for thought here and I will have some good reading material for this weekend. The links look really good.

  2. Truth says:

    Come on guys get off it. Sam Colt was a great inventor. That is all anyone has to say. What folks did with his invention is their problem not Sam’s. Come on out and celebrate with the thousands of folks who are expected to converge to sing Happy Birthday Sam Colt on July 19th.

    P.S The Indians had guns too and killed a heck of a lot of people.