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By Jonas Beals
And that's perhaps the most brilliant lyrical turn in Van Zandt's storied songwriting career: This is something that even honest people--especially honest people--feel. There are many types of intimidation, but very few that cause a visceral, emotional reaction on sight. That's the sort of threat that guns bring to the good people of the honest world. As for Lefty--a character who appears to be less than honest and may have killed Pancho for money--well, Pancho's gun didn't seem to be a factor for him.
Maybe that's Van Zandt's point--that guns, when worn to intimidate, rarely intimidate the bad guys. Instead, it's just a sad threat perpetrated on the honest people of the world by someone intent on self-destruction.
There is a reason outcasts and mentally unstable people turn to guns as
I may be hopeful, but I'm not naive. For some people, a gun is more than a tool to get food. It is a symbol of intimidation and a declaration of power.
Beware those compelled to arm themselves with the symbols of intimidation and power. You wouldn't want them in your duck blind and, like Pancho, they have a tendency to bite the dust, leaving little sympathy behind.
Jonas Beals: 540/368-5036