I’ve been introducing my children to the music of my youth, and Kenny Roger’s Coward of the Country came up on my mental playlist. I always liked that song, because it ends with the worm turning, which is a satisfying moment:
Listening to the song with my children, though, I got depressed. You see, the song told from Tommy’s point of view — how he forswore violence because his “Daddy died in prison,” and then, after three men gang raped Becky, he wept over his father’s photograph, and bravely beat the gang rapists up, having suddenly realized that violence sometimes has a purpose. Hooray!
Until today, however, I never thought about Becky:
There’s someone for evr’yone and Tommy’s love was Becky.
In her arms he didn’t have to prove he was a man.
One day while he was workin’ the Gatlin boys came callin’.
They took turns at Becky… there was three of them!
When I was younger, I don’t think I quite understood that “taking turns at Becky” meant she was gang raped. I just kind of . . . I don’t know, mentally skipped that part. Now, though, I fully understand what happened. Poor, poor Becky, who was married to a man who had made it very clear throughout his life that he would not lift a hand to defend her.
If Tommy had made it plain from the start that he was opposed to gratuitous violence, but that he would fight to the death to defend those he loved, as well as other innocents and defenseless people, he still wouldn’t have ended up in jail. The big difference had he shown his willingness to fight if necessary is that Becky wouldn’t have been gang raped.
That’s the thing about owning a gun. It doesn’t mean that everyone who owns one is going to go crazy, shoot up bars, rob banks, kill people, and end up dying in prison. What it means is that you’d better not mess with a gun owner. Just because the gun owner isn’t proactively violent (i.e., a criminal), doesn’t mean that he (or she) won’t be violently defensive when his/her back (or the backs of those s/he loves) are up against the wall.
This is fundamentally a Democrat song. Democrats disarm themselves and everyone else, and then, when the damage is done, they turn vicious. What’s left behind is a blood bath.
The conservative way is better: warn people in advance that they’d better not mess with you, and then no one dies.