Old West

This category contains 7 posts

Have Gun – Will Travel

I’ve been finding enjoyment on our satellite television with the On Demand feature.  While the choices are numerous, the quality choices are limited, however.

I just finished watching virtually all the episodes of  Night Court.  I met Harry Anderson once, he’s great, and it’s great stuff.  And John Larroquette won three Emmys for his roll as the slimeball D.A. Dan Fielding.

paladin1Having completed that, it was time for something different.  They do have Have Gun – Will Travel.  Not the first of the ‘adult’ Westerns in the 50s, but certainly the second.  (The first having been Gunsmoke).

Richard Boone’s hard living hadn’t yet completely ravaged his once handsome face.  And the stories are not just gratuitous violence, they are morality tales for a simpler time.

I do mean the 1950’s, not the 1880’s…

I often chuckle at a childhood memory surrounding this, though.   When the show started in 1957, I had just began school and was reading, reading well.  But there were many words I didn’t yet understand.  What kind of a stupid first name IS WIRE, anyway?  🙂





Taoist Law Enforcement?

tao“When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.”

From John Lott:

People in one Oregon county are substituting private for public provision.  From Fox News:

. . . The government in Josephine County, where nearly 70 percent of the land is owned by the U.S. government, had long relied on federal timber subsidies to pay the bills. When the feds terminated the funds, county officials scrambled to pass a May 2012 tax levy to make up a nearly $7.5 million budget shortfall.

However, the county’s residents voted against the levy, and as a result the Josephine County Sheriff’s Office was gutted. The major crimes unit closed, dozens of prisoners were released from the county jail and the department reduced operations to Monday-Friday, eight hours a day.

What do you think will happen next?

Quick Draw McGraw

quick draw has an interesting link adding to the debate regarding the speed of the draw (pistol presentation).  It seems, empirically:

Professor Ross explains that in 90% of the 1,100 cases studied, an officer had less than two seconds to react to perceived lethal danger. (Law Enforcement Executive Forum, 2013, #13(2), p 90) (emphasis Guffaw)

While an interesting factoid (and, to be fair, I’ve not read the study, it costs $4.00) my emphasis is about an officer being the focus.  Most of us gun folks on the Internet, reading this and many other blogs are not officers, not in uniform and not charged with protection of the public at large.

And, I’m certain a civilian carrying discretely doesn’t have the same constraints on their actions.  Civilians probably have more.

Having said all this, it would be ‘cool’ is all of us were Condition Yellow enough to be able to react to perceived lethal danger in less than two seconds.  But, we are not cops, special operators, nor super heroes.  We are just responsible men and women who train for the eventuality.

And hope it never happens.

O Say Can You C ?


not Tam

The lovely, endearing and forever snarky Tam recently posted about Starbucks Appreciation Day, persons objecting to the militarization of civilian police, and other issues.  She referred to Sebastian and his take on the matter.

Even to the point of suggesting carrying an elongated garden implement into the coffee shop in lieu of the ostensibly more objectionable bullet projector.  Reductio ad absurdum, I presume (?)

This got me to thinking.  Back in the day, when I first became a handgun owner (the 70s) there was no CCW law in Arizona, and certain no Constitutional Carry provision on the horizon.  One carried concealed at one’s own peril – a misdemeanor conviction if caught and possible loss of the offending firearm if convicted.

Open Carry was the LAW.  And, the rule.  And except for occasionally running into a tourist or snowbird (Winter visitor) there was rarely a problem.  I remember one late night visit to a grocery store.  I was at one end of an aisle, and a woman at the far end was screaming (to no one in particular), “Oh My God!  He’s got a GUN!”  I assumed she was speaking about me.

No one cared.

However, times have changed.  Arizona law still provides for Open Carry (whilst adding brandishing to the list of no-nos) as well as a concealment permitage and Constitutional Carry.  Citizen’s choice!

But with the concealment laws have come changes in the State’s culture.  Open Carry isn’t as accepted as it once was.  Concealment is considered more socially acceptable, more polite.  Only uncouth ruffians would carry openly.

At least in the big city.  I guess if I lived in Apache Junction or Prescott, O.C. would be no big deal.

But, I mostly choose to carry concealed, now.  A more genteel Guffaw…

Yeah, right.

5 Lessons from The Magnificent Seven

magnificentKenn Blanchard (aka Black Man with A Gun) spells out for us the 5 Lessons all of us should glean (or should have gleaned) from the classic movie Western The Magnificent Seven.

(I suppose for poetic sake it should have been seven lessons…?)

Now, I’m not going to enumerate them all for you here, as you should be reading and/or listening to Kenn (on his podcast) anyway, but, I will give you a snippet:

~In this classic Western from 1960′s there are some messages and things I want to see if you caught when you saw it.  It’s the story of an oppressed Mexican peasant village that recruits seven gunfighters to help defend their homes.  The concept originated from a Japanese film the Seven Samurai  (Shichinin no Samurai) and its been used ever since.  I think, the A-Team and The Expendables today have borrowed from it.

Unknowingly, many pro-gun rights guys have fallen into the trap of allowing themselves to be promoted to the low ranks of a murderer. You have let the macho take over and have confused the facts. You carry a gun or choose to because you can, and have decided to for various reasons but you are not a killer. Gun ownership has moved into the realms of being a smoker. Less desirable. I am trying to bring you back.~

Please visit the link above, and read the whole piece.

Rev. Kenn Blanchard, aka the Black Man With A Gun™ is an internationally known figure in the gun rights community since 1991. He is a former US Marine, federal police officer, intelligence officer and trainer. He produces the Urban Shooter Podcast, voice overs, motivates, inspires and writes for the Blanchard Media Group.,

The Wisdom of Will Rogers

will rogers

Will Rogers was a comedian and actor from the early part of the Twentieth Century.  Before becoming a stage personality, he had actually been a cowboy – some of his act involved lasso tricks!

Rogers, who died in a 1935 plane crash, was one of the
political sages this country has ever known. 
Some of his sayings:
Never slap a man
who’s chewing tobacco.
Never kick a cow
chip on a hot day.
There are two
theories to arguing with a woman. Neither works.
Never miss a good
chance to shut up.
Always drink
upstream from the herd.
If you find
yourself in a hole, stop digging.
The quickest way
to double your money is to fold it and put it back into your pocket.
There are three
kinds of men:
ones that learn by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them
have to pee on the electric fence and find out for themselves.
Good judgment
comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.
If you’re riding’
ahead of the herd, take a look back every now and then to make sure it’s still
Lettin’ the cat
outta the bag is a whole lot easier’n puttin’ it back.
After eating an
entire bull, a mountain lion felt so good he started roaring.
kept it up until a hunter came along and shot him.
When you’re full of bull, keep your mouth shut.
Eventually you
will reach a point when you stop lying about your age and start bragging about
The older we get,
the fewer things seem worth waiting in line for. 
Some people try to
turn back their odometers. Not me; I want people to know ‘why’ I look this way.
traveled a long way, and some of the roads weren’t paved.
When you are
dissatisfied and would like to go back to youth, think of Algebra.
You know you are
getting old when everything either dries up or leaks.
I don’t know how I
got over the hill without getting to the top.
One of the many
things no one tells you about aging is that it’s such a nice change from being
One must wait
until evening to see how splendid the day has been.
Being young is
beautiful, but being old is comfortable.
Long ago, when men
cursed and beat the ground with sticks, it was called witchcraft.
it’s called golf.

finally ~
If you don’t learn
to laugh at trouble, you won’t have anything to laugh at when you’re old.

h/t my dear sister, Ellie

The Truth About Gunfights in the Old West

‘High Noon’

Neatorama gives us an article about the historical meme:  The Old West Gunfight

As we take interest in this blog of American History and firearms, it seemed like as good an article as any to me.

An excerpt:

In 1865, in one of the few actual documented gunfights (with evidence and valid testimony), James Butler Hickok (“Wild Bill” Hickok) had a bad quarrel with Davis Tutt in Springfield, Missouri. The fight was over a debt. At around 6PM, the two advanced on each other in the town square. The men drew guns at a distance of around 50 yards and blasted away. (emphasis Guffaw)

Tutt missed. Wild Bill didn’t. Tutt fell with a bullet through his heart.

Hickok was tried for manslaughter and acquitted. A sensational account of the gunfight appeared in Harper’s magazine in 1867. This account made Hickok a national celebrity. This fairly “Hollywood” gunfight, although it did occur, was a rarity. The 50 yard distance was questioned by skeptics, but was verified by several onlookers.

Hardly the equivalent of the modern day – arm’s length gunfight.  Go and read the whole thing at the above link.

h/t Miss Cellania

"Round up the usual suspects."

In Loving Memory…