What I was really surprised at was the actual figures of crime in the old west towns. Ruins my mental picture of how bad the Wild West actually was. See what you think!
Shootouts, bank robberies, highly-choreographed bar brawls—if we know anything about the frontier, it’s that it was one hell of a violent place.Or was it?
Turns out the popular image of the Old West as a place where manly men solved their differences by shooting those differences in the face simply isn’t true. People were more likely to cooperate than fight—in a harsh and lawless world, it was better to side with your neighbor for mutual benefit than start shooting. Bank robberies, too, were virtually unheard of. One estimate places the number at about a dozen for the entire frontier period.
Then you have the low-homicide rates. The highest annual body count Tombstone ever experienced? Five. From 1870 to 1885, Dodge City and Wichita had murder rates of 0.6 per year. However you cut it, daily cowboy life was nowhere near as violent as we think.
Do I wish we had less violence here? Certainly! Do I want to go back to the Wild West days? Not on your like...except maybe for a short visit! Very short, know what I mean?
Coffee out on the patio again today! I'm thinking lemon cake for all, OK?