Monday, December 02, 2013

"and the people in every part of the United States, in every district, can send and buy cannon or guns or pistols...."

Cheap Guns for the People.

   The army appropriation bill was being considered. The clerk of the House of Representatives read in his silver drone; "Sales of ordnance store are authorized to civilian employees under such regulations," &c.

   What kind of stores asked Mr. DRIBCOLL of New York. Mr HULL, the Iowa martialist, explained that revolvers, rifles, any ordnance stores could be sold to "teamsters and to those who may have to defend themselves." Civilians all to whom the Government doesn't issue arms. Originally, Mr. HULL said, the provision included members of Congress but it was decided that they "had better buy from private individuals than the Government." [Laughter] Doubtless there was much to laugh at, though the reader's risibles be unwrung.

   Now our soon to be parted with friend Dr. JOHN WESLEY GAINES came forward as usual. He wanted to amend so that the Secretary of War shall furnish members of Congress thirty days before the sale with a list of the stuff to be sold. This so-called "junk," he was informed, was often valuable for private use and ornament. He wanted to give the people a chance to buy guns pistols and so on. JOHN WESLEYS people are either very warlike or very fond of adornment or both:

   "I want a list of things to be sold sent to members, delegates and Senators so that they can give the list to the newspapers in their neighborhood. They will publish it, and the people in every part of the United States, in every district, can send and buy cannon or guns or pistols or the things to be sold; and the gentleman knows that all of these implements of war are very much sought after, both for the use of private and for ornamenting the corners of our streets and as relics.

   "Mr. DRISCOLL--They get the cannon for nothing now, for ornamental purposes.

   "Mr. GAINES of Tennessee--I had a great deal of trouble in getting two, and the gentleman helped me to get both of them, but the law has been recently changed, and it is easier to get them now."

   We trust Dr. GAINES implicitly. May he have as many cannon in front of his house, as many condemned horses in his stables and as many guns and pistols on his walls or his person as they can carry. But aren't the people tolerably stocked with firearms at present? Isn't the crop of winter killings ample enough? "Does the gentleman," asked Mr. MANN of Illinois, "think it more important to make it easy for the people to buy firearms than it is to buy blankets, boots and shoes?" Of course not. Mr. MANN wasn't going to give people a chance to buy condemned guns or anything of that kind to carry around for the purpose of raising Cain."

   Dr. GAINES subsided But why does he want guns and pistols? Can they add anything to his noises? And why do his people want them? Is he not a ample blockhouse, palisade and set of patereros?

[The Sun, New York, Friday, February 5, 1909. Vol. LXXVI.--No. 158. Pg. 6]

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