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Gun Fight at the OK Corral

We have all grown up victims of book publishers, Hollywood and TV producers who created the myth of the Wild West. That myth is the heroes with the guns on their hips walked the streets of towns protecting the women and children from the bad guys.


The reality of the Wild West is best exhibited with the gun control passed in Tombstone, Arizona. In April of 1881 the city council of Tombstone in an effort to reduce crime passed an ordinance that required all people carrying a bowie knife, dirk (long bladed dagger), rifle or pistol to turn them in to a town official while in the town. On October 26 the infamous Gun Fight at the OK Corral occurred, with Marshal Earp’s official reason for confronting the cowboys was that they were illegally armed and he needed to collect their weapons.


Gun control was an important factor in the taming of the Wild West. We are now in a historical period of gun violence and we must take some steps to regain control. Tombstone did in 1881; surely Tennessee can take sensible steps to control guns in 2023.

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