What I Learned From Westerns: Gun Control

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Movies, shows, and books are created with a purpose.  The screenwriter/author wants to get a point across, and while you may be watching/reading just for entertainment, the screenwriter is trying to give you a message--perhaps good, perhaps bad.

One recurring message I've noticed in old Westerns is about the dangers of gun control.

The Rifleman: The Anvil Chorus
     This show demonstrates that although gun control may be first instituted with good intentions, people with bad intentions can quickly use the situation for their own good.

"Laws that forbid the carrying of arms...disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes...Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man."  --Cesare Beccaria (Crimes and Punishment)

Wanted Dead or Alive: The Tyrant

"One of the ordinary modes, by which tyrants accomplish their purposes without resistance, is, by disarming the people, and making it an offense to keep arms."  --Joseph Story, 1840

"To disarm the people... was the best and most effectual way to enslave them."  --George Mason

"Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect every one who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined."  --Patrick Henry

 In most towns in the old Westerns where gun control was enforced, it was enforced because a gang was in power and they were afraid an armed populace would take away their power: see also Black Saddle: Client Travers and (Part 2)

Throughout history when wicked men who want to enslave the populace and enjoy complete power are in authority, they do institute gun control.  For example, Nazi Germany under Hitler instituted the 1938 German Weapons Act.  

I could go on about the importance of the Second Amendment and man's inherent right to self-defence, but this post is mainly for the benefit of those who already acknowledge these rights.  As we approach another anniversary of the "Shot heard Round the World" fired at Lexington green in resistance to the British attempt to confiscate arms from Americans, I thought it was great to see a few shows from back in the good old days when propaganda went the other way.

In closing, enjoy this Glock commercial.  With an armed populace, criminals don't appear to stand much of a chance.

"Today, we need a nation of Minutemen, citizens who are not only prepared to take arms, but citizens who regard the preservation of freedom as the basic purpose of their daily life and who are willing to consciously work and sacrifice for that freedom."-- John F. Kennedy


  1. I couldn't agree more about the inherent danger, if not pure evil, of government gun confiscation. But I will make a point about your Western analogy. Remember that the Gunfight At The OK Corral was fought because the Earps were enforcing a city ordinance that outlawed carrying guns inside of city limits.

    There were gun control laws even then. Well intentioned? As I understand the intent, it was to keep the cowboys from coming in and shooting up the town.

    The problem with gun laws has been and always will be: where to draw the line. This requires eternal vigilance if we're to keep our rights.

  2. Good points. It is a good thing the Earps were much more capable lawmen than the Deputy in The Rifleman: Anvil Chorus.

    I do believe most gun control laws have come into being because of very well intentioned but usually misguided people. Now some gun control proponents want to institute gun control legislation to protect citizens, especially women and children, from crazy people who would want to attempt mass shootings. To me (on the surface),this sounds like an even better reason than the Earps had, but it is misguided because imho it is best to keep the populace armed so they can defend themselves from insane criminals who don't care about breaking laws to get weapons. (Of course it is necessary to keep guns out out of the hands of felons, and that would be where I draw the line)

    You are right. Eternal vigilance is necessary :) Thanks for the very thought-provoking comment.

  3. Also remember, the 2nd Amendment was put there to protect the people from the GOVERNMENT, not other people. So when the government is trying to disarm you, I don't think it's too paranoid to question their intent.