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It seems relatively recent in US history when people mostly didn't carry.

That's not true. It was rare - sometimes illegal - for people to carry firearms in many cities in Colonial America, or even to own them if you weren't of the "right" persuasion. Generally it was only white adult male property owners who had firearms, an then only those on farms (a much higher proportion of the population than today, obviously).

Now the NRA has perpetuated the myth that guns were pervasive in early America, but the evidence says it isn't true. What evidence? Wills, probate, and state registration. (Yes, the government kept records, all the better to know who was "in the militia" and who wasn't.)

Probate records from the era show guns showing up in about 10% (as high as 13% in some areas) of households. Remember that a gun would have been a particularly valuable piece of equipment in those days, and would certainly have been mentioned in a will and passed along to the correct heir (especially when there was no tax or other penalty for including it).

Only White male property owners. Usually only Protestant. Not Catholic. Not slaves. Not indentured servants. Not women. Not Indians. Now were there some who had them who weren't "supposed to"? Certainly. Did some city gentlemen have dueling pistols. Sure. A lot? One would think we would see evidence of it, and we don't. Why would that be?

What is that inconvenient for the gun lobby to acknowledge? Times up. Answer?
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