It is an interesting consideration. I differ with you in that I don't believe the cowboys were any more expecting a gunfight than the Earp's did. I believe I have heard you state previously that the gunfight was a mixture of events that caused the final outcome.
I believe the cowboys were surprised that the Earp's were upon them that fast and that they were still in the negotiation mode. In my experience, officers that continue to dialogue with people that need to be in compliance of any rules are empowered to continue that process. If you bring another officer into the situation, that is not going to dialogue any further, and see that his orders are obeyed you typically get more defiance.
In my opinion the cowboys were ready to confront and to continue to argue giving up their arms. They did not understand the swift dynamics or the powder keg they were igniting. Someone made an offensive move in the Earp's view. I don't think the cowboys were ready to go up against pointed handguns and a shotgun, at least not to try and beat that with a draw. I believe if that were true, a rifle or two might have been available to them......
is that given the circumstances, he was holding the reins in his left hand. Experienced frontiersmen, not just gunners, understood the mechanics of confrontation well enough to keep their gunhands... more
Generally speaking you walk on the horses left, thus holding the reins in your right hand, otherwise the reins would be across your body. Experienced horsemen at least today, know that a horse needs... more
While I believe that the fight was something both sides hoped to avoid, I believe that each side expected the worst from the other. I believe that the Earps thought that the cowboys were on the prod... more
Gary I can see an arguement the Earp's expected a fight as each were armed and ready and they were going after the cowboys. I cannot understand the case for the cowboys expecting a fight as Ike was... more
Then why was Billy so anxious to get Ike out of town? There is a difference between BEING PREPARED for a fight and EXPECTING a fight. If the cowboys weren't expecting a fight, they were the only men... more
I'll accept confrontation over gunfight. It is a more accurate term for what I had in mind. Trouble may even be better. I never used the term gunfight, just fight, but I'm sure it implied gunfight.... more
I can't explain why Frank was at the corner. Checking on the Earps seems unlikely to me. However I've always thought the Earps should have sent someone to check on what was happening on Fremont... more