Close quarter fighting during the Civil War!

Tuesday afternoon, a disturbed man went into a health clinic on the Renown Medical Campus here in Reno, and killed one doctor, seriously wounded another, shot a patient, and then took his own life. One can only wonder what would drive a man to do something like that. Obviously, he was deranged in some way. What is now be bandied about in the press is that he had a vasectomy that went wrong. No matter how much your balls hurt, it doesn’t make sense to kill one person, shoot two more, and then take your own life. That’s why I say he was deranged.

What is almost as tragic is that the police do not know if he had his medical treatment at Renown or even in Reno for that fact. They don’t even know if either doctor treated him, if he was their patient or not. Yet he felt the need to kill them. Fortunately, he didn’t succeed with one, and the patient waiting in the lobby was only slightly wounded. What has gone wrong with America?

I’ve taken two courses in Western United States History, and the Old West has been grossly misrepresented by Hollywood. There was only one instance of a face down, draw and shoot gunfight in the West, involving Wild Bill Hickok and a man named Tut. Tut didn’t survive.

Most of the really bad guys got the drop on their victims, John Wesley Hardin was noted for killing a man because he snored too loudly. My whole point is that our gun toting myth is a myth. There never was a dueling, extra violent Old West. The vast majority of the settlers were law abiding, and those wild cowboys were mostly mild mannered and honest. One lady in Dodge City reported how she left her store open at night so the cowboys could have a place to sleep, and not once was anything stolen.

But we go on packing guns, killing people, and pretending that this is the American way. What to do about guns, I cannot offer any suggestions. I belong to a coffee klatch at our mobile home park, and two-thirds of the men in it have guns in their homes for self protection. I trust everyone of them. They all are of sound mind and body, and wouldn’t hurt a flea. Yet, statistics show that the people who get their gun out of its storage place during a burglary are more likely to hurt themselves than the criminal.

I can believe that. Many times during the Civil War dead soldiers were found with at many as five rounds crammed into their muskets. If they had fired, the gun would have exploded in their faces, but the enemy got them first. Why the overload – because they were scared and nervous and the intensity and noise of the battle made them believe they had already fired a round. Don’t think you wouldn’t be as nervous. If the Reno gunman had confronted a burglar the same thing might have happened to him. At least one physician would now be alive who isn’t, and one seriously wounded one would be at home with her family this holiday season. By the way, if we institute gun control, only the bad guys will have them.