The Wild, Wild West a time when everyone owned a firearm... That's why so many people died, right? Wrong... Most deaths were the result of disease and poor diet, as well as birth related deaths.
Now, what got us to write about violence in The Wild West? The Gun Control issues that has come up again due to the horrific school killing this pass week in Connecticut. Adding to number of times already this year someone has walked into a public space and murdered innocent people. I was having a discussion and the gentlemen i was talking too, stated that "it's beginning to look like the wild west" and "We need more gun laws". I thought to myself is that really true, so after a little research this is what i came up with..
America's love affair with the violence and lawlessness of the old west is mis-guided, and ironic when you begin to compare the most common crimes of today—robbery, burglar, theft, and rape—which in our society is out of control and in the old west it was of no great significance and, in the case of rape, seemingly nonexistent. Compared too today, the wild west was safer contrary to what you might believe.
From the book -"The Not So Wild, Wild, West" by Terry L. Anderson and P.J. Hill
"that the Western frontier was a far more civilized, more peaceful, and safer place than American society is today." The legend of the "wild, wild West" lives on despite Robert Dykstra's finding that in five of the major cattle towns (Abilene, Ellsworth, Wichita, Dodge City and Caldwell) for the years from 1870 to 1885 only 45 homicides were reported- an average of 1.5 per cattle-trading season. In Abilene, supposedly on of the wildest of the cattle towns, nobody was killed until the advent of officers of the law, employed to prevent killings" Only two towns, Ells in 1873 and Dodge City in 1876, ever had five killings in any one year."
And when there was a killing, 99.99% of the time it was between two willing combatants. And people will say there is more people now than back then... that's right. But its the RATE not the total amount of people living now.
Need an example...?
In his book, Frontier Violence: Another Look, author W. Eugene Hollon, provides us with these astonishing facts:
In Abilene, Ellsworth, Wichita, Dodge City, and
Caldwell, for the years from 1870 to 1885, there were only 45 total homicides. This equates to a rate of approximately 1 murder per 100,000 residents per year.
Abilene, supposedly one of the wildest of the cow towns, not a single person was killed in 1869 or 1870.
Zooming forward over a century to 2007, a quick look at Uniform Crime Report statistics shows us the following regarding the aforementioned gun control “paradise” cities of the east:
DC – 183 Murders (31 per 100,000 residents)
New York – 494 Murders (6 per 100,000 residents)
Baltimore – 281 Murders (45 per 100,000 residents)
Newark – 104 Murders (37 per 100,000 residents)