It Can’t Happen in America… Oh, Really?
by Tim Case
May 1, 2012
“Sometimes people don’t want to hear the truth because they don’t want their illusions destroyed.” ~ Friedrich Nietzsche
If there are two things that can be said with all confidence they are that throughout American history the American public has had and continues to have an enduring commitment to owning firearms. Second is the government’s unerring ability to be the sole cause of economic calamities, regardless of how vibrant the markets.
War and the market place are strange bedfellows. A case in point is the Spencer Repeating Rifle.
On March 6, 1860 the Spencer Repeating Rifle was patented in the United States. This rifle was developed for the sole purpose of brother using it against brother during the War Between the States. In the words of Warren Fisher, Jr. treasurer of the Spencer Repeating Rifle company:
“…In the hands of scouts or sharpshooters, or regular troops – taking into consideration all the elements of range, rapidity of firing, and facility of re-loading, the Spencer Rifle is so effective as to render one man with it fully equal to half a dozen men armed with single-loading muskets…”
Of this rifle and in conjunction with testimony of a great many within the Federal Army’s General staff, George Armstrong Custer wrote:
Mr. F. Cheney,
Dear Sir: – Being in command of a Brigade of Cavalry which is armed throughout with the Spencer Carbine and Rifle, I take pleasure in testifying to their superiority over all other weapons. I am firmly of the opinion that fifteen hundred men armed with the Spencer Carbine are more than a match for twenty-five hundred armed with any other firearm – I know this to be true from actual experiment.
Very respectfully, &c.,
(An admonition that Custer seems to have either forgotten or through his arrogance rejected when on June 25, 1876 he pitted his greatly divided and ill prepared 7th Cavalry using slow firing breach loading Springfield Model 1873 45-70 rifles against a greatly superior force; many of whom pressed the battle at the Little Bighorn with Spencer and Winchester repeating rifles.)