Dick Whitman wrote:
Correct and even during that brief period he did not use a gun that often.
That's right. Looking at the synopses of the early issues of Detective Comics
, it seems that usually he tried to apprehend the villains alive, and if they died, it was by accident or by their own folly. He usually used his fists or batarangs, and only resorted to guns in rare circumstances.
Here's a good essay on Batman's gun use in his first year:
Several of the shots of Batman using guns are just splash-page or cover art that's not actually part of the story. In one instance, he shoots at a machine; in another, he fires a gun to signal the police. The first time we see him actually shoot anyone, he's shooting a vampire with a silver bullet. The only other time is when he strafes a truck from the Batplane, trying to stop its occupants from releasing one of Hugo Strange's monsters. There, he says, "Much as I hate to take human life, I'm afraid this
time it's necessary!" And that story, published only ten months after the character's debut, was the last time he was shown intentionally killing anyone, due to an editorial backlash to that very scene. The next time he was shown using a gun three issues later, it was only to wing a sniper, and an editor's note explicitly states that he'd never kill with a gun and usually doesn't carry one.
So really, Batman only used guns to kill living people on that single occasion (since vampires are undead), and even then he stated that it was an exception to his moral code. This meme out there that "Batman used to use guns," as if he were some sort of Punisher-type killer for a significant amount of time, is a gross distortion of the facts, an attempt to impose modern tastes for more violent "heroes" onto the character.