Stricter gun laws are actually as American as apple pie

To the editor:

Gun control of AR-15s is perfectly consistent with the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. So why can you buy one if  you’re on an anti-terror, no-fly list at age 18? How big are the squirrels and rabbits nowadays?

About 2,000 American soldiers were killed in Afghanistan and 4,000 in Iraq. Last year more than 35,000 Americans shot and killed each other with guns. We are at war in America with ourselves, and we are losing. 

Nonetheless, everything we need to know about gun control is in a 1942 Western film, “Wichita.” Joel McCrea stars as Wyatt Earp. “Wichita” opens in 1870 as a growing, Kansas boom town. New businesses, banks, saloons, hardware stores, cattlemen and sodbusters come together in Wichita, awash with alcohol, anger and madness. The movie is a factual, true, historical drama about how Marshal Earp abated ‘wild-west’ violence in western towns by implementing no-carry rather than “all-carry.” 1870 Wichita is 2018 America. 

The city fathers hire Wyatt as marshal to bring order and peace. Earp looks things over. Wichita is an open-carry town. Virtually everybody is armed in stores, streets and bars. Wichita is a powder keg. When people get angry, drunk or aggrieved, they strike back with fists and guns. 

Marshal Earp’s solution? Gun control. Wyatt and the town council prohibit any-carry of any firearms within the town limits. As a result, killing stopped, violators were arrested and peace followed. 

Amidst the calm that follows, the Cattlemen’s Association, gunsmiths, saloons and banks lose patrons and money. They successfully pressure the council to ditch Earp and gun control. 

In short order, all hell breaks loose. Violence returns, but the good people of Wichita decide enough is enough. They rehire Wyatt, throw out the town council and reinstate no-carry.

Although there are fictional locations and plot twists, the story is historical fact and a useful American model for our gun control. Wyatt Earp showed us what to do. Gun control is as American as apple pie!

—Michael Kendall

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