My Great grandfather John Byrd around 1905
Me, around 16 years old, "I bet the old West wasn't how it's portrayed on TV and in the movies. There probably wasn't shooting all the time. I don't think people carried guns like that."
My Dad, "I can tell you this: my grandfather Byrd, had a place out at York. There was a place to hang a rifle over the front door. A rifle was always hung there. When ever they heard someone coming, they opened the door, put their hands on the rifle, and looked out the front door. They had there hands on the gun ready to swing it down and shoot. It was a rough time and there were a lot of rough people around.
"One day my Great Aunt Light was home alone. A fellow came to the house and insulted her. I suppose he propositioned her or something. My grandfather Byrd went after him. He was gone for two weeks. All he said when he came back was, 'That fellow will never insult anymore women.'
"When we were growing up, we had guns. All the guns were loaded. You never asked if a gun was loaded or not, you knew it was. As little kids, we were not to touch those guns, we knew it, and we didn't."
My Dad had several hunting rifles, a .22 pistol and some wicked looking hunting knives. He kept them on the shelf of the coat closet off the dining room. We would not have touched those guns anymore than we would have jumped off the roof of our two story house. That was something you just didn't do. When we hunted, we didn't care all that much about a deer or elk rack. It never occurred to us that you wouldn't eat the meat of what you hunted because the meat was why you went hunting.
With all those guns around, isn't it ironic that we never had the horrible events that our country has recently experienced that involve guns? Makes you wonder if our problem is not guns, but the disintegration of our culture's family and religious values. In years past, values supported by the ten commandments were deeply rooted. These values were upheld by most people. Now, elected officials, some religious leaders, teachers, and others, who used to be the pillars shoring up our values, are now urging us to let them go. I believe that the farther we stray from our traditional religious values, the more problems, of all types, we will have. But what do I know. I'm just a dumpy housewife.