The assertion that statistically the most common quote attributed to people who had been murdered via shooting was "Go ahead -- shoot me!" made this columnist wonder how scientists had come up with that conclusion. Then we leaped to the assumption that they must have asked people being accused of doing the deed, "What did the victim say?"
The recent news stories about a Wikileaks revelation that al Qaeda has warned Americans that if Osama got whacked, rubbed out or "offed", their preferred form of retaliation would be in the form of a nuclear device.
In all the commotion in recent history over terrorism, we've lost count of the exact number of actual terrorist attacks aimed against the United States. Some of the more paranoid members of the lunatic conspiracy theory community have alleged that the Oklahoma City bombing had stealth links to foreign terrorists. A different branch (Dividians?) of loons thinks that TWA flight 800 was struck by a surface to air missile.
Should the events of September 11, 2001 be counted as one coordinated attack or several separate attacks?
Some of the fellows wearing "9-11 was an inside job" T-shirts don't think that the attacks on the World Trade Center should be counted as the work of terrorists.
Whatever the exact number is, it's obvious that America's leaders either don't think that a nuclear response to the hit on bin Laden is possible or, if it is, it won't matter in the overall assessment by future historians studying George W. Bush's "Forever War."
America will, alone if necessary, stride forward [like Marshal Will Kane (Garry Cooper) in the movie "High Noon"] to face the bad guys with stoic determination.
In literary circles, there is an urban legend that Owen Wister (not Whistler like the guy who painted his mother) offered $100 (a considerable amount of money at that time) for any fact checker who could provide a contemporary newspaper account of a movie style "drawdown" example of gunplay. No one ever collected the money.
The shootout at the OK Corral was more like a horse era drive by shooting than anything staged and choreographed by George Stevens and his cinematographer.
In "The Man who shot Liberty Valance," a mild mannered lawyer is perceived to be a hero who shot a bad guy in self defense and parlays that into a lifetime series of political triumphs. The man who actually did shoot Liberty Valance (Lee Marvin) remains anonymous. Since some pundits have asserted that the Osama hit will provide President Obama with a surge in popularity that will propel him to a second term, there might be an opportunity to add some contemporary political commentary to a nostalgic column reassessing that almost forgotten John Ford classic film.
Could a clever writer produce a column about the shootout at the bin Laden compound corral and make it sound like a parody of Ernst Hemingway's short story titled "The Killers"?
In the 1940 film "The Bank Dick," W. C. Fields, under the scriptwriting pseudonym of Mahatma Kane Jeeves, included a bit that permitted the comedian to spoof the concept of using a gun under his coat for a fast-draw emergency situation.
Didn't famed film critic (and one time Berkeley CA resident) Pauline Kael succinctly express Hollywood's love affair with gunplay in a collection of her movie reviews titled: "Kiss, kiss, bang, bang"?
The opening sequence in "Lord of War" (an underappreciated classic) portrayed the life of a single bullet.
Wasn't "the single bullet theory" invented by Arlen Specter?
Which brings us to: "Back and to the left!"