Is Bellesiles Misrepresenting
Sources To Rewrite History?

Review These References
Then Decide For Yourself!

To see how Bellesiles distorts American history in order to deceive and manipulate the public, visit the web sites listed below. These links are live from the Web address at the top of the page.

SAF Guns in Early America Page has links to a growing collection of reviews refuting Bellesiles' findings, and has quotes from Benjamin Franklin, Jefferson, et al. directly contradicting his thesis.

In "Counting Guns In Early America" James Lindgren and Justin Lee Heather independently examine Bellesiles' probate sources and find that he "misclassified over 60% of the inventories he examined."

These two links provide multiple examples of Bellesiles' misquotes of historical documents and instances where he changed the original vocabulary to misrepresent or reverse the author's intent. This may indicate intentional fraud rather than gross incompetence.

John Chambers' Washington Post review finds fault with Bellesiles methodology and references, several broad categories of errors, and contradictions with Bellesiles' prior work.

In a letter published in the Washington Post (third from the top), constitutional law scholar and author Stephen P. Halbrook responds to John Chambers's review by noting that the inventories of Thomas Jefferson's three estates did not list a single firearm even though it is well known and documented that Jefferson owned multiple firearms of value and that he was a strong advocate of widespread private firearm ownership for self-defense. This significant example is just one of many that debunks Bellesiles methodology that focuses on structurally incomplete probate records.

Further historical commentary on Arming America by Stephen P. Halbrook.

Clayton Cramer's National Review Online book review

Longer, more detailed refutation of Bellesiles "research" in Arming America, exposing what appears to be intentional research fraud. Expanded to several hundred pages.

Rebuttal to Bellesiles article in the Journal of American History where he asserts that guns and hunting were actually quite rare in America before the Mexican War -- even on the frontier. (25 page PDF file)

Halbrook provides quotes showing: 'The Founders, Not The NRA, Originated The "Myth" Of The People Armed And Free'.

FraudFactor web site Academic and Research Fraud Index Page

Bellesiles uses intellectual dishonesty and bigotry against firearm owners, stereotyping and derisively labeling them as the "gun culture." In early and modern America, it is inaccurate and dishonest to lump all firearm owners together, be they peaceful citizens and patriotic part-time militia members fighting for independence and freedom, or criminal ruffians and highwaymen.

Historian Joseph R. Stromberg's book review/critique

Joyce Lee Malcom's Reason Magazine review/rebuttal of Arming America

Kimberley Strassel interviews Bellesiles and professors on both sides of the issue. After months spent checking his citations, even those who support firearms restrictions find "obviously mistaken data."

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