For a moment, and just for a moment, I thought that the collective cowboy action community as represented in "The Cowboy Chronicle
" newsletter, had somehow finally gotten over the "OMG! They are going to take our guns!!!" hyperbole after the re-election of Obama and Sandy Hook and calmed the fuck down. Month after month, some 15 percent of their newsletter was entirely given over to words like "tyranny", "traitors", "draconian", "liberals", "intellectuals", "anti-constitutionalists", "professional ruling class", and "un-American." You would think the jack-booted heirs to Hitler and Stalin were wearing pale blue United Nation berets and goose-stepping door to door to take our guns and the only thing standing in their way were a bunch of middle-aged white guys protecting Jesus and freedom with their century outdated arsenals. There was even a plug for a new patriot screed that is almost exactly that scenario called "Cowboys and Terrorists
" so that those same middle-aged guys can relive the chest thumping patriotism of their "Red Dawn" and "Invasion U.S.A." childhoods.
It’s this sort of nonsense that makes me think my combined interest in both steampunk and shooting has had me fall in with the wrong crowd.
However, this month, as I read "The Cowboy Chronicle", there was page after page of stories about cowboy action events, cowboy history, costuming and, of course, adds for guns and accessories. It was almost as if we were all one, big happy family interested in the common hobby of shooting at steel targets while wearing cowboy clothes. It was refreshing.
The last page, however, resorted to the "liberals destroying America" trope. I think, perhaps, the busy summer of shooting events merely crowded out the jingoism rather than people finally realizing that the insidious evil "Them" really aren’t coming for their guns. I have little doubt that, with the end of the shooting season, the pages will again fill with fear-mongering and ignorance.