Under cross-examination in an opening scene of the movie classic True Grit, John Wayne’s character, U.S. Marshall Rooster Cogburn, was being grilled over a confrontation with some suspected outlaws he was trying to arrest who ended up dead.
Prosecutor: “Was your revolver loaded and cocked?”
Cogburn: “Well, a gun that’s unloaded and cocked ain’t good for nothin’.”
I couldn’t help but think of that exchange when I first heard that Nathan Cirillo – the uniformed guard at the Canadian National War Memorial who was murdered in cold blood by a radicalized Muslim terrorist on Wednesday – was unarmed.
A gun that’s unloaded ain’t good for nothin’.
I also thought about the Duke’s response when on November 9, 2009, Maj. Nidal Hassan opened fire at Fort Hood in Texas, killing 13 and wounding 32 unarmed soldiers and other military personnel. The victims weren’t even allowed to carry an unloaded weapon for show.
Ditto the 2011 Carson City IHOP shooting, where a gunman opened fire on a group of uniformed, unarmed National Guardsmen, killing four people.
Indeed, the only thing more useless than an unloaded gun is no gun at all.
And bear in mind, we’re not talking about civilians here. We’re talking about professionally-trained military personnel who are thoroughly proficient in the use of firearms. And I’m talking about military personnel in uniform, which makes them an easily identified target in this day and age.
Now, I’m not suggesting that simply being armed with a loaded gun would stop every violent act. But at least these folks would have a fighting chance. At least they’d have the ability to shoot back; maybe saving the lives of innocent civilians, as well as their own.
It is absolutely insane to trust trained, uniformed soldiers and guardsmen with guns in Iraq and Afghanistan but not trust them to carry their side-arms on American soil.
And while I’m on the subject of terrorists, guns and movies, do you remember Tombstone, starring Kurt Russell as Wyatt Earp?
After a band of bad guys – known as the Cowboys and identified by a sash of red cloth tied around their gun belts – killed his brother, Earp laid down the law with this thundering declaration: “The Cowboys are finished, you understand? I see a red sash, I kill the man wearin’ it!”
If only we had a Wyatt Earp-type commander-in-chief in the White House today to deal with the ISIS barbarians!
One of these days our politically-correct civilian leaders in Washington will finally come to understand that you can’t reason with a rabid dog. When confronted, you cannot negotiate with it. You cannot exchange diplomatic niceties. You can only kill it on sight so it can’t hurt you or anyone else.
ISIS fighters are rabid dogs. They need to be treated as such.