Violent but PositiveValues in "The Rifleman"
Danny A. Dixon | Fort Stockton, TX | 12/22/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I grew up watching "The Rifleman." I suppose that, raised in a single parent home by my mother, I was drawn to Lucas McCain and identified with Mark his son.
The show played out any number of scenarios of survival and retention of legal rights that would have happened in the New Mexico Territory in the late 1800s after the Civil War. And anywhere from one to three men were righteously gunned down to protect his son and property as an act of law or to bring in or defend the innocent against a criminal when Lucas was deputized by Micah Torrene or in self-defense during the course of a show. In other words, reflecting now forty years later, "The Rifleman" had to have been one of the most violent shows on television at the time.
My blood, stirred after watching any one of the episodes, was always calmed in the last couple of minutes of the show as Lucas and Mark reflected on what had necessarily happened. And Lucas made it clear to his son, and I felt to me, that there was no honor in killing. Yet sometimes it was necessary to do so, if only as an act of self-preservation.
In this day and time, the Second Amendment is under constant challenge. Note the recent case of the U.S. Senator who, while dead set against the right, raised a weapon in self-defense that he would deny others[See Note 1 below].
Watching a show like "The Rifleman" puts the issue into perspective and goes a long way to speak some sense into the heads of those who believe everyone should turn over his or her guns. It's still the simplest of logic to see that if gun relinquishment were the law, only the lawless would defiantly carry them AND exploit, intimidate, and kill those who did not; it's still people who kill, not any gun in and of itself.
In addition to a sane head about how and when to use a gun, there was the clear love and devotion between father and son that was always present in the series. I'm not sure if my own father is alive (I've tried to track him on the Internet). I'm 50 now and he was 26 when I was born. My parents divorced when I was three and that was the last I ever heard from him. A mother can protect her fledglings, and my mother took good care of my brother and me. But I always wanted a father with whom to hunt, spend time, and receive even godly counsel (Bible morality was unabashedly present from time to time on the show. Note the story of Job that Lucas tells Mark in Season 1 Episode 3). My mother made sure that there were many surrogate dads in Cub Scouts, Webelos, Boy Scouts, and principals at school. They were also present and in a number of coaches and teachers and men at church whom my mother was committed to making sure had direct influence over me and my brother.
"The Rifleman" is, then, excellent material for good conversation between fathers and sons--even young sons--today. I intend to buy and use the whole series myself.
Clearly, I recommend it to others as well.
Danny Andre' Dixon