We know that the real Old West bears no resemblance to Hollywood's mythical Old West, in terms of violent crime. The real Old West had a lot less of it than major eastern cities of the time. See here and here.
But I always assumed John Wayne was pro-gun. Maybe he was and I am no expert on John Wayne movies, but my confidence in this American icon was shaken when I saw the movie, "Angel and the Bad Man." John Wayne did not simply star in this movie–it was actually a John Wayne Production.
The movie involved Wayne's encounter with a Quaker family and, though enjoying the tension, I was hoping self-defense would win out over pacifist heresy. Unfortunately, the cheesy ending had Wayne turning to face his nemesis, voluntarily without his handgun–not nobly, but in suicidal haste, and while in close proximity to bystanders who could have been hit by ric's, or worse. Wayne was saved only by the Marshal's fortuitous use of a long gun, and the Marshal closed the movie with this moral: "Only a man that carries a gun ever needs one."
Very bad ending. Wish John Lott was there to call out John Wayne.