Gun Smoke

“Where have all the cowboys gone?” (Paula Cole)

When I was growing up, TV Westerns were very popular. There were a ton of classics such as “Gunsmoke,” “The Rifleman,” “Have Gun, Will Travel,” “Bonanza” and “Wagon Train.” Many of them featured cowboy heroes who sought justice in the streets and taverns of the Old West.

(For a list of TV Westerns, look here:

And there was the ultimate movie cowboy, Clint Eastwood, who starred in all those classic “Spaghetti Westerns.” He was tough, quiet, clever and a helluva good shot.

Those cowboys didn’t have to have an “open carry” permit — they just carried their Colt .45 revolvers in holsters on their hips. If anyone wanted to mess with anyone else, well, you just kinda knew ahead of time where you stood. You could decide for yourself what the odds were that the other guy could draw his gun faster than you and then proceed accordingly.

I liked those good ol’ Westerns — the hats, the jeans, the horses, the rifles, the guns. And it was cool how crime prevention was so practical and basic and justice was so (generally) swift.

TV westerns eventually lost popularity and were replaced by 20th-century crime detective and police procedural-shows. The good ol’ six-shooter gave way to the sexy semi-automatic pistol.

The old Westerns portrayed the rugged individualism of Americans who were proud of their ability to survive, create, live off the land and chew tobacco.

And as Westerns lost popularity on TV, so also does it seem that many Americans stopped celebrating the amazing spirit of the individual and the Constitutional protections that have kept us free from government tyranny.

Nowadays, instead of rugged cowboys we have the elitist PC-Police.

Political Correctness has an ever-tightening stranglehold on United States citizens. We are constantly being bombarded with “rules” regarding what we can say, do or own.

Take guns, for instance. (And our government DOES want to take them from us.) The ownership of guns is guaranteed to us by the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution.

It used to be that the US Constitution was the last word on the Rights of We the People. But now we have ivory-towered PC-Police choking gun owners to death with rules, regulations, fees, permits, registrations, etc. etc. etc.

No more are the days of freedom to carry a six-shooter on your hip; now you’re lucky if you can carry a .22 from Point A to Point B without half a billion permits and paid fees.

Nowadays, it is not considered “PC” to own a gun. And I gotta wonder, “Why?” A gun is just a thing. Most individuals don’t buy guns to use to kill people. Guns can be used for hunting and/or for protection. Some people collect guns. Shooting is also considered a Sport — some folks simply like to practice hitting targets at a firing range!

A car is just a thing too. Most people don’t buy cars to use to kill people, but if the car is not operated responsibly, sometimes people get hurt or die. Cars are regulated to the hilt also — registration fees, license plates, driver licenses, insurance requirements, etc. But (so far) the PC-Police are not telling us to quit buying cars.

So unlike the cowboys of the Old West, who policed themselves and protected their own homesteads, many people in the 21st century are leaving their personal protection up to the government and/or law enforcement agencies. And many of these same people oppose gun ownership for EVERYone, no matter what.

And you know what? That’s just plain ol’ dumb. Even if every man, woman and child in the United States were completely disarmed tomorrow, the GOVERNMENT would still have weapons — lots of them. And just like mixing government with healthcare is a bad idea, letting the government have all the guns is a suicidal undertaking.

A cowboy didn’t whine and say, “Ooooh, the government needs to protect ‘lil ol’ helpless meeeeee.” People on the frontier protected themselves.

Personally, I like the smell of gun smoke and I would rather be armed than depend on an over-extended police force to get to my door 20 minutes too late. I would prefer to be free to practice down on the range without having to get 20 billion pieces of paper that “allow” me to do something that I already have the right to do under the protection of the US Constitution.

And I certainly don’t need any Columbia-graduated nincompoop who has never even served in the military or experienced the joy of hitting a target dead center, telling me what is “politically correct” or not.

©September 2011 by Phyllis J. Hanniver

“The beauty of the second amendment is that it will not be needed until they try to take it.” (Thomas Jefferson)


About pjh95811

I am a writer and poet living in California. I love cats, dogs, nature, poetry, spirituality and the Pacific Ocean.
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