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On Sept. 1, 1893, some men were playing cards in the Ransom Saloon in Ingalls, Oklahoma Territory. But not just any men. 

Into this violent arena rode three U.S. deputy marshals named Bill Tilghman, Chris Madsen and Heck Thomas.

Pistol Pete reportedly killed 15 bad men in his career. The fastest draw in the Territory, he became part of the fabric of Oklahoma, settling in Perkins. It was said he continued to carry loaded pistols until his death. 

In 2002, a friend’s eight-year-old daughter, Brianna Caddell, while sleeping in her bed, was fatally shot with an AK-47 assault rifle. The shooter, a drug dealer who had beef with another drug dealer, fired on the wrong house in Detroit, spraying it with two dozen rounds.

After the St. Patrick’s Day massacres, my column called for moderation in the two extremes between gun bans and mass shootings. This week’s massacres in El Paso and Dayton, plus five more months of random killings, have been factors in changing my position: Gun advocates, to keep their guns, should demonstrate they can prevent mass shootings and ensure the public safety.