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It's enough to make you Earp


One of the few True Facts that Yr Dok Zoom remembers from his required Arizona History class at Lake Havasu High School is that, of all municipalities in the Grand Canyon state, the one place where people weren't allowed to open carry a handgun is Tombstone, home of the OK Corral and genuine historic Wild West tourist trap. As far as we can tell, that frontier-times ordinance was done away with by state law in 2010, or perhaps earlier, but for the sake of safety, the folks who do reenactments of the famous 1881 gunfight do ban actual open carry, lest any tourists feel the need to join in the gunplay. Unfortunately, at a reenactment on Sunday, one of the actors in the staged gunfight forgot to swap out the live rounds in his six-shooter for blanks, resulting in the accidental shooting of another actor and minor injuries to a bystander. Funny thing -- even those responsible gun owners screw up now and again. Fortunately, the injured actor is expected to make a full recovery.

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Tom Carter, who belongs to the "Tombstone Vigilantes" civic group that organizes the town's annual “Helldorado Days” weekend, shot fellow actor Ken Curtis in the groin (not THE Ken Curtis, who played Festus on Gunsmoke -- he hasn't slung a gun since 1991). A tourist was hit by shrapnel, apparently from a building struck by one of the bullets, but she declined medical treatment. Carter's stray shots also hit at least two buildings in the historic town.

Police said Carter arrived late to the event and failed to have his gun properly inspected, and investigators determined he fired five live rounds from the cylinder and had one remaining in the weapon.

Oopsies. We bet Carter is probably not going to win Civic Booster of the Year. Also, if there are any method actors among the other Vigilantes, they'll probably criticize Carter's marksmanship, since he clearly wasn't going for a kill shot. Also, here are a couple of hilarious paragraphs that should be very reassuring to any turistas worried that live ammo made it into a fake gunfight:

Officials insisted the shootings were an isolated incident and assured visitors that all safety protocols would be enforced before gunfight re-enactments on Allen Street.

“Tombstone takes pride in the safety and security of its townspeople and tourists alike, and the citizens of Tombstone can be assured that stringent safety protocol will be enforced prior to allowing any further gunfight skits,” the U.S. Marshal’s Office said in a statement.

No word from local authorities on whether Carter will face charges since in Arizona, being a total dumbass with a gun is assumed to be a rite of citizenship rather than a criminal offense.

Clearly, further inspections of the arms used in the mock gunfights aren't going to be enough. As all fans of the popular Star Wars television series know, the best defense against getting shot at the OK Corral is to mentally prepare yourself so you know that the bullets are not real. We recommend a Jedi Mind Meld from Doctor Spock:

Damn, the third season of the original series was, like Tom Carter's marksmanship, really hit-or-miss.

[RawStory]

[RawStory / Image from "Journeys with Judy" travel blog]

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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