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Hollywood has turned cowboys into romantic heroes, always with the gun at the ready. In reality, cowboys were at the very bottom of the social ladder, constantly eating the dust of their herds during the many long treks to the slaughterhouse. Amazing as it sounds now, most of the Frontier States had strict gun control laws back then, and although cowboys might during their treks have rifles for hunting purposes, hardly any of them would ever walk around sporting revolvers that were often forbidden anyway and that were - and still are - practically useless at any distance over 30 feet.

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7y ago
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7y ago

We have adapted the movies as reality with people like John Wayne having gun fights in the center of town. Not true. People were required to turn guns in to the sheriff when they entered town. John Wayne knew Wyatt Earp because at the end of his life Earp worked as an advisor for the early westerns. Wild West shows added to this fantasy of cowboys and Indians. Then, there were the radio shows and TV shows like Gun Smoke. All of this created this image in our minds of the rough tough gun toting cowboy.

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Q: Why was the cowboy more of a legend than reality?
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