Gun Laws Were Different Back Then


Up here in the Northeast, most of the states are either full on radical leftists or headed that way in an awful hurry.

Back when I came to New Hampshire from Georgia, it was truly an island of conservatism in a sewer of liberalism, surrounded on all sides. Unfortunately, the once proudly red state is now blue, succumbing to the influence of its liberal neighbors.

Now thankfully, thus far, the state hasn’t begun adopting restrictive gun laws like its neighbors, particularly Massachusetts and Connecticut, but I fear that is just a few years down the road, maybe less.

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It’s not that the states never had gun laws until the progressives took over. New England states have always had laws concerning guns, going all the way back to the colonial era, even back to the 1600s.

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Today, when someone mentions the words “gun law” it is synonymous with gun restriction. After all, no state would ever pass a law encouraging the “keeping” and “bearing” of arms, would they?

Well, things are a lot different now than they were back then. Those who lived in the New England colonies thought differently about guns and the responsibility of their citizens. Talk about the pendulum wildly swinging from one extreme to the other.

The Massachusetts Bay colony “required” every able-bodied man (adult male) to own a weapon. In 1632, a Plymouth colony statute ordered “every free man or other inhabitant of this colony provide for himself… a sufficient musket… 2 pounds of powder and 10 pounds of bullets with a fine of 10 shillings per person who was not armed.”

Now can you imagine even suggesting such a thing today? Michael Bloomberg would faint dead away.

A 1630 order required that every town in the Massachusetts Bay colony make sure that every person, servants included, be “furnished with good and sufficient arms.” The residents had to reimburse the towns “when they shall be able.”

So, today we are told by our government that we must buy Obamacare. Back then it was a gun. Apparently they didn’t have much fear of more guns = more violence.

But, you may say – you are always arguing about the government forcing us to do things – that the forced purchase of healthcare, or anything for that matter, is unconstitutional. Well, I’d say, it is, but there was no Constitution in 1630.

By 1636, people in the colonies were also required to bring their guns to church. The Bible thumpin,’ gun totin’ radicals.

By 1650, any Connecticut resident above the age of 16 was required to be armed.

But what if one could afford it? Surely, like Obamacare, there must’ve been a “gun subsidy” program for the poor.

Well, not exactly. If you didn’t have the money, you were to bring “corn or other salable items” that the issuing militia clerk could then sell to pay for your weapon – or you could work it off. There’s your subsidy for you.

There was gun control back then, in a manner of speaking. In Rhode Island, the militia would go door to door, not to confiscate weapons but to make sure every household had enough gunpowder and bullets.

Could you imagine a knock on the door? You open it and the gentleman says that he’s from the Sheriff’s office and is just checking to see that you are properly armed and have enough ammo.

My, how the pendulum has swung here in New England!

Attribution: Clayton Cramer

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