In times punctuated by American violence, I’m often reminded of the sheriff from No Country for Old Men, played in the film version by Tommy Lee Jones. Could there ever have been a time when sheriffs were unarmed? When respect was so abundant, as powerful as a bullet-proof vest. This quote from the movie, from Sheriff Ed Tom Bell, especially provokes thought:
I was sheriff of this county when I was twenty-five years old. Hard to believe. My grandfather was a lawman; father too. Me and him was sheriffs at the same time; him up in Plano and me out here. I think he’s pretty proud of that. I know I was. Some of the old time sheriffs never even wore a gun. A lotta folks find that hard to believe. Jim Scarborough’d never carried one; that’s the younger Jim. Gaston Boykins wouldn’t wear one up in Comanche County. I always liked to hear about the oldtimers. Never missed a chance to do so. You can’t help but compare yourself against the oldtimers.