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Harold Nonken Headshot

Boiling It Down: Way Out West

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The right to bear arms is enshrined in the Constitution. It made a great deal of sense, at a time when people were saying, "Give me a home where the buffalo roam, where the deer and the antelope play."

We all went out west, in our covered wagons: mom, pop and the kids. We cultivated the soil, created farms, which led to small villages. Over time, those small villages became cities. And the trails we took became roads, and later, super highways. So we now have nice homes in suburbia. But what happened to the buffalo? While they were roaming, our ancestors shot them. They ate them. They used their hides. By and large, the buffalo no longer roam. Some are in zoos or in circuses. We basically used them up. It's the same for the deer. Every fall, there is a deer-hunting season. Human beings run around in the forests, looking for deer to kill. We eat the deer, and use their hides. But there are plenty of deer, so they are still roaming prior to being eaten.

As for the antelope, I don't know where they play. When I dine at a fine restaurant, I have not come across antelope steak, let alone antelope burgers. Furthermore, I am unaware of the antelope-hunting season. So I will forego any discussion of the antelope.

On the range, the buffalo and the deer have been subjected to our need for food and our passion for guns. The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees us the right to own a firearm. It is obvious to me that if the buffalo had known this, they would have roamed farther away. The deer, apparently, still haven't gotten the message.

So mom, pop and the kids live in suburbia. We can buy food at the supermarket. We can buy clothes at the mall. But we still think we are on the range, and we need our guns. And, by and large, the masses of people living in the West don't protest, because, on the range, "never is heard a discouraging word." So people living in 2014 behave as if they were still on the range many years ago. Nothing has been done to change patterns of behavior. Added to the fact that there never is heard a discouraging word, "the skies are not cloudy all day." On the range, there is no smog or pollution. In modern suburbia, the Environmental Protection Agency has a role to play. Plus there is the whole subject of global warming.

In order to get our homes on the range on the right path in the 21st century, we need someone now who can take charge in the West... a man of daring, determination and strength. I suggest the Lone Ranger. If we hire him, and his companion, Tonto, it's just two salaries and not much overhead. He will bring justice, peace and serenity to the West.

For example, when it comes to armaments, the Lone Ranger carries only one gun... but he fires bullets made of silver. Given the cost of silver bullets, he rarely shoots anything because of the expense. If guns today only shot bullets made of silver, the cost alone would deter general usage. Rather than have gun control, we would have bullet control through the free market. Imagine if there were only gold bullets! I have also heard that Tonto spends his free time shining the Ranger's bullets: here is an example of job creation in the free market.

The Lone Ranger wears a mask. Have you worn a mask? I have never worn a mask. Neighbors in my condo complex would think it bizarre if I wore a mask. Strangers would think I'm nuts, driving my Toyota wearing a mask. I should also note that the Lone Ranger wore a white cowboy shirt and white pants out on the range, and never got his clothes dirty. All that dust! Sagebrush! And Silver must have had his bad days! I think that Tonto, besides polishing bullets, washes clothes every evening.

So, as you can see, the Lone Ranger didn't kill animals. He maintained good sanitary conditions. He and Tonto did not contribute to the degradation of the range. And his salary did not gouge the taxpayer. I think it is time for a return to the days of that masked man who stood for justice and the American Way.