thegonch at GMAIL.COM
Tue Jul 26 19:49:19 UTC 2011
Just wondering, is there any connection between "gunwalking" and
"walking back the cat"?
On Tue, Jul 26, 2011 at 3:02 PM, victor steinbok <aardvark66 at gmail.com> wrote:
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> Sender: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster: victor steinbok <aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject: gunwalking, gun-running
> [update gun-running 1883 --> 1880; gun-runner 1899 --> 1879]
> If you don't recognize "Operation Fast and Furious", you surely have heard
> the description--it's an ATF project that involved supplying weapons to
> border-area gun-runners, then tracing the weapons to Mexican drug cartels,
> apparently in an attempt to uncover the pathways of weapon flow. Note that
> "gun-runner" and "gun-running" are fairly standard terms that have been in
> use for a long time. OED has both entries under gun n.
> gun-runner n. colloq. one engaged in gun running.
>> 1899 Athen=C3=A6um 21 Oct. 551/1 Isaacs, the gun-runner, has good po=
> ints as
>> a man.
> gun-running n. the practice of illegally conveying firearms and ammunitio=
>> into a country.
>> 1883 Standard 21 Mar. 3/2 Two Europeans=E2=80=A5were arrested in the=
> act of
>> gun-running on the Pondoland frontier.
> OED could use an update on both.
> But "Operation Fast and Furious" either had a second nickname or acquired
> one when the press and conservative pundits started mocking it--"Project
> Gunwalker". "Gunwalking" appears to be a standard law-enforcement
> investigative technique for tracing the paths of illegally sold weapons. It
> seems to be a play on "gun-running" and a blend of "gun" and "walking", in
> the sense of walking something through [the steps] or pet-walking. There ar=
> 103K+ raw ghits for "gunwalking", and about 480K raw ghits for "gunwalker".
> Most of the early ones are directly related to stories about the ATF
> operation, but the terms are in the wild.
> Originally, gun-running seems to be an artifact of the Boer War, which
> belies the OED definition--the issue is not of someone conveying guns into =
> country but rather procuring and conveying them illicitly (smuggling) to th=
> side that is not supposed to get them (in the eyes of the speaker). The
> issue is not so much illegality of the operation as the speaker's hostility
> to it. Both citations in the OED are from this context ("Solomon Isaacs: Th=
> Gun-Runner" is from Under the Sjambok: a tale of the Transvaal, 1899).
> Eight Months in an Ox-Waggon: Reminiscences of Boer Life. By Edward F.
> Sandeman. London: 1880
> Chapter 5. p. 34
>> For those who trade in gun-running now have their boxes of rifles sent to
>> Delagoa Bay, and from there can pass as many as they can dispose of into =
>> very heart of Zululand, or into the northern interior, at a trifling char=
>> in comparison, of 5s. a gun.
> Fraser's Magazine. New Series. Volume 25. London: March 1882
> Alfred Aywald. Basuto. p. 322
>> A few of these were indifferent to what course should be resolved on,
>> knowing that war opened up the way for the making of huge profits by
>> gun-running--as smuggling arms is called in South Africa--but others
>> sincerely and truly sought the continuance of peace, which had already
>> proved so highly beneficial to the best interests of the country.
> With the Boers in the Transvaal and Orange Free State in 1880-1. By Charles
> L. Norris-Newman. London: 1882
> Chapter 9. Transvaal and Secocoeni. p. 84
>> Later on, Sir T. Shepstone himself was told by all the officials in the
>> District that Secocoeni would make war again as soon as he had sufficient
>> provisions and supplies. Smuggling and gun-running were very prevalent at
>> the time at Leydenberg; and, owing to the absence of any armed force, no
>> steps could be taken effectively to stop it, or to give the protection to
>> the District and Border farmers so much needed in the then state of affai=
>> In addition to this, the sale of firearms to the Natives, hitherto always
>> strictly prohibited by the Boers, was allowed at the Diamond Fields, wher=
>> Natives from all parts came to work with the sole object of gaining
>> sufficient to purchase guns, and then returning home.
> The Spectator. Volume 71. 1893 [Includes the June 1893 issues, probably fro=
> Volume 70.]
> June 24, 1893
> Publications of the Week. p. 858
>> Gun-Runner. By Bertram Mitford.
> [Advertisement] New Three-and-sixpenny Books. p. 864 (several other ads in
> the same volume)
>> The Gun-Runner: a Romance of Zululand. By Bertram Mitford.
> October 28, 1893
> Gift Books. [Reviews.] p. 599/2
>> *The **Gun-Runner. *By Bertram Mitford. (Chatto and Windus.) --This " tal=
>> of Zululand" would have been, we cannot but think, more effective if it h=
>> been compressed into smaller space. Some things, which it would have
>> sufficed to indicate, are pictured in a detail which certainly every read=
>> will not enjoy. Still, it is a spirited story j the motive is striking, a=
>> the course of incidents skilfully contrived. A "gun-runner," every one ma=
>> not know, is a White trader who supplies native tribes with rifles,=E2=80=
> =94 a
>> business which does not make him a favourite with his fellowcountrymen. M=
>> Mitford has, it is clear, a pretty strong sympathy with the Zulus, who ar=
>> contrasted, not a little to their advantage, with their white enemies. Th=
> e "gun-runner,"
>> who has, besides, great private wrongs to avenge, enjoys something of the
>> favour which outlaws, buccaneers, smugglers, and other revolters against
>> society can command, at least in the realms of fiction.
> The Academy. Volume 44. September 2, 1893
> [Review.] p. 189/3
>> Mr. Mitford has earned a reputation for stories of South African life whi=
>> should be well sustained by his latest production, *The **Gun-Runner* : a
>> romance of the Zulu war in its earlier stages, embracing the massacre at
>> Isandhlwana and the defence of Rorke's Drift. His book is filled with
>> interesting details of historical scenes and events, and it is written wi=
>> a considerable degree of indignant feeling on behulf of "the finest and m=
>> intelligent race of savages in the world--now, thanks to the 'beneficent'
>> policy of England, crushed and 'civilised ' out of all recognition." The =
>> Gun-Runner" himself is an Englishman, who, having been hounded from home
>> and country by a nefarious plot hatched by his half-brother, has settled =
>> the borders of Zululand, and being on terms of intimate friendship with h=
>> dusky neighbours, supplies them freely with rifles for use against his
>> countrymen, when the latter menace them with invasion. The story is rathe=
> r a
>> gruesome tale of revenge, as the author, in an apologetic sort of preface=
>> admits, and it ends somewhat disappointingly; but it is written with a go=
>> deal of vigour and imaginative power. The author also displays throughout=
>> intimate acquaintance with the persons and scenery described; indeed, he
>> expressly states that " the bulk of the Zulu chiefs and *indunas *who
>> figure in the book are real characters, and, including the king, were, in
>> times past, personally known to the writer."
> Athen=C3=A6um. 1893
> Ads for Mitford book pp. 45, 80, 276, etc. plus review on pp. 188
> July 1, 1893
> p. 45/2 with description:
>> The GUN-RUNNER: a Romance of Zululand. By BERTRAM MITFOBD. With a
>> Frontispiece by Stanley L. Wood. Crown 8vo. cloth extra, 3s. 6d.
>> "Most of the Zulu chiefs and indunas who figure In Mr. Bertram Mitford's
>> "The Gun-Runner" are real characters, and, including king, were personall=
>> known to the author. The Preface atlye deals Mitford's 'The Gun-Runner' a=
>> real character*, and, Including the r known to the author. The Preface
>> states:-- 'If our narrative deals with history, it is with a vanishing pa=
>> of the same ; and as such we look to it to interest the reader, if only a=
> s a
>> sidelight upon the remarkable military power and ultimate downfall of the
>> finest and most intelligent race of savages in the world--now, thanks to =
>> "beneficent " policy of England, crushed and " civilised" out of all
>> recognition.' "=E2=80=94 Daily Chronicle.
> August 5, 1893
> p. 188/3
> The Gun-Runner
>> A very highly coloured story of love and revenge. The author does his bes=
>> to enlist our sympathy for the hero; but perjury and treason in the shape=
>> supplying weapons and intelligence to the public enemy, are hard matters =
>> get over. ...
> Mitford's book would appear to be the main vector in the spread of the term
> "gun-runner". But it's not, in fact, the earliest. There are several hits i=
> GB that show up with earlier dates--and, in fact, the copyright dates on
> these volumes are accurate. But, as Mitford's novel appeared in 1893, these
> are most likely later reprints of the works with advertising for current
> titles that include Mitford's.
> Aside from gun-running being an artifact of the Boer war, with the earliest
> cites over a decade earlier, there is evidence that "gun-runner" was being
> used in South Africa freely prior to 1893.
> Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine. Volume 149. May 1891
> H. Knollys. Some Very Noble Savages. p. 617
>> Unhappily the law is occasionally evaded by the criminal greed of whites,
>> chiefly in the Cape Colony, some of whom occupy a high social status, and
>> who have succeeded in baffling the utmost efforts of the Natal authoritie=
>> and in establishing a regular traffic through a secret route called "the =
>> Runner's Pass."
> But the most accurate reports appear to be from the correspondence between
> Bishop Colenso and Governor Frere.
> The Ruin of Zululand: An Account of British Doings in Zululand Since the
> Invasion of 1879. Volume 2. By Frances Ellen Colenso. London: 1885
> p. 45-6
>> On the 18th of May, 1880, he writes to Lord Kimberley as follows [2695, p=
>> "I know, however, of few such instances of refusal. One was that of Mr.
>> Mullins, a notorious gun-runner, who had been convicted in Natal, and
>> suffered a term of imprisonment with hard labour, for smuggling guns and
>> selling them to Cetshwayo."
> p. 47
>> Secondly, it may be observed that Sir Bartle Frere openly classes a man o=
>> whom he speaks as a "notorious gun-runner," smuggler and convict with the
>> Bishop of Natal and his family as being alike dangerous and untrustworthy
>> characters. What has "since been done by Dr. Colenso and members of his
>> family" does not appear, but the expression can only apply at that time (=
>> 18th, 1880) to the following facts. ...
> There is some dispute as to the facts of Mr. Mullins's being a "gun-runner"=
> but that is not the issue here. In fact, there is an earlier letter
> substantially on the same subject (the author, again, is Governor H. B. E.
> Further Correspondence Respecting the Affairs of South Africa. (In
> continuation of [C.-2308] of March 1879.) London [May] 1879. [C.--2316.]
> pp. 52-3
>> Enclosure 3. in No. 11
>> Government House, Pietermaritzburg,
>> March 6, 1879
>> Dear Bishop Colenso,
>> You must, I think, be aware, that this John Mullens is apparently the sam=
>> John Mullens, a notorious gun runner, who is now, or was lately, in Durba=
>> gaol as a convict, on a criminal charge of supplying Catywayo with guns a=
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