Blog buddy, Eric, posted a pretty funny story about his ancestors. It reminded me of this story from my Questa, NM, teaching days:
Mike, one of my students at Questa High School, came in and said, "Last night, I had to hold my uncle after he had been shot."
Me: Your uncle was shot?!
Mike: Yeah, Nadine’s (another student) dad shot him.
Me: Nadine’s dad shot your uncle? Why?
Mike: Yeah, they had been drinking (at some bar) in Costilla, and got in a fight. Nadine’s dad pulled out his gun and shot my uncle.
Me: Did they arrest him?
Mike: Oh no, my uncle had it coming. He wouldn’t quit going after Nadine’s dad – so he shot him. I still had to hold my uncle down after he had been shot. He just kept going after Nadine’s dad.
Me: And no one was arrested?
Mike: Of course not.
Me: Why were you there?
Mike: I was playing in the band.
Me: But you are not 21.
Mike just looked at me as if I was from another planet, and this stuff happened all the time. He was more incredulous that his uncle kept fighting after being shot and he had to hold his uncle down, than the fact that someone shot his uncle and everyone was good with that.
Not so funny:
Just a few years before this story took place, there had been a similar incident in one of the small towns near Taos Ski Valley. Some local thugs picked a fight with a tourist. Several young local men beat this "outsider" up pretty seriously – broke his leg during the fight. When the local guys kept coming, the tourist pulled out a concealed weapon, warned them away, and ended up shooting one guy and killing him. He was arrested, charged with murder, and convicted in Taos courts. It was a few years later before the tourist could get a retrial somewhere else and get his freedom. Of course, in NM, you need to wear your gun on your hip rather than conceal it. Better yet, stay away from bars where the locals hang out.
Just to finish this story out, a few years later those same local thugs mentioned above were seen drinking with a girl from Red River. She was last seen in their hotel room. Her body was found raped and beaten to death in the hills outside of Taos. There was never a trial against the local boys. I can name two other incidents where someone was killed in Taos County by locals guys who never saw prison. Only in Northern NM!