Chris Rodda catches David Barton using a story out of a Louis L’Amour novel in arguing that not only should teachers in schools be armed, but so should students. Because a character in a Louis L’Amour book tried to kill a teacher, but all the armed students in the old west stopped him with their six-shooters.
I assumed that Barton was either exaggerating a real story or just making the whole thing up, but since he didn’t give any source for the story or enough specifics to fact check it, I thought it would be impossible to find out whether or not there was any truth to it. I didn’t even consider that it might have come from a novel, but when a commenter on my previous post noted the striking similarity between Barton’s story and a story from the Louis L’Amour novel Bendigo Shafter, I downloaded the Kindle version of the novel and checked it out.
I wasn’t about to read an entire Louis L’Amour novel, but read enough to get the gist of the story:
The teacher in L’Amour’s novel was Drake Morrell, a gambler and gunfighter who had killed five men. Morrell was sentenced to be hanged in San Francisco, but somehow escaped and ended up in a town in Wyoming, where he became a respected citizen and, of course, the school teacher. But he was still being pursued by a character named Stacy Follett. Years earlier, Morrell had exposed that Follett and his friends were cheating at cards. Two of Follett’s friends had confronted Morrell with guns, and Morrell had shot and killed them. Follett caught up with Morrell and went to the school where he was teaching to kill the now respectable school teacher, who was defended by his gun-toting students.
She sent an email to him asking to document a real story like that. I’m quite certain she’ll get no answer in return.