Publication information

Southern Mercury
Source type: newspaper
Document type: editorial
Document title: “Roosevelt’s Dime-Novel Play”
Author(s): anonymous
City of publication: Dallas, Texas
Date of publication: 1 October 1903
Volume number: 23
Issue number: 40
Pagination: 4

“Roosevelt’s Dime-Novel Play.” Southern Mercury 1 Oct. 1903 v23n40: p. 4.
full text
Theodore Roosevelt (protection); William McKinley (protection); presidents (protection); presidential assassinations (comparison).
Named persons
John Wilkes Booth; Leon Czolgosz [misspelled below]; James A. Garfield; Charles J. Guiteau [misspelled below]; Abraham Lincoln; William McKinley.

Roosevelt’s Dime-Novel Play

     The Times Herald of this city seems to think that it is all right for the president to carry a “gun” which is a “sure-enough” gun and no “dude’s” play toy, to protect himself from would-be assassins. Any gun-toter could plead the same excuse; but that does not alter the fact that a bad example has thus been set the youth of this land. The action reads like the action of a dime novel hero; but what can the nation expect since statesmanship has been relegated to the rear to make room for “broncho-busters” [sic] in the White House.
     The action is born of a morbid desire for notoriety and a wish to stand well with the “tough” element of the population. A gun in McKinley’s hand could not have saved him from Czolgoz. A gun in Garfield’s hand could not have saved him from Giteau. A gun in Lincoln’s hand would have been no protection against Wilkes Booth. Rather would the action have invited the fates which befell all three of them, and presidents, like other mortals who go looking for trouble with guns in thier [sic] hip pockets, are pretty apt, sooner or later, to find it. Then think of the reputation the discovery has established abroad for us. If the rest of the civilized world think us to be a nation of cutthroats and assassins, shall we wonder at them?