Thursday, February 07, 2013

What better place to get pro-gun anecdotes, that you can pass off as historically accurate, than from a Louis L'Amour book? Well if you are Glenn Beck's favorite historian, the answer is no place

When I saw this video I knew right away that this David Barton guy was full of shit. (Of course just the fact that he was being interviewed by Glenn Beck was probably all I needed to know to figure that out.) However I wasn't confident that we would ever be able to PROVE that he as full of shit.

So I was thrilled when I saw this post over at Wonkette

Well, it turns out that the topic of guns is pretty darn popular at the moment, so Barton has been having himself a fine old time with tales of how in America’s Good Old Days, an armed populace kept everyone happy and free. Arm teachers? Better yet, why not arm the kids, too? As we see in the video up top, that idea is grounded in the very best Authentic Frontier Gibberish available — after all, it convinced even a skeptical tough guy like Glenn Beck! This week, we learned that Barton’s tale appears to come from an unimpeachable source of knowledge on the Old West — a 1979 novel by Louis L’Amour, Bendigo Shafter. 

Barton told Beck this charming true tale of how guns keep good people — even kids! — so very safe and free from worry: 

“The great example, in the 1850s you have a school teacher who’s teaching. A guy — he’s out in the West — this guy from New England wants to kill him and find him. So he comes into the school with his gun to shoot the teacher, he decides not to shoot the teacher because all the kids pull their guns out and point it at him and say, ‘You kill the teacher, you die.’ He says, ‘Okay.’ The teacher lives. Real simple stuff. Saved the life of — there was no shooting because all the kids — we’re talking in elementary school — all the kids pull their guns out and says, ‘We like our teacher. You shoot our teacher, we’ll kill you.’” 

Wonkette then linked to a female blogger named Chris Rodda who makes it her business to fact check David Barton. Here is what she found:

 I assumed that Barton was either exaggerating a real story or just making the whole thing up, but since he didn’t give any source for the story or enough specifics to fact check it, I thought it would be impossible to find out whether or not there was any truth to it. I didn’t even consider that it might have come from a novel, but when a commenter on my previous post noted the striking similarity between Barton’s story and a story from the Louis L’Amour novel Bendigo Shafter, I downloaded the Kindle version of the novel and checked it out. 

I wasn’t about to read an entire Louis L’Amour novel, but read enough to get the gist of the story: 

The teacher in L’Amour’s novel was Drake Morrell, a gambler and gunfighter who had killed five men. Morrell was sentenced to be hanged in San Francisco, but somehow escaped and ended up in a town in Wyoming, where he became a respected citizen and, of course, the school teacher. But he was still being pursued by a character named Stacy Follett. Years earlier, Morrell had exposed that Follett and his friends were cheating at cards. Two of Follett’s friends had confronted Morrell with guns, and Morrell had shot and killed them. Follett caught up with Morrell and went to the school where he was teaching to kill the now respectable school teacher, who was defended by his gun-toting students. 

Here’s how the character Follett recounted the incident at the school to another character in the book when asked if he had killed Morrell: 

“… And then I looked at him over my cup. “Did you kill Drake Morrell?” 

He chuckled again. “Decided agin it.” He sipped his coffee. “You know somethin’? After he started that there schoolteachin’ I figured I had him dead to rights. I laid out for him, waitin’ until he was out of school, and when he come out the door, I shaped up with my old Betsy girl here” — he slapped his rifle — “right on his belly. I had him where he couldn’t move. There was youngsters all around him, and he stood there lookin’ at me and never turned a hair. He had sand, that Morrell.” 


"Has. He’s still around. You want to know what happened? I nigh got myself kilt. Five or six of them youngsters, weren’t but two of them upwards of twelve or thirteen, they outs with their six-shooters and had me covered. 

“They told me he was their teacher and he was a mighty good one and if I shot him they’d fill my hide.” 

He chuckled again. “An’ you know somethin’? They’d of done it, too.” 

“What happened?” 

“Nothin’. I pulled down my flag. Pulled her down right quick. I never seen so many youngsters with six-shooters.”

Can you believe that shit? So essentially this David Barton guy, who claims to have access to secret historical manuscripts that tell a different version of American history than the one taught in public schools, referenced a fictional story from a paper back copy of a Louis L'Amour book in an attempt to sell Beck''s audience on the "fact" that in olden times American classrooms were protected from attack by gun wielding school children.

And do you know what? I bet Glenn Beck's listeners ate it up with a spoon, and undoubtedly repeated it to  their friends and family as if it were an actual historic fact.

And that my friends is why you don't get your information or historical facts from Right Wing radio, or Fox News.

By the way if David Barton wants to refute the idea that he got his information from a work of western fiction than he is welcome to produce the document that proves otherwise, but until he does and I VERY comfortable stating that we caught his lying ass red handed.


  1. shughes28534:29 AM

    I am almost at a loss for words.....

    How can anyone, anywhere, at anytime...believe anything that comes from Glenn Beck's mouth?

    Or anyone he interviews? Remember his first interview with the wasilla witch? omg...the crocodile tears....the silly worship of her?

    As long as people like beck are connected to the repubs, they will never regain their respect or influence here in the US or anywhere else on earth.

  2. Anonymous4:43 AM

    I remember reading that people in the Old West had guns when they were out on the range or something, but when they came into town, into civilization, those guns were put away.

  3. A J billings5:20 AM

    David Barton is one of the very worst examples of a charlatan.

    He's a militant Christian supremacist who believes absolutely that the USA should be a theocracy.

    He's a revisionist, and claims to be a historian, and he's trotted out in many churches and on radio and TV to "prove" how the Christian god should be ruling the earth and all human dealings.

    He's the worst type of liar, a man who claims great knowledge and deep understanding of history, while purposely distorting, and outright lying about many subjects


    He's on TV claiming that demons and spirits (prinicipalities) are controlling our Congress.

    Newt Gingrich promises to seek his advice and counsel for the 2012 presidential campaign.

    Mike Huckabee calls him America’s greatest historian, says he should be writing the curriculum for American students, and in fact suggested that all Americans should be “forced at gunpoint” to listen to his broadcasts.

    How's THAT for militant indoctrination!

    Michelle Bachmann calls him “a treasure for our nation” and invited him to teach one of her Tea Party Caucus classes on the Constitution for members of Congress.

    State legislators from around the country invite him to share his “wisdom” with them.

    Glenn Beck calls him “the most important man in America.” Who is this guy?

    Bottom line is that he will lie, cheat, and distort in any way he can to further the "Seven mountains" end time prophecy nonsense to bring about theocracy in America.

    Paylin herself buys into this malarkey with her prayer warriors and the Esther prophecy.

    Barton has gone so far over the deep end, that he mandates how Christians must vote, and threatens them with punishment.

    Here's what Barton said when he was campaigning for the McCain/Paylin trainwreck in 2008

    "I love the guns-and-God mantra, because both are God-given rights," Barton said, telling the crowd to encourage others to vote. "Get people of faith back in the polls."

    He's just one of millions of the militant Theocrats who like Bryan Fischer, James Dobson, and Tony Perkins who ignore their own bible, and are living every day to force religion on the rest of us

  4. Anonymous5:23 AM

    Guess that no good yella belly teacher would have been pushing up daisy's at the end of that day if the kids hadn't cottoned to him?

    And if that's the way a Louis L'Amour book reads, I'm glad I never picked them up. Ouch, that sucked.

  5. Anonymous5:44 AM

    Hey, wait a minute. Y'all just admitted that story was in a book. And if'n it was in a book, it's gotta be true. See, y'all don't even know yer own histree. I bet that skool house di'nt need no damn armed guards. Give all of the kiddies a 9 millimeter gun. I bet they won't hafta come home complainin' 'bout too much homework. They'll take care of their bidness at skool.

  6. Does anyone sane believe it smart to arm small children who have little small understanding of cause & affect, undeveloped self-control? Talk of allowing college students to "carry", their gatherings marked with high emotion, alcohol-fueled out of control behavior, high testosterone and immature response to conflict? There's a level of frenzy in today's youth that makes any notion of that simply insane.

    1. Anonymous6:52 AM

      Hell yeah. Ain't you ever heard of the 3-R's of teabsgger home skoolin'?

      And... Um, hell, I can't thank of that third one rat now. Oops.

    2. Anonymous7:03 AM

      Sam, it's a proven fact that you do better in debates if you point a gun at the other fella. Teacher starts bringing up some shit about evolution, elevation, cockatusion nonsense like that, whatever. If all the kids draw down on the demon-possessed, college-educated elite teacher, then they can get down to some real learnin' bout Jeebus an his posse of them 12 gunfighters an' how they shot up all the bad guys (yup, Libruls) at the OK Corral.

    3. Leland2:24 PM

      6:52 How's this for a third "R"?


      Hell, the fem,ale body will just shut down the reproductives anyway, right?


  7. Olivia6:05 AM

    You can present all the evidence for proof and you won't convince the idiots. They WANT it to be true so reality never comes into play.
    I got one of those hair on fire emails once from an idiot like that. It was spreading some kind of vicious lie about the President and at the beginning of the email she wrote, "I know if you look this up at, they will tell you it isn't true but I like it so I am sending this to everyone anyway."
    These folks are begging to be lied to and are more than willing to spread the lie even when they know it is a lie.

    1. Anonymous7:04 AM

      Snopes ain't in the Bible so it ain't true.

  8. Anonymous6:13 AM

    A...A.. FEMALE blogger?? Oh MY God!!

  9. Ms Rodda's valuable site for Barton-outing tools, here: Liars For Jesus

    1. Anonymous7:08 AM

      Thanks. I'll give it for a couple of the loyal flock of Mike Huckabee, since they think you're possessed with a demon if you hit them with that tool of Satan, which is known as 'the facts'.

  10. Anonymous6:28 AM

    So let me get this straight. This David Barton guy thinks it's cool to have the kids packed with heat (six-shooters) at school so they can defend a man (their teacher) from the guys he cheated at cards, AND who are coming after him to kill him, because he killed a few of them as well. I shake my head.

    In other words, this guy thinks parents would be without worry if their schoolmates are armed in case someone comes to shoot the teacher? This guy thinks that an incident like this would be a pleasant school memory for a little kid? This guy thinks that a bad guy with bullet holes on the classroom floor with blood breathing out his last is a good thing for little kids to experience? This guy thinks that parents somehow are relieved that the kid sitting next to little Johnny, who has anger issues at home, is carrying a six-shooter? Or that the picked on kid who is smaller than the rest and is unmercifully bulled in the schoolyard might not be tempted to use that six-shooter on his bullies? It would be like russian roulette at recess.

    Who are these people??

  11. Anonymous6:42 AM

    Mister Barton, tell Glenn the story where that same group of kids done shot theirselves a dinosaur whiles they was out at recess. You 'member, that time when the munster got too close to the girls playing ring-around-the- rosie, an' little Ronnie Regan emptied both six-shooters in tha beast. Then, I believe one of them older boys--- Honest Abe, I thank--- put an apple in ole T-Rex's mouth and throwed him on the spit. And then the next day, the whole town shut er down an' enjoyed a big-ass BBQ, Texas style. They even hung up a couple of the slaves and a mexicun to give the younger kids somethin' ta practice throwin rocks at once they was outa bullits. Good thang them boys wus all Repuglicuns. Cuz if'n they wus Demacritters, that T-Rex mighta ate up all them little girls, an then them boys woukdnt have nuthin to do after church at tha picnic but do a circle-jerk wit one nother. An' we know how fast that gits old.

    Anyways, the lessun in the storee is that here in Texas, don't nobody fuck with our recess time. Ya know, I thank I read somewhar that that T-Rex was mighty tastee, kindly like skunk, maybe just a little tough if you dont still have most of yet teeth left. Prolly made a bunch of fine jerky, I betcha.

    Ok, kiddies, history lesson's over. Boys, yall meet me out backa tha skool house fer a lil sex education--- this is mandated by tha state of Texas, so you best pay attention. Today I'm gonna show y'all how to get ole Beefy the cow to back up to a tree stump ever time she sees ya. Thataway, you ain't gotta chase er down ever time yer pecker stands up lack a bean pole out in the garden. So y'all pay attention acause you will all be tested next week.

  12. Brings to mind Dan Quayle's believing that fictional weaponry in a Tom Clancy novel really existed. And he wanted to be Commander in Chief!

  13. Anonymous7:38 AM

    David Barton's "research" has been debunkedowned discredited so much that his name is a joke among historians with any credentials. Even dedicated historical revisionists consider him to be a self-serving religious nut who seeks "stuff" to distort and shade his 'facts' to his own preconceived ideas of how things "should have happened" long ago because the christian god is a mericun and a republican/libertarian.

    I wonder how much this doofus paid for his "historical" documents. Barron's writings have the same historical value as those of L. Ron Hubbard and his inter-galactic science-fiction about Xenu and volcanos and 747's adapted for space travel. They must have similar sources--- right out of each of their own asses, respectively.

  14. Anonymous7:45 AM

    Barton is a fraud and a grifter, nothing more.

    But isn't it interesting that you never hear these con- men called out by leaders in the evangelical community or even other grifters? Evidently there is plenty of money to be extracted from ignorant, magic-believing, superstitious people who are afraid to think for themselves.

    1. Olivia7:56 AM

      Con men, frauds, grifters and evangelical leaders have to stick together. Each knows how it works so calling out someone else would reveal their own game.

  15. Anonymous8:32 AM

    Ditto to all that's been said here about David Barton. He's beyond being an historical revisionist --- he's a flat out liar who fakes documents to "prove" what he's saying. And Chris Rodda's a great resource about his lies.

  16. My father was raised in Raton, NM and schooled in a l room school house. His mother was born in 1859 and her folks crossed prarie in covered wagon when she was 3 years old. At no time, never, ever were guns mentioned re: schooling. The education my father received was outstanding as I have a book or two he learned from.

    Back then you didn't die from a fictionalized story but from diseases that nowadays have been eradicated killed indescriminately...let's talk about that..Typhus, Diptheria, Small Poxs, hunger, cold, you name it...

    Don't let these idiots get away with nonsense talk.

  17. eclecticsandra9:39 AM

    I would wonder how common it was for children to have 6-shooters. I imagine many had rifles, but I would expect they didn't have their own pistols.

  18. Anonymous12:59 PM

    David Barton likes to be called Dr. David Barton. Lots of wingnuts are glad to give him the stroke he likes. He does have a B.S. (should be a B.B.S. for Bachelor of Bull Shit) from Oral Robert's University.

    Right Wing Watch discusses this. Several links.

    Who Is "Dr." David Barton?

    "Professor" David Barton On Darwin, Prohibition, and Herbert Hoover

    He's "Doctor" Barton Now?

    He's a "professor" in just exactly the same way that Glen Beck and Sarah Palin are.

  19. Leland2:32 PM

    Okay. I have three things to say about this.

    One: Almost every handgun in those days _ especially "six-shooters" - were .45 caliber weapons. The kid wouldn't be holding the gun after one shot unless it was a big one and they probably wouldn't be at school if that large!

    Two: This guy sounds as though he was taking lessons from the charlatan who started that crap called mormonism. You know, the one who could "read" ancient Egyptian?

    Three: The thread Gryphen started immediately before this one (the one about ignorance?) covers this one pretty well. His last line was" Yep, heard it all before." My response? And you will hear it again and again and...."

  20. Anita Winecooler8:03 PM

    David Barton read a book? I doubt it, cliff notes maybe, but NO WAY a book.

    Thanks for the extremely short clip, the awestruck look of amazement on Glen Beck's face was good for a laugh. He laps it all up with such gusto!


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