From George Augustus Sala, My Diary in America in the Midst of War, 2nd ed. (London: Tinsley Brothers, 1865), 2:316:
And, concerning pistols and bowie-knives, I know perfectly well that English travellers have fallen into very absurd errors as regards the American habit of carrying deadly weapons. I know that the warning as to the expediency of either shooting or skedaddling so soon as the adversary with whom you are holding an argument puts his hand in his coat-tail pocket, or begins to scratch his neck in the vicinity of his vest collar, is a bit of fun, and nothing more. There are cowardly ruffians all the world over who will shoot or stab an unarmed person unawares ; but in the settled part of the States such dastardly bravoes are not more plentiful than they are in Europe. Even in San Francisco, the habit of carrying firearms is dying out; and a gentleman, recently arrived from thence, told me that in the course of a year's sojourn he had not fired a pistol in anger half-a-dozen times.