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. Pick a state. Odds are, a mass shooting recently happened there, too.

Given the state of our state and since “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. Instead of becoming dated or at least having moved on to a nominally different issue, we are FIVE 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 Republicans are saying in the case of the recent (five years ago, not counting the one a couple of days ago) in Texas in which during the shooting a good guy with a gun eventually chased the bad guy who had a gun.

The only thing they left out is he chased the guy AFTER HE KILLED 26 PEOPLE AND WOUNDED MANY 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: “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 pretty 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.

2018 – Kids protesting against gun violence — and NOTHING has changed

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.

Categories: gun control, guns, Humor, Movies, Tom Curley, Western movies

Tags: , , , , ,

6 replies

  1. Another brilliant post Tommy

    Ben OmniClassic Recording “Have Mic-Will Travel”

    On Fri, May 27, 2022 at 12:20 PM Serendipity Seeking Intelligent Life


  2. I will never understand why ordinary citizens are allowed to buy assault weapons. What would you need them for?
    I don’t understand the concept of keeping a gun in your home where anyone can get hold of it, in your nightstand or your handbag (purse) for example. Why would you leave a loaded weapon lying around like that?
    As you know we do it very differently here in Australia but there are still people who believe in the “good guy with a gun” scenario.
    I recall that after hearing about a mass shooting in a church in the USA a woman I knew said that if people in the church had also had guns the outcome might have been different. I couldn’t fathom it, firstly because it seems to me that a lot more people would have been hurt or killed if that were the case but also because she is a devout Christian. How could she condone killing people like that? And in church too!
    I think that since that time I’ve had a lot less time for the “thoughts and prayers” crowd.


    • It doesn’t make any sense. You can’t use them for hunting — you’d blow the deer into tiny little piece. And what kind of government interference are you expecting? An army patrol with a tank? America has had a love affair with guns since forever. I don’t know why. It used to be a fringe group thing. Now it seems to be a lot more than that.

      It doesn’t make sense, not by anything I considering sensible.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. It occurs to me that those who dismiss “thoughts and prayers” out of hand are misinformed about what those are supposed to be for. Sure it sounds like a mealy mouthed platitude and of course that kind of thing makes no physical difference at all. Also (IMO) God has said (paraphrased) DO something (take cation) and then offer the T&Ps. He helps those who help themselves. We’re not doing a damned thing that I can see except passing the buck. “Oh surely someone will step up!” we moan, “But it ain’t gonna be ME. I don’t want to get shot.” is the attitude of the day across the board. Nobody impeaches the lawmakers most pro-gun that I know about. Nobody says “Guns are offensive and are weapons, so you can’t own an AK-47 to ‘hunt deer with.” Black marketeers get rich. Cops are corrupt, politicians are obviously corrupt. The NRA makes up soft headed ‘rules’ and nobody abides by them. NRA is huge, has deep pockets and the average citizen can’t fight them on equal ground.

    I’m not ‘anti-gun’ either. There are situations where they’re warranted – but it used to be that for the most part law officers (cops) and soldiers were the only people with valid reason to even have a gun. The world today is chaos, terror, stupid people who gain positions of power and screw it all up further. The People are muted. It’s not the gun that does the killing (well literally it is of course), it’s the nut job behind the trigger that does that. No guns will NEVER be acceptable, because “if they outlaw guns, the only people owning guns will be outlaws”. I say CHANGE THE LAWS. Prosecute those who offend and don’t slap ’em on the wrist either. Make the **** laws SENSIBLE>

    But who am I kidding? This new version of the world (reality) doesn’t have the capacity to use common sense. It’s one of those things that got lost somewhere along in the past decade or two. I don’t own a gun and I wouldn’t be allowed to get one legally. I can get one illegally if I want to though. I use my common sense and say “No thank you. A gun is too dangerous for someone like me to own.” because it is. Too bad the idiots who bear a grudge that they never seem to explain before killing a group of people, don’t have the same insight. Too bad the medical community doesn’t care any more and allows deluded people to slip through their fingers, the same with the law (IMO). And we come full circle. It seems to be always someone else’s problem.


    • I’m not anti gun for those who have need of a gun. The military, police, hunters. I don’t think everyone needs a gun and no one outside the military needs an assault rifle. America has been having a love affair with guns since its birthing. I have nothing against thoughts and prayers, but we also need people to address the problem. I don’t think thoughts and prayers were ever meant as a solution to real-life issues. All the things you said I agree with, by the way, so this isn’t an argument. More of an affirmation.

      This whole “someone else’s problem” thing has expanded so NO ONE take responsibility for anything. Everything is someone else’s problem. It’s infuriating and frankly, depressing. No one is willing to answer for themselves or for the company they work for. It’s like Mad magazine’s Alfred E. Newman, “Who ME?” We are now a nation screaming “Who, ME?”


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