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Concealed Weapon Laws of the Early Republic: Dueling, Southern Violence, and Moral Reform Hardcover – August 30, 1999

ISBN-13: 978-0275966157 ISBN-10: 0275966151 Edition: First Edition
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Editorial Reviews


?Concealed Weapon Laws makes for interesting reading for anyone interested in political history of the US during the early to mid 19th century.?-Smoke & Fire News

Book Description

Examines the history behind the nation's first laws regulating the carrying of concealed deadly weapons, demonstrating the surprising connection between these laws and efforts to suppress dueling in the southern back country.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Praeger; First Edition edition (August 30, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0275966151
  • ISBN-13: 978-0275966157
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,630,166 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Tom Glass on December 15, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Robert Heinlein coined the phrase, "An armed society is a polite society." The fundamental truth in that saying is that most rational folks will think twice before engaging in provocative behavior when they know those they might insult have the ability to easily kill them.
Clayton Cramer's excellent book gives us an example of how there are exceptions to every rule. His excellent scholarship gives us an in depth feel for the culture that produced Daniel Boone, Davy Crockett, Sam Houston, and Jack Hays. The Scotch-Irish culture of the early frontier was one that Cramer calls the "honor culture". Those frontier guys fought at the drop of the hat (or more precisely, at the drop of a perceived insult). As Don Higginbotham tells us, in his excellent biography about another product of frontier culture ("Daniel Morgan: Revolutionary Rifleman"), sometimes they fought just for the fun of it.
Cramer gives us the granular details from original sources that supports his thesis that the goal of early southern and western reformers was to stop the fighting and the dueling.
He shows how concealed carry laws were a natural progression of government intervention after dueling was eliminated. The idea behind the legislation was that after dueling was banned, guys started fighting immediately after the perceived insult, instead of waiting for the duel. And, if the weapons of the opponent were concealed, the theory went, they were more likely to fight.
I am not sure that the laws that passed were ever needed. Certainly, if Cramer is right, the original rationale for the earliest concealed carry laws has long evaporated. It is attitudes and values that change cultures, not laws.
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1 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Herodotus on August 31, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This is what it looks like when a scholar is driven by ideology rather than by method. The author clearly had a point he wanted to prove, and he was willing to bend his data in whatever way was necessary in order to make that point. Unless you're a fan of propaganda masquerading as analysis, avoid this book.
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