Michael Bellesiles, the Emory University History professor and historian, believes to have discovered a new perception to the way we should all look at firearms and their evolution in our country, and asks us to believe with him, that we are not a country that has simply helped to create an industry for guns, but that we are now a country created from the industry of guns, a full-blown "Gun Culture".
Bellesiles has chosen to question the context of our country's second amendment, most specifically, the line that grants, " a well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." It is this page in our Constitution that Bellesiles feels needs to be revisited, and asked why.
Obviously not on the side of the National Rifle Association, or the Rights To Bear Arms groups, Bellesiles hints that it is this right to bear arms that has led to the, " astoundingly high level of personal violence" in the United States.
Michael Bellesiles looks to expose the myth in our history by pointing out the complete rarity the gun once was in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, before the days of the Civil War. With enough statistical evidence that could be considered a crime in itself, Bellesiles seems to have single handedly change our history.
According to Bellesiles, a trend was beginning to occur while researching probate records of the eighteenth century. (A probate record is kept to prove the belongings of a person after death). It seemed there were not many firearms being listed through these records, so he began to search even deeper. Through militia records, and gun census", and wills, which rarely ended up in the shooting kind; anything that could hold any truth to contradict our governments constitution. .
He uncovered stories of desperate militia leaders pleading for more guns to help them fight fairly, and the release of a soldier due to lack of arms was not as uncommon as we think.