GUN SENSE, GUNS, AND GUNSMOKE – Tom Curley

I can no longer count all the mass shootings in this country. We’re still into serious protesting about the February 14, 2018 Stoneman Douglas High School shooting and I’m rooting for the kids to finally get done what we have obviously failed to do.

Last November there was another mass shooting in Texas. Which was just weeks after really big mass shooting in Nevada. Which was a mere few weeks after the mass shooting in … Oh, I don’t know.

I don’t remember. Pick a state. Odds are, a mass shooting recently happened there, too.


Given the state of the state and since obviously “thoughts and prayers” don’t seem to be getting the job done, this seemed relevant. 


I can look through the posts on Serendipity over the months and years … and instead of becoming dated — because we fixed this or that — or at least moved on to a different issue, we are months and years later dealing with exactly the same stuff. Our “leaders” — such as they are — are spouting the same slogans and platitudes.

So … on the subject of guns …

I’ve been thinking about why this country is so gun crazy. The craziest of the crazies keep saying: “The only thing that can stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” This is, of course, ridiculous. Now the right-wing is saying that in the case of the recent Texas shooting, apparently a good guy with a gun did chase the bad guy with a gun. The only thing they left out is he chased the guy AFTER HE KILLED 26 PEOPLE AND WOUNDED A LOT MORE!

Then it hit me. It’s our fault so many people believe this kind of thing. By “our fault,” I mean the fault of those of us who grew up in the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s. Our heroes were cowboys. We grew up watching Westerns in which everybody, men and women alike, had guns strapped to their waists. (Dale Evans was a hell of shot. So was Annie Oakley.)

Everybody had a gun. Good guys. Bad guys. Grandma. But, the world was a lot safer in those westerns than it is now — and not because everyone had a gun. Or two. Or three.

First. The bad guys rarely — if ever — actually hit anybody at whom they shot.

Second. The good guys merely shot the guns out of the bad guys hands. They weren’t trying to kill them.

Third. Grandma just shot people in the ass. Usually with a shotgun filled with rock salt.

Okay, sometimes the good guy would need to be little more extreme, so he’d shoot the bad guy in the shoulder (or “wing em” as we used to say). But it was always just a flesh wound.

BAD GUY:OW! You shot me in the shoulder!”

GOOD GUY: “Oh stop whining. It’s just a flesh wound.”

BAD BUY: “Well if you shot me between the eyes wouldn’t that technically be a “flesh wound” too?”

GOOD GUY: “Hmm. Never thought of it that way. You know, you’re rather astute for a bad guy.”

BAD GUY: “Thank you.”

Another thing. When the bad guy used up his bullets shooting at the good guy, he’d throw the gun at him! I never understood this. Seriously. You just fired a few dozen bullets, each traveling at about 1000 feet per second, at a guy a couple of hundred feet away. You missed every shot.

What exactly do you hope to accomplish by throwing the gun at him? Bonk him on the head?

GOOD GUY: OW! What the hell?! Did you just throw your gun at me!?”

BAD GUY: “Uh, yeah.”

GOOD GUY: “Well that really hurt! Look! I’ve already got a lump! What’s wrong with you?? Why would you do that?”

BAD GUY: “I ran out of bullets.”

GOOD GUY: “And whose fault is that?! If you’re going to a gun fight, come more prepared.”

BAD GUY: “Yeah, I guess you’re right.”

At this point, seeing that the bad guy doesn’t have a gun with to shoot anymore … and all the good guy was intending to do was shoot the gun out of his hand, both go home feeling oddly unfulfilled.

I don’t own a gun, but I took a gun safety course. I’ve done some target shooting. So I know guns are REUSABLE! That’s right! All you gotta do is find more bullets for Pete’s sake — and that gun’s back on the job.

FYI, don’t call them bullets. They’re cartridges. The bullet is the lead part you actually fire from the gun. (See? I told you. I took a course.)

One more thing we tend to forget about Westerns. If you went into a town that had a Sheriff, you had to leave your guns at the sheriff’s office. When you left town, you got your guns back. The Sheriff understood the only reason anyone came to town was to go to the saloon. Which, let’s face it, was a brothel with a liquor license. Letting a bunch of horny, drunken cowboys hang out in a confined space with booze, hookers, and guns is not a great idea.

Even if you were in a town where they let you keep your guns, there were rules.

1 – If two bad guys got in a fight, they at least gave everybody a few seconds to move their chairs out of the way, or jump behind the bar.

2 – If a good guy and a bad guy got into a disagreement, they would usually schedule the gunfight for the next day in the middle of town. That way, no one else got shot.

3 – They set it up for high noon.

Why high noon? Probably because it was the lunch hour. Everybody in town could come out to watch. It also made it easier for the combatants. It wasn’t always easy to get time off for a gunfight.

BAD GUY: “Hey boss? Can I get off early today? I have a gunfight at 2 o’clock.”

BAD GUY’S BOSS: “Okay, but I’ll have to dock your pay.”

BAD GUY: (Sighing) “Never mind. I’ll reschedule it for lunchtime.”

Besides, “Gunfight at Two-ish” doesn’t have the gravitas of “High Noon.” So yeah, everybody had guns in old Westerns, but they were more mature about using them. You could argue things were simpler back then. “Things were more black and white,” you say.

To this I reply: “So what? Westerns weren’t more black and white. They were completely black and white.” They didn’t go to color until the mid-sixties.

These days, everything contains infinitely more shades of gray. With a whole lot of color thrown in.

15 thoughts on “GUN SENSE, GUNS, AND GUNSMOKE – Tom Curley”

  1. Obviously the subject of the right to bear arms did not come up when the Sheriff said “Hand over them guns.” You did as you were told or got them shot out of your hand and wound up in the town jail. If only it were still like that.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Good old days indeed. Living in the West as I do, I’m surrounded by folks who think that the Second Amendment is right up there with those ten rules for considerate living, i.e. commandments. Me? I’m on the fence about the issue. I don’t care if everybody has a gun. I don’t want a gun and will never take steps to own one (unless the Zombie apocalypse begins and then not having one might just be silly talk). But like the bad guys, I’d bet I couldn’t hit anything. Or maybe I could. I don’t care to find out, and I sincerely wish that whomever makes up the rules about guns would find just a wee bit of common sense. Because how it’s being done now? Is truly crazy talk (action). IMHO.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Honestly, I don’t even know why I read this post. I abhor any kind of violence and I don’t watch Western either. But now I know why I did…. I HAD to view that YT video about the ‘good guy’ shooting the guns off the hands of the bad guys. And that’s about how much shooting I can stomach in a day. PLEASE all of you out there – Do what you can that this is being stopped…. I can’t bear thinking of all those kids loosing their lives, over and over in all counties. It’s too sad and as a parent I think I would go crazy before I had time to forgive the shooters.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. My next door neighbor is a child psychologist. For the last few years she treated all the survivors of the Newtown Shooting. She had to stop. It just became too much. I hope these high school kids continue to take on the NRA and all these gun nuts.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I always wonder why they have to break windows when there’s a shootout in the bad guy’s cabin. Was this before you could raise windows? I mean, they still broke windows when Eliot Ness was tommy-gunning the nasty mobsters in the 30’s. Still couldn’t raise windows?
    I guess it’s good business for window replacement folks. Are they tied in with the mob or the law? Or is it just an ‘OPEN–FIRST COME-FIRST SERVED’ deal?
    Josh Randall, Window Replacement,Inc.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good point! I never thought of that! And the owner of the cabin never say “Hey! What the Hell? You’re gonna have to replace that!”

      Like

  5. I’m not sure how ‘gun culture’ evolved. But it surely does exist. I’d guess – as you say – popular media would have something to do with it.
    I will also say however, that the vast amount of gun owners will NEVER have a negative incident with their firearms. I think guns can be an enjoyable recreation. And at times even practical.
    BUT it only takes one lunatic. And there seems to be plenty around.

    Like

    1. Even most NRA members are in favor of simple, sensible gun laws. I don’t even know WHY we have this problem. We really shouldn’t have any problem. Most people ARE sane and careful. But when you have no requirements, then any crazy can get a big semi -automatic gun and voila. Kids die.

      Like

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