Monday, July 04, 2016

The day Jesse James met the Second Amendment


Last Saturday night, I caught the second episode of AMC’s History of the West.  This is a summary of the series:
Spanning the years 1865 to 1890, “The American West,” will show how – in the aftermath of the Civil War – the United States transforms into the “land of opportunity.” 
Viewers will be transported into the violent world of cowboys, Indians, outlaws, and lawmen. 
The 8-episode limited event series chronicles the personal, little-known stories of Western legends such as Jesse James, Billy the Kid, Wyatt Earp, Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull. 
The series features exclusive interviews with notable names from classic Western films, including Redford, James Caan, Burt Reynolds, Tom Selleck, Kiefer Sutherland, Mark Harmon, Ed Harris and more.
In the interest of full disclosure, let me say I am not an expert of the history of the American West.  I love it, but I am not an expert.  Therefore, I hope some of my AT friends will comment on the series.
Chapter 2 told the story of Jesse James, one of the West’s most interesting characters.   
Jesse and the gang decided to rob a bank in Northfield, Minnesota.   
Why so far north?
The answer was that there was a connection between the small-town bank and the Reconstruction governor of Mississippi.
So Jesse and the gang hatched a plan to go north, rob the bank, and win one for the Confederacy.
They broke into the bank and killed a couple of employees, including the cashier who would not open the vault.   
The plan did not work out, and Jesse and his brother were lucky to get out of town with their lives.  Most of the gang was killed in a shootout with the locals.
So what happened?  Say hello to the 2nd Amendment.
Word spread quickly that the bank was being robbed.  There were also many hunters in town getting ready for the upcoming season.
Within minutes, the gang was being shot at by armed citizens protecting their bank and lives.  
Eventually, these same armed citizens chased Jesse and Frank James out into the woods.   
The James brothers got away, but Jesse went into hiding for a couple of years, according to the show.   
Jesse’s plan failed because the town was not a “gun-free zone.”  On the contrary, the locals had guns and were intent on using them to protect life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Maybe Robert Redford, the series executive producer, didn’t realize it.  However, he just created the best advertisement for the NRA ever.
Some in the left may say: “Well, that was the Wild West, and today is different.”
Really?  Wonder how many people in that disco in Orlando or government office in San Bernardino would agree with that!
P.S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

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