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View Full Version : Anti-2A Line: "This isn't the wild west"


Sig226
02-19-2009, 7:29 AM
I'm sure you have all read various OpEd pieces, Brady news letters, etc that proclaim "Open Carry", or even CCW to be a return to "the wild west". The idea being that the wild west (from a safety perspective) was much worse than current times.

I found this article to be extremely interesting---and quite frankly, I'm looking for more data to back up the claims made. Any help from anyone here would be great on that front....

http://www.examiner.com/x-3253-Minneapolis-Gun-Rights-Examiner~y2009m2d17-Dispelling-the-myth-of-The-Wild-West

"
In his book, Frontier Violence: Another Look, author W. Eugene Hollon, provides us with these astonishing facts:

* In Abilene, Ellsworth, Wichita, Dodge City, and Caldwell, for the years from 1870 to 1885, there were only 45 total homicides. This equates to a rate of approximately 1 murder per 100,000 residents per year.
* In Abilene, supposedly one of the wildest of the cow towns, not a single person was killed in 1869 or 1870.

Zooming forward over a century to 2007, a quick look at Uniform Crime Report statistics shows us the following regarding the aforementioned gun control “paradise” cities of the east:

* DC – 183 Murders (31 per 100,000 residents)
* New York – 494 Murders (6 per 100,000 residents)
* Baltimore – 281 Murders (45 per 100,000 residents)
* Newark – 104 Murders (37 per 100,000 residents)
"

So, if this really is the case, it would seem that the antis have been making our argument *for* us....again....

ETA: I placed this post in this forum because it deals directly with 2A politics and talking points...

outersquare
02-19-2009, 7:42 AM
i have this saying, its not what you see you should be afraid of, its what you don't see

7x57
02-19-2009, 7:49 AM
I can't remember where right now, but I have seen statistics that were higher, about the crime rate of our more dangerous cities but not more. But the very interesting thing was the *types* of crime. Virtually all homicide involved young men, usually mutual combat. Violence against women or children, including rape, was virtually unknown as well. The very few instances of violence against women clearly involved, um, "soiled doves"--a respectable woman was virtually immune.

The point is that the murder rate alone doesn't tell the story. The young, the weak, and those who weren't looking for a fight were *extremely* safe in the so-called Wild West.

I've been thinking about that since, and I would like to look at some detailed figures for lynchings and vigilante justice in the old West sometime. I have a strong suspicion that the facts have been greatly exaggerated in the public consciousness in order to discredit the idea of personal defense. It doesn't matter that PD is not synonymous with either of those--I have a feeling it was part of the cultural strategy to erase the public knowledge of and demand for their right.

One reason to suspect this is that the core strategy has always been to make people more afraid of each other than the government, and the image of people with torches and pitchforks lynching a random stranger *precisely* feeds that fear. Of course, it may be that the causality goes the other way, but I think they're going to be related somehow.

7x57

The Director
02-19-2009, 8:23 AM
Well clearly there was probably more crime than was reported back in the wild west - there would have been no way to accurately track what happened back then....but I submit to you that even though everyone and his dog was armed and packing, the crime rate was still lower than today.

7x57
02-19-2009, 9:06 AM
Well clearly there was probably more crime than was reported back in the wild west - there would have been no way to accurately track what happened back then....

Fine--but there is no way to accurately track what happens now. Look how hard it is to get numbers on successful defensive gun use--successful meaning no shots needed to be fired. People tend to be *very* quiet about this, because they know their own government may oppress them for doing their civic duty.

The best we can do is anonymous polling, and I think Kleck and his co-author have finally gotten it right (at least one prominent anti-gunner admitted the quality of their study), but it was very very hard.

7x57

WokMaster1
02-19-2009, 9:08 AM
These folks have never experienced what it is like to go through a home invasion, a robbery, a carjacking, a kidnapping, a rape, etc. So technically they are in no position to pass any kind of judgement that is worthy of being labeled as credible. In this case, it's just an opinion of his.

Someone I know was a total anti gun until he had to experienced first hand of being locked in the trunk of his Jaguar & beaten with a crowbar. Well, let's just say that his views about guns have changed.

M. D. Van Norman
02-19-2009, 9:49 AM
The Wild West as the general public knows it was quite literally fiction.

JSH
02-19-2009, 10:03 AM
This isn't the wild west, but this is still UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.


Gun control(gun ban, etc) idea is another kind of discrimination, IMHO.

bwiese
02-19-2009, 10:07 AM
The Wild West as the general public knows it was quite literally fiction.

Yup, indeed.

And information transfer wasn't that primitive either - printing presses, telegraphs, etc. It wasn't the Dark Ages. In fact, I'd bet someone's disappearance from the area *then* would be MORE notable than someone disappearing from the inner city now.

And even if there were some error in those 'Wild West' stats, I think it's safe to assume those stats are still correct in general order of magnitude - which still backs the assertion that the "Wild West" is safer than Washington, DC. Whether that 45 number was 40 or even 250, it still casts it in a far better light than today's urban nightmares.

Ironchef
02-19-2009, 10:15 AM
The Wild West as the general public knows it was quite literally fiction.

Yep, even the "History of the Gun" segments on History Channel portray "wild west" type shootouts as rare..and nowhere near the glorified gunslingin' days Hollywood portrays that simple arguments in a tavern or on the street meant you took 10 paces and fired or had a shoot out at high noon. I believe the History Channel (as jacked up and often "less accurate" as it is) even declared that there were very few actual street shoot outs.

Theseus
02-19-2009, 10:36 AM
I think their argument that this is the wild west is actually more about this isn't a time when people walk around with guns.

Sig226
02-19-2009, 11:18 AM
I think their argument that this is the wild west is actually more about this isn't a time when people walk around with guns.

For what reason? People don't ride horses nearly as much either---but we haven't outlawed them or the "riding of them" and that activity is not constitutionally protected. (I still ride btw...)

If the true meaning of that statement is more along the lines of how I took it--- Ie: "If everyone has guns on their hip, firearms deaths will go up proportionally", would be a true fallacy.


I'm not looking to justify my stance on the 2A, but more discredit the notion that the wild west was a place of "blood running in the streets", high-noon shootouts, etc.

it seems, and rightfully so, that this argument is supported in theory by my fellow gunnies, but I am looking for additional data that could further backup the stats/claims made in the book mentioned above.

yellowfin
02-19-2009, 11:43 AM
It baffles me as to why there's not an immediate "That's what you idiots said in Florida, Texas, etc. and it was blatantly disproven their, so STFU" on camera, on the spot to those people.

Piper
02-19-2009, 11:51 AM
Something I would also suggest much to the displeasure of some here is that the moral compass of the 19th century wasn't as skewed as it is today. That doesn't suggest that the typical drinkin', fightin', and screwin' didn't happen, it's just that the baser conduct was frowned on and society didn't give it a pass if the person was caught engaging in said baser conduct. I think I'll just leave it at that.

Nodda Duma
02-19-2009, 12:19 PM
Some of the comments are absurd. The one about "...Technology is always improving, which means guns are more deadly now than they were 150 years ago. I would guess that the odds of surviving a gunshot was better back then." had me chuckling.

-Jason

socal2310
02-19-2009, 12:46 PM
Some of the comments are absurd. The one about "...Technology is always improving, which means guns are more deadly now than they were 150 years ago. I would guess that the odds of surviving a gunshot was better back then." had me chuckling.

-Jason

Right, because we all know that medical technology hasn't advanced in the least since then!

Ryan

7x57
02-19-2009, 1:08 PM
The Wild West as the general public knows it was quite literally fiction.

Quite a bit of it invented by Bret Harte, wasn't it?

7x57

Josh3239
02-19-2009, 1:32 PM
The Wild West as the general public knows it was quite literally fiction.

+1

The Wild West was nothing like what the movies make it out to be.

hvengel
02-19-2009, 1:39 PM
Yup, indeed.

And information transfer wasn't that primitive either - printing presses, telegraphs, etc. It wasn't the Dark Ages. In fact, I'd bet someone's disappearance from the area *then* would be MORE notable than someone disappearing from the inner city now.

I would agree 100%. Even with todays cars, trains and other transportation in small towns when someone goes missing everyone knows about it in short order. And todays small rural towns are not much different from what things were like in towns in the "wild west". Back in the "wild west" days if someone disappeared without a plausible explanation there would have been an alarm raised in short order.

The real dangerous place back then was out in the country where folks lived on fairly isolated homesteads. In that case if a bad guy did something it could be days or even weeks before anyone else had contact with the victim(s) or stopped by their homestead. It was common for those folks to greet everyone who showed up with gun in hand and I can remember my father telling me stories about this happening when he was a child living on his uncles farm and this was in the 1920s. On the other hand they never had anything bad happen but perhaps that was because they were prepared to protect themselves.

Outlaw Josey Wales
02-19-2009, 1:48 PM
I've said it before and I will say it again. I'd rather live in the "Wild West" than Nazi Germany any day! :thumbsup:

DDT
02-19-2009, 2:01 PM
I've said it before and I will say it again. I'd rather live in the "Wild West" than Nazi Germany any day! :thumbsup:

Hell, I'd rather live in the "Wild West" than the "New West"

Meplat
02-19-2009, 2:35 PM
In a society where you allow real men to be real men, that is what you get.

Real men take care of women and children. Period.

And it rarely matters who's women and children.

In a culture, or subculture, where all or most adult mails are armed, violence is rare.

How much violence do you see in hunting camps? None, standards of honor and integrity are observed rigorously. The slightest breach of conduct is frowned upon and can result in the absence of future invitations for an individual.

Valuable equipment is left totally unattended and un-secured in hunting camps on public land and it is almost unheard of for theft to occur. Food, drink, and assistance is always genuinely offered to strangers, no matter how meager the supply.

It is one of the reasons why some of us continue this ancient activity.




I can't remember where right now, but I have seen statistics that were higher, about the crime rate of our more dangerous cities but not more. But the very interesting thing was the *types* of crime. Virtually all homicide involved young men, usually mutual combat. Violence against women or children, including rape, was virtually unknown as well. The very few instances of violence against women clearly involved, um, "soiled doves"--a respectable woman was virtually immune.

The point is that the murder rate alone doesn't tell the story. The young, the weak, and those who weren't looking for a fight were *extremely* safe in the so-called Wild West.

I've been thinking about that since, and I would like to look at some detailed figures for lynchings and vigilante justice in the old West sometime. I have a strong suspicion that the facts have been greatly exaggerated in the public consciousness in order to discredit the idea of personal defense. It doesn't matter that PD is not synonymous with either of those--I have a feeling it was part of the cultural strategy to erase the public knowledge of and demand for their right.

One reason to suspect this is that the core strategy has always been to make people more afraid of each other than the government, and the image of people with torches and pitchforks lynching a random stranger *precisely* feeds that fear. Of course, it may be that the causality goes the other way, but I think they're going to be related somehow.

7x57