Sunday, February 23, 2014
Gunfight at the NoK Corral
I recall fondly those Saturday nights during my youth. I would strap on my nifty leather quick draw outfit, make sure my nickel plated cap pistols were oiled up and at the ready, and count down the minutes until 8:00 p.m. rolled around. And then, all the drama would unfold...
Marshal Matt Dillon would haul his lanky, six foot-five self into the middle of the dusty Dodge City main street. The camera would take its position looking directly through his legs at the cowboy dressed in black down the street. The music would stop and the cowboy would go for his gun. Dillon, being ever the Fair and Balanced marshal, would wait until the other guy slapped leather to pull his Colt .45 and drill the poor fellow right between the running lights. And I would draw as well, faster than either Dillon or the cowboy. I would blow the "smoke" from the barrels of my harmless pistols and twirl them with a flurry back into the gunbelt from whence they came.
Cue the music, and yet another episode of the iconic western "Gunsmoke" would begin, with my face about 2 feet from the old black and white Dumont TV, on my knees, watching rapturously.
As a kid born and raised in the Midwest, where most young guys like me were issued a .22 single shot rifle at the age of 8 or so, and went hunting and fishing year round, guns were a part of my life, and theirs. My dad taught me to shoot, and to be a proud outdoorsman. He was a crack shot and taught me to be the same. In fact, I was a certified gunsmith by the age of 13 and built custom varmint rifles on order for local hunters. I was an avid gun collector, amassing more than 50 rifles, shotguns and pistols by the time I was in my twenties (the "Greetings" from POTUS necessitated my selling them off).
I shot trap and skeet, 50 foot, 50 yard, 100 yard and 1,000 yard NRA open sight pistol and rifle courses and was a member of two quick-draw clubs, bringing my earlier experiences with Mr. Dillon and his foil to a reality.
My early training did me well as I posted the highest score in the history of the Army's Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri rifle range at 998 out of 1,000 points. I went on to teach rifle and pistol marksmanship during my military years and enjoyed every minute of it. I also became somewhat of an expert on the Old West in general, and in "High Noon" shootouts in particular. And that, my friends, is the subject of today's posting.
Considering all the of the cowboy TV shows and movies during the 50's, 60's and 70's, and the fact that they all were chocked full of shootouts between the good guys (white hats) and the bad guys (black hats), the uninformed could be forgiven for assuming that the Old West was as dangerous as our current day Chicago. And they would be wrong.
The Old West was far safer than all but a few of our safest U.S. cities is today. A careful scanning of Old West newspapers reveals that there were a total, a total, of perhaps a dozen classic High Noon-style shootouts over the entire period.
From the 1850's through the 1890's, the generally accepted Old West period, classic, squared-off, go-for-your-guns shootouts were a rarity. The average Old West city, in fact, had an average of one and one-half deaths per year by gunfire each. So why did the cowboy shows feature gunplay so prominently? Because it would be pretty boring to show life as it actually was. So what was the truth?
There were almost no shootouts because everybody was armed! Cowboys needed guns to protect themselves from Indians, crooks, animals and each other. Oh, and to drive nails into fence posts on which to hang barbed wire. Everybody wore a pistol and most had a rifle in a scabbard on their saddle. As such, one could say that an armed society was a polite society. And so it is today.
Flash forward to 2014. Last year the number of concealed carry pistol permits increased 30% in Florida. And the gun crime rate there fell by 30%. Hmmm. Do you think there might be some connection between those two statistics?
The rate of crime in Florida is at an all time low. Of Florida's 20,000,000 people, 1,000,000 are CCW licensees. Bad guys don't know which prospective victim is armed, but they know there are a lot of them. With a one in 20 ratio, their odds aren't so good. So, they don't engage in classic illegal activities which might result in them getting their bad selves all shot up.
In California, on the other hand, almost no one gets to carry. Maybe one in a thousand is (legally) packing heat. We citizens of California can thank those near-ocean county sheriff's who choose not to offer CCW privileges. Or, maybe they're just too damn stupid to read the plain English in which the 2nd Amendment is written.
Nor are they afforded that Constitutional privilege in New York. Or Connecticut, Maryland, Illinois, Massachusetts, or a dozen other Democrat-run states. And in those states gun crime is rampant. But, with the exception of Chicago, Detroit, Baltimore and Philly, not as rampant as it used to be.
And while we're on the subject of Chicago, our Insurance-Salesman-in-Chief's home town, 532 poor souls were offed last year due to gunfire. Chicago. The most restrictive gun laws in America are in Chicago. And it has our Nation's highest gun death rate. Maybe there's a correlation there also, yes?
A new FBI report says that violent crime continues to fall precipitously nationwide, which might annoy liberals because gun purchases continue to rise. Gun crimes are down an astounding 50% over the past twenty years, during which the number of guns increased by a like amount. That's because those of us in the know, know that our POTUS is the most gun-hating Prez in our Country's history. He's on record as saying that said that, if he could, he'd confiscate all our guns. Why? I think it's Rule Number Six in Saul Alinsky's "Rules for Radicals," written by Obama's mentor, which states you've got to disarm the population before you can fully control them. And all you have to do is look around and you'll see the almost daily new assaults on our freedom which are designed to control us.
Oh, and let's us not slight California's Senator "Lady Di" Feinstein. She's even more direct in stating that gun confiscation is her dream. So is New York's Gov Andrew Cuomo's. His hastily enacted "SAFE Act," following fast on the heels of Sandy Hook, was designed to disarm New Yorkers. It didn't work. What it did do was chase out New York's famed gun manufacturers such as Ithaca and Remington Arms. More are sure to follow.
A bit more circumspect are the Governors of Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, Maryland and Colorado. They want your guns, but they're too smart to actually say it in so many words (wouldn't want to anger Democrat hunters, now would we?).
In fact, I would opine that all of America's Democrat governors would just love to eradicate the 2nd Amendment. They would be quite content if we had no way at all of protecting ourselves from their socialist onslaughts. But Obama, aided by his socialist Attorney General Eric Holder, and dimbulb legislators like Dem Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Dem Senator Dickey Durbin and Dem House Minority Leader San Fran Nan Pelosi, is by far the worst. Take a look at Operation "Fast and Furious," by way of which a couple of thousand "assault weapons," which you paid for, were slow-walked across the border to Mexican drug cartels, if you need proof.
Obama has so far failed to enact more restrictive gun laws, despite the furor resulting from the Sandy Hook massacre. But he'll keep trying. And we'll keep buying.
In the first six months of 2013, murders fells by 7% compared with the same period of 2012. Aggravated assaults fell by 6.6% and robberies are down by 1.8%. "All the offenses in the violent crime category - murder and non-negligent manslaughter, forcible rape, aggravated assault and robbery - showed decreases when compared with data from the first six months of 2012," according to the FBI. Overall, violent crime fell by 5.4%. Burglary, larceny and auto theft also declined markedly. And gun background checks are at an all time high. December, 2013's background checks were double the same period in the previous year. Apparently, there are others besides me who are buying in a frenzy believing that Obama and his minions will be coming for our weapons just as soon as they figure out how. And we'll be ready for him, or for whomever rises up in his place.
Who out there in Internet Land would doubt that the more guns there are, the lower the crime rate will be?
So, I say again. More guns = less crime! It was true in the Old West, and it's true now. 100 Million Americans own more than 300 Million guns. And where the guns are concentrated, such as in Texas, Arizona, Oklahoma, Louisiana, etc., the crime rate drops like a stone.
Argue against that, you gun-hating weenies!