• Run, Hide, Fight The Case for ‘Common Sense’ Gun Control

      Hughes, Daniel (EAPA, 2020-04)
      I was first introduced to American gun culture in 1960 when I spent six weeks in Wyoming. I was ten years old and spent the summer with my uncle, Cleo “Doc” Davis. Uncle Cleo was a self-identified “cowboy” who was born in Scotts Bluff, Nebraska and raised in Laramie, Wyoming. He served in the Merchant Marine during World War II and trained as a chiropractor on the GI Bill. Following his marriage to my mother’s sister, they settled in Wyoming where he opened a practice. I arrived in Casper, Wyoming, after a two-and-a-half-day train journey. We attended a re-enactment of the Pony Express commemorating the 100th anniversary of the legendary trans-continental Postal rides. As I watched, two riders completed a flawless, albeit furious, exchange of a mail pouch. The crowd whooped and cheered with delight. I quickly learned that Wyoming was far from Brooklyn. It was a summer of new experiences. I visited Yellowstone, attended rodeos, wore cowboy boots, explored alpine forests, and was introduced to the thrill of hunting. Uncle Cleo was a classic outdoorsman. He had grown up hunting and fishing. Each year he would obtain a license and harvest an elk. He would dress out the animal and prepare it for freezing. Elk meat would provide his family protein throughout the year. It was a lifestyle he cherished. He taught me to shoot responsibly, emphasizing safety. Repeatedly, he would remark that “all guns are loaded and every horse kicks.” He also cautioned that one should respect the power of nature. “Out here weather can kill you,” he’d say. These were valuable common sense lessons for a 10-year-old kid from the city. Today, in the wake of multiple school shootings, we teach 10-year-olds to “run, hide, and fight.”