I picked this up on Thursday, the very day Part 1 hit your desktops. Much too good not to share it.

I’d never heard of the Tombstone Vigilantes. This group is not as sinister as it sounds, but it is just as dumb. The Vigilantes reenact the Gunfight at the OK Corral. All well and good, although I have a deep-seated suspicion of reenactment groups. This is based on an encounter with a few members of the Sealed Knot Society, which reenacts English Civil War battles. One of the Cavaliers was agonising that the velvet in his clothes wasn’t entirely authentic because of the way it’s made now compared with how it was made back in the day. I quite like obsessives normally, but I was tempted to punch his lights out.

Back to Tombstone. Last Sunday the Vigilantes went out to play at being the Earps and Doc Holliday taking out three of the Clanton Gang. Alas things got a bit too realistic, and one of the actors and one of the spectators got carted off to be treated for gunshot wounds. Tom Carter, one of the troupe, was packing live ammo not blanks. This was due to some oversight rather than malice. Allegedly.

It does bring into some doubt his knowledge of handguns. Fire blanks, there’s a lot of noise but no recoil. Live rounds from a handgun produce a kick that means you’re lucky to hit a barn at any distance. Forget Bruce Willis. Handguns are close quarter weapons. They kick, they’re bloody inaccurate.

But here’s the thing. How did he not realise as he loosed off the first round? Why didn’t he go, ‘WTF? That kicked up and to the left.  I’ve chambered live ones!’ He didn’t ask the question several times, and fired all but one round in the chamber.

I can’t help feeling there’s more to it than meets the eye. Was Ken Curtis, the actor who was struck, some love rival for the affections of Debbie Mitchell, the onlooker? I hope that Mayor Dusty Escapole (I didn’t make him up, I just report it) demands a high level enquiry. I think the public has a right to know.


By the way the direction of kick is determined by the rifling in the barrel. Don’t say I don’t do my homework.