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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Brown on gun law history in CHR

Blake Brown, whose forthcoming book on gun control (and lack thereof) will be the Osgoode Society's members' book this year, has an article on the subject in the Canadian Historical Review.

'Every boy ought to learn to shoot and to obey orders': Guns, Boys, and the Law in English Canada from the late Nineteenth Century to the Great War' appears in the June 2012 issue.

Here's the abstract:
Firearms became a key part of boy and male youth culture in English Canada before the Great War. By the 1890s, imperialist sentiments had infused the growing interest in hunting, advocates of which celebrated the value of rifle shooting by suggesting that it made boys into ideal British men. As well, emerging worries about the feminization of urban youth led to calls for military drill and rifle training. At the same time, businesses heavily marketed cheap, mass-produced arms to young people by asserting that firearms could inculcate manly virtues. Businesses also attempted to redefine some weapons as acceptable consumer items. The use of weapons by young people led to a number of apprehended social ills, including accidental shootings, environmental destruction, and militarizing a generation of young people. However, legislative efforts to limit access to firearms were modest. In 1892 and 1913, the Canadian government placed limitations on to whom certain weapons could be sold, but the widespread assumption that certain kinds of arms were acceptable for most boys and youth meant that these measures frequently went unenforced.

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