Blazing Pols

art by Bob Boze Bell

As volatile as today’s politics seem, I find it somewhat comforting to know that in the Old West, it was even worse. During the 1871 election season in Mesilla, New Mexico, a group of Dems met a group of Republicans on the plaza. After some name calling and threats, a Republican activist was beaned with an axe handle and the ball opened, with both sides producing guns. Some 500 shots were fired. Various reports place the dead as high as 15 and the wounded upwards of 50.

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