I’ve been following Brigid’s blog over at Home on the Range for about a year now. In addition to beautiful photography and mouth-watering recipes, Brigid also posts long, detailed, and very thought-provoking essays. Yesterday, she hit another one out of the park with a post entitled Wild West?, where she asks both herself and her readers what a 19th Century Cowboy in the Old West would think about our modern-day, “civilized” society.
There, men and women were armed and were often trained in the defense needed of home and property. Yet in such places, homicide was rare and usually involved a transient shooting the same, in violation of local law, or a professional gunman who took care to protect innocent life while bringing a fugitive to justice. The “Per capita” robbery rate was only a single digit fraction of today’s urban city. The burglary rate was less than 1%. Rape,though likely still not reported sometimes, was almost unknown.
in one record, “Only two towns, Ellsworth in 1873 and Dodge City in 1876, ever had five killings in any one year.” Abilene, which was considered one of the most “wild” cow towns, had records that cited that “nobody was killed in 1869 or 1870.”
What would he think of us now, with so many of our law-abiding citizens in large cities unable, by law, to carry a weapon or have one in their home to defend and protect while criminals run rampant with them?
I encourage everyone to read the full text of Brigid’s essay, as well as the rest of her excellent blog.
And while you are over there, ask yourselves this: what would a cowboy from the so-called Wild West think about today’s so-called civilized society, where people are actively discouraged from defending themselves and instead encouraged to give criminals what they want in the hope that they might spare you harm? And ask yourselves this too: is a society where the strong actively prey on the weak with the silent encouragement of the government really all that civilized?
Many thanks to Brigid for graciously allowing me to pass this on to you.