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Thread: Yep, this isn't the wild west.

  1. #1
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    I was always an Earp guy, though I don't believe eithergroup involved in this fight were the good guys.

    I imagine most of you Arizonans are familiar at least in part with this event but to refresh anyone's memory a bit,

    The O.K. Corral was one of the most famous gunfights in America's western history which happened in Tombstone Arizona, Oct 26, 1881. This battle pitted a group of lawmen, the 3 Earp Brothers plus a close friend Doc Holliday versus a local group of cowboys which on that day consisted of 2 McClaury brothers, 2 Clanton brothers and their friend Billy Claiborne. The actual shootout lasted about 30 seconds and left 3 out of the 4 of the Earp faction wounded and 3 of the 5 on the cowboy side, dead.

    Though there was some serious animosity brewing for months between thetwo factions, the historic showdown between these men escalated after a series of guncarry incidents where the Earps were concerned with the cowboys possession and carrying of firearms.The main showdown occured when the Earps sought out and confronted the cowboys who were reported to be armed in town in violation of a local ordinance.

    Whether it be a simple misunderstanding of theweapon's ordinance or a planned and calculated fight between either or both of the factions, the actual moment when this went down centered on the fact that armedcitizens following a previous pattern of gun carry, refused todisarm when coming into town and remain disarmed.



    copied from wikipedia, here's the ordinance,

    Ordinance No. 9:
    "To Provide against Carrying of Deadly Weapons" (effective April 19, 1881).

    Section 1. "It is hereby declared to be unlawful for any person to carry deadly weapons, concealed or otherwise [except the same be carried openly in sight, and in the hand] within the limits of the City of Tombstone.

    Section 2: This prohibition does not extend to persons immediately leaving or entering the city, who, with good faith, and within reasonable time are proceeding to deposit, or take from the place of deposit such deadly weapon.

    Section 3: All fire-arms of every description, and bowie knives and dirks, are included within the prohibition of this ordinance."

    Ordinance No. 7, Section 1:
    "Any establishment, house of prostitution or other place open to the public and it shall be the duty of any officer to enter such place and at once arrest such persons as he may then find engaged in or causing such breach of the peace." (effective April 12, 1881).

    =========================

    We may often hear criticism of our wishes to carry firearms in public in the form of "This isn't the Wild West." Yeah they are right because back in the Wild West, Tombstone wasn't the only locality that banned the carrying of firearms despite people having the god given right to arm themselves. It was actually a common practice.



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    Even my beloved hometown of Ash Fork had a gun ban back in the day.

    Interesting, isn't it?

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    State Researcher lockman's Avatar
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    Tombstone city council 1881 = Chicago city council 2010
    Ash Fork 1881 = Washington DC 2010


    It was wrong back then and it is wrong today to infringe on the right to self defense.

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    Regular Member Sonora Rebel's Avatar
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    The Earps were carpet bagger yankees from Illinois. Wyatt was a self aggrandizing opportunist. That said... Tombstone owes it's existance to that defining episode at the OK Corral in the old west. 'Spent 3 enjoyable days in Tombstone over the past weekend during 'Wyatt Earp Days' there.Otherwise... when the mines flooded in the earthquake of 1887... Tombstone would have gone the way of Charleston and Contention.

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    I don't have any sympathy for either faction. I have more sympathy with the local ranchers and other citizens who had to put up with the outlaws. When the residents finally got tired of Behan, they elected one of the local ranchers as Sheriff -- John Slaughter.

    Slaughter was a former Texas Ranger and gambler turned rancher, and had little tolerance for criminals. It was Slaughter who cleaned up Cochise County, not the Earps. If he went out after a horse thief, he brought back the horses. Known criminals were given a deadline to be out of Cochise county. After the deadline passed, they were gone. Some were never seen again -- anywhere.

    Sounds a lot like the current situation in Arizona, doesn't it?

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    Sorry -- hangfire.

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    Wyatt Earp? Hmm, never met the guy so I have no opinion on him.

    BTW Reb, where in the hell was Contention?

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    Regular Member Sonora Rebel's Avatar
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    GWbiker wrote:
    Wyatt Earp? Hmm, never met the guy so I have no opinion on him.

    BTW Reb, where in the hell was Contention?
    To the east off Charleston Rd. on theSE side of the San Pedro River. That's where the stamping mills were for the ore. When the mines flooded... that was the end of Contention's reason to be. The earthquake messed it up as well... so it was shortlyabandoned. Same thing with Charleston. If ya want'a risk the rattlesnakes.. you can take a walk into what's left ofit (up the hill). I prefer doin' it on horseback.

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    GWbiker wrote:
    Wyatt Earp? Hmm, never met the guy so I have no opinion on him.

    BTW Reb, where in the hell was Contention?
    Wyatt Earp was an opportunist, who happened to have a knack for frontier law enforcement. He was no angel, but then most of those who inhabited boom towns weren't.

    Virgil was another matter. He is well revered here in Prescott. He was Night Watchmen in the 1870's, then elected Constable (serving court papers). He ran a sawmill just outside of town, near Thumb Butte. He ran for Sheriff in 1900, but backed out for possible health reasons. He was a rancher out here in Kirkland from 1895 til 1903, and mined in Congress during the same period. He was a friend to Yavapai County Sheriff Ed Bowers in the 1870's. I will always have a high regard for Virgil. Wyatt gets all the spotlight (a benefit of outliving your brother by 24 years, and having a wife who was a very active PR agent after his death) but Virgil was the true epitome of Western Law Man.

    I'm not going to defend Ordinance 9, other than to say bad times can lead to bad law.

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    Virgil was the only professional lawmen of the whole bunch. He continued to serve in law enforcement, and ended his days up here in Nevada, serving as a Deputy Sheriff in Esmaralda county. He died of pneumonia inOctober of 1905, andwas buried in Portland, Oregon at the request of his daughter.



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