Here’s a big CNN article about how Governor Bill Richardson is going to decide in the next few days whether or not to posthumously pardon Billy The Kid. Since Billy the Kid has been dead for 129 years, it makes you wonder who on Earth cares in the first place, but I can tell you three people who do – me, opportunistic New Mexico defense attorney Randi McGinn, and Pat Garrett’s grandson J.P Garrett.
It’s really simple as far as I’m concerned. I’ve refined my thinking into three specific reasons why Billy the Kid should not be pardoned, all because Richardson is one of my favorite politicians and I don’t see why he should have to spend his time on this topic when I’ve already got it figured out for him.
Reason #1: Billy the Kid is a badass of historical proportions.
Just look at this extremely rare, actual, full-color photograph of him:
And if you pardon him then he’s just some dude. It may be true – as archived letters and documents apparently show – that he made an agreement with then-Governor Lew Wallace in which Billy agreed to testify in another federal court case in exchange for the pardon, and that he held up his end but then Wallace never pardoned him.
And it’s also apparently true that Billy the Kid once sent a letter to Wallace, asking him to honor the agreement – so it seems like when he was alive, a pardon was what he wanted, too.
But that was just so he could ride his horsie around without everyone in the country chasing him around trying to shoot him. It wasn’t because he wanted his name cleared for posterity. It was for logistics and convenience, clearly. And now that he’s not riding horsies around anymore, his near mythical notoriety is all that he has left.
See, if we pardon him, then he’s very likely to get angry and blast out of Hell to exact a horrible vengeance on us all, for de-sullying his bad name. For the love of God – think, people, THINK.
It’s like some folks have never seen a demonic cowboy zombie movie before.
Reason #2: It was an attorney’s idea.
I don’t like the idea is that a defense attorney pretty obviously thought of it as a way to get into a big CNN article. She’s claiming that he’s owed a pardon because 129 years ago, Lew Wallace extra super promised him and then didn’t do it. Time we made good on that promise, she says.
And then it’ll be time she writes a book about it and makes three and a half million dollars, I say.
It’s interesting, isn’t it? That McGinn is so morally outraged by a (possible) broken promise from 129 years ago, and somehow that trumps all the moral outrage that she most certainly trips over every time she sets foot in an Albuquerquee courthouse?
I am not interested in “clearing” Billy the Kid’s name for the professional benefit of a defense attorney. I know she’s working for free – how about you offer your free services to some living Americans who desperately need it, McGinn? I know they won’t let you write a book for that or put you in any CNN articles, but on the plus side, I won’t feel like barfing anymore.
Reason #3: Pat Garrett’s grandson doesn’t want him pardoned. I had no idea that Pat Garrett’s grandson was alive, but my guess is, he’s kind of a badass. I don’t want any trouble with Pat Garrett’s grandson. If there are two sides and Pat Garrett’s grandson is on one of them, then that’s the side I’m on. Especially if the question is silly and pointless and a waste of anyone’s time who isn’t a blogger, or Pat Garrett’s grandson.
And part of this reason is of course also that, speaking of vengeful ghosts, the last thing we want to deal with is Billy the Kid’s vengeful ghost and Pat Garrett’s vengeful ghost at the same time. It seems like the current legal designation of the events of 129 years ago have been working just fine all these years.
If it isn’t broke, and there are currently no vengeful ghosts haunting us, then don’t try to fix it.
Now I know that Pat Garrett is often portrayed as something of a coward, for shooting Billy the Kid in the back, in the dark. So you might think that’s relevant, when considering the opinion of Garrett’s grandson.
Well I don’t know if Garrett shot the Kid in the back or not, and neither do you – but you can bet your ass that’s where I would have shot him.
History and legend and Emilio Estevez all have different ideas about how many people Billy killed. It’s either nine or twenty-one or 300-ish. Whichever one it is, those were all guys who tried to shoot Billy the Kid in the front.
See why J.P. Garrett was even able to be born? Let’s all climb down out of Pat Garrett’s butt, he was only after one of the toughest men in history. He probably didn’t feel like fair was the way to play it.
Also, J.P. Garrett is concerned that pardoning Billy the Kid would mean that his grandpappy shot an innocent man. I’m dead serious here – would you all please stop trying to make Pat Garrett’s grandson angry?
I’m on your side, Mr. Garrett – the Old West was just fine without the ACLU ziplining in and sissying the place up. The cards were dealt 129 years ago, and let’s all please quit trying to pretty them up.
And as for you, Emilio Estevez – get to work on Young Guns IV. You don’t look busy.