Texas has had a long and proud history of gun ownership. And finally – thanks to God, the NRA, and the state legislature – folks residing in the Lone Star State can carry their guns right out in the open. I mean, guns aren’t private parts, for pity’s sake, no reason on earth to cover ‘em up. And Texas has always been eminently reasonable – and forgiving – about which of its residents can purchase and keep firearms.
Lee Harvey Oswald, for instance, had defected to the Soviet Union in 1959 and lived there for two and a half years (during a period when the U.S. was at Cold War with the U.S.S.R.). His wife was a Russian national. He’d been court-martialed in the Marines for incidents involving gunplay and had some scrapes with the law after discharge. But Texas in 1963 wasn’t gonna let a few little things like that get in the way of a man and his guns.
Oswald employed a P.O. box and an assumed name, A. Hidell, to mail-order the rifle he used to assassinate President Kennedy and the .38 revolver with which he murdered Officer J.D. Tippitt. He paid $19.95 plus postage and handling for the Mannlicher-Carcano rifle with a 4x scope. The handgun – a Smith & Wesson “Victory” .38 special revolver – was pricier at $29.95. Lee Harvey Oswald had his own reasons for concealing these purchases. But, if he’d wanted, he could have walked into any gun shop in Dallas and filled up his cart.
Jack Ruby – who died of cancer on this date (January 3rd) in 1967 – was a Dallas nightclub operator with mental health issues, Mob connections, and a series of arrests throughout the years. But Ruby needed protection in his line of work, owned lots of guns, and usually carried at least one concealed weapon with him at all times. The revolver he used to kill Lee Harvey Oswald was his .38 special Colt Cobra, known as a lightweight carry or back-up gun for off duty Dallas police officers.
Texans are good-natured about guns and how things can sometimes go wrong. They love to laugh. That was no less true in 1963 than it is now. On the day Oswald died leaving his jail cell, one of the Dallas police officers escorting him joked: “’Lee, if anybody shoots at you, I hope they’re as good a shot as you are,’ meaning, of course, that they’d hit him and not me. And he kind of laughed and he said, ‘Oh, you’re being melodramatic,’ or something to that effect. ‘Nobody’s going to shoot at me.’”
P.S. If you’re a JFK-Oswald-Ruby conspiracy theorist, you’ve come to the wrong post. Please don’t comment here. Go make your own post.