A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from April 29, 2015
“Blame the Indian, not the arrow”

"Blame the Indian, not the arrow” (or “It’s the Indian, not the arrow") is a saying that seems to be a modern version of “A bad workman blames his tools.” When the saying is applies to gun control, it is similar to other sayings, such as “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people”

Although the saying is about Indians who shoot arrows and is seemingly from the 1700s or 1800s, the saying is actual quite recent. “It’s the Indian, not the arrow” has been cited from 1994. The saying has been frequently applied to sports equipment (such as golf clubs) and has also been applied to computers and computer users.


Google Groups: alt.sport.bowling
Resin-Bashing, Was: Re: Axis weighted hammers
Brian Wong - SMCC Product Marketing Engineering
7/22/94
(...)
>point is that it ain’t the ball alone that makes things happen.  I get
Of course.  “It’s the Indian, not the arrow.”

Google Groups: rec.sport.golf
Bad Tempers
Patsy Price
8/16/95
(...)
I am a firm believer that it is the Indian not the Arrow! I still love golf. I don’t need a lot of clubs to prove it!

4 July 1996, The Orange County Register (Santa Ana, CA), “Putter Is Soft Touch” by John Reger, GolfExtra, Sports 9, col. 4:
“I still believe it’s the Indian and not the arrow.”
(Derek Hardy, a professional at Pelican Hills.—ed.)

Google Books
October 2002, Ski magazine, pg. 34, col. 2:
Sweet revenge, indeed. Stan Milken Weston, Conn. Rookie Racer” was a great example of the old adage, “It’s the Indian, not the arrow.” Way too much emphasis is put on athletic gear these days.
(...)
LUCY LEA TUCKER
Denver, Colo.

Google News Archive
23 August 2003, McCook (NE) Daily Gazette, “It’s a torrid love affair” by Mike Hendricks, Weekend sec., pg. 2, col. 5:
He told my friend to remember that it’s the Indian, not the arrow,

THR (TheHighRoad.org)
Bear shot with 444 Marlin, attacks hunter.
danceswithbears1
November 30, 2005, 07:56 PM
This is a message that I replied to a So Called Hunter who thought he knew everything about me on a military.com forum just because he read a AP press release. I like to surf as much as th next guy. I’ve read forums from little purple haired old ladies with tennis shoes to bunnyhuggers saying everything from horray for the bear, I should be killed for killing a majestic animal, to being called name imaginable in the book. Now I go to Pro Hunting forums and get, not enough gun, blame the indian not the arrow, shot it in the head (that would make a nice trophy), can’t shoot straight, can’t a guy get a physical break.

CNET
Mac OS X forum: Mac stability questions
Blame the indian not the arrow
by robgoldstein - 2/16/07 6:21 AM
In Reply to: Totally Mac by gkendrick
I know how mac users love to tell us all how wonderful they are, but the fact is that they don’t do anything better than PC’s any more and they are no more stable than PC’s

Google Groups: rec.sport.golf
Found one problem
SKIPPER
6/6/07
(...)
You blame the arrow.
I blame the Indian.

topix—Guns
Taurus Gaucho Revolver
steve
#17 Sep 6, 2008
if the weapon shoots crooked, I blame the indian not the arrow. teh round will fly whereever you point it.

Twitter
Moosie
‏@MaMoosie
Don’t blame the Arrow-Blame the Indian.. RT @macTweeter: iPod Touch at Center of Middle School Sexting Scandal http://bit.ly/bU50P0 #apple
1:44 PM - 19 Apr 2010

Google Books
Message Not Received:
Why Business Communication Is Broken and How to Fix It

By Phil Simon
Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
2015
Pg. 183:
Blame the Indian, not the arrow. I was the problem, not e-mail.

The Monterey County Herald (Monterey, CA)
Letters
POSTED: 04/28/15, 5:13 PM PDT |
(...)
So, too, a gun by itself is essentially harmless. Again, it’s only when a person picks it up, loads it, points it at another and pulls the trigger that someone gets hurt or killed.

As the old saying goes, “blame the Indian, not the arrow.” Your cartoon makes that point abundantly!
R. Stephen Bloch, Carmel Valley

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CitySports/Games • Wednesday, April 29, 2015 • Permalink