Comment

Gun Nut Statement of the Day: If Slaves Had Guns They Wouldn't Have Been Slaves

7
Shiplord Kirel, Friend of Moose and Squirrel1/11/2013 4:17:36 pm PST

In fact, a great many slaves did have guns before they were enslaved, since their enslavement resulted from tribal warfare. This warfare, in turn, was fed by the huge influx of guns brought by slave traders.

African Military Systems to 1800, wikipedia:

Guns were to have an important effect on African military systems. Rising quantities of guns are associated with increases in the slave trade, as major powers such as Dahomey, Benin and Ashanti stepped up their conquests to feed the insatiable demand for human bodies. Guns were the single most important item traded to Africans in the decades prior to 1800, usually paid for in gold or slaves. Some historians argue that the introduction of firearms had an enormous impact on slave gathering in Africa. Flintlocks, which were more reliable than matchlocks, sparked the first big wave of gun sales, and obsolete smoothbore muskets of this type were being exported to Africa even into the 19th century. The psychological impact of guns in the night and dawn attacks favored by slave raiders was significant, and in slave-catching, flintlocks could also be loaded with shot, wounding and crippling victims rather than killing them outright. The connection between the gun trade and the slave trade is described by the Dutch Director-General at Elmina in 1730:

“The great quantity of guns and powder which the Europeans have brought have caused terrible wars between the Kings and Princes and Caboceers of these lands, who made their prisoners of war slaves; these slaves were immediately bought up by Europeans at steadily increasing prices, which in turn, amimates again and again these people to renew their facilities, and their hope of gain and easy profits makes them forget all about, using all sorts of pretexts to attack each other for reviving old disputes.”

The Dutch themselves were exporting over 20,000 tons of gunpowder every year along the Gold Coast by 1700. All along the region, English, French and other traders competed hard with each other to supply their African customers. By the mid-18th century some 400,000 guns were being exported annually to Africa. (emphasis added)