Mel Schwartz and Jesse Schwartz try to probe the origins of gunnuttery. A gunnugget:
The collective chauvinistic spirit of America defends our national interests and shores with immense vigor. This is part of the psyche of our culture, an eighteenth century remnant of the need to protect our nascent nation from legitimate threats. Yet there is another, more antiquated archetype that we remain wed to: the individualistic chauvinism born in the gunslinger, frontier spirit of the Wild West. In that not-so-bygone era, a cross exchange would be grounds to un-holster your weapon and blow away your enemy. This motif, and the root of our chauvinism from the micro perspective, survives in the stand your ground laws recently exposed by the shooting of Trayvon Martin in Florida.
The violent “Wild West” of gunslingers and shootouts was a myth nurtured by dime novels, then by Hollywood.
It would appear that the writers of the above have bought into that myth as fully as have the gun nuts who fantasize of being the Man with No Name or his latter-day counterpart, Dirty Harry, packing heat and spraying lead when the mood strikes.
That indicates the power of the myth over the reality.
The dream: every city, Dodge City; every hill, Boot Hill.