Lone Ranger's Engraved Silver Bullet

Hi Yo Silver, Away!

Just for fun, what do we have in common with the Lone Ranger?

Adults of a certain age and late-night TV watchers may fondly remember a certain masked hero of old, the Lone Ranger who, with his white horse, Silver, and sidekick, Tonto, brought peace to and goodwill to the Old Wild West. After they brought rogues and robbers to justice, they would ride off into the sunset with a familiar Hi-Yo Silver, Away, leaving behind a single silver bullet as a reminder of their steadfast vigilance against evil.

Which got us thinking about the common theme at play here with the masks we have been wearing to protect us against rogue viruses and the use of silver to keep foes, albeit bacterial ones, at bay.

Coincidence? Or a prophetic prescription for the times we live in? We did some research to find out just how similar our stories are. 

Back in the 1930s, when Fran Striker first introduced the Lone Ranger to the public, the pervading perception at the time was that there was a failure of government to protect the American people. So, he created a character - masked - who used vigilante techniques to basically protect those who can't help themselves.

With all the confusion and conflicting information, we have been told throughout the pandemic, there have been divided opinions about how much protection we have against COVID and the variants it has spawned. Should we mask up or not? Social distance? Stay away from public places? We have been advised to do all of the above, but many of us prefer to take matters in our own hands, just like the Lone Ranger did. 

Interestingly, he masked up on his own accord, kept his distance from everyone but a few trusted friends and family members, stayed away from crowded public places and kept a few silver bullets in his pocket to ward off evil doers. And despite his run-ins with the rogues, he stayed safe from harm!

While our research didn’t conclusively discover that the Lone Ranger was aware of the anti-bacterial properties of silver, he did own a silver mine, named his horse Silver, shod him with silver horseshoes, and hung out with a fictional Indian he called Tonto, but who in reality was named Jay Silverheels, a member of Canada's Six Nation's Reserve. We can’t help but wonder if his creator Fran Striker knew just how protective silver is in fighting off the bad guys! 

Silver bullets were the Lone Ranger's calling card. They’re ours too if you use the term “bullet” loosely. Metaphorically, silver bullets represent magical solutions for difficult problems, like killing outlaws and werewolves or decimating deadly viruses before they attack us. On the television show, the Lone Ranger said he uses silver bullets as a symbol of justice and to remind him of just how heavy a price firing a gun can be. We use them as shields that effectively remind us just how valuable our health is. 

Of course, keeping masks and silver top of mind throughout that 90+ year-old show does make us think there’s a hidden message here. 

Could it be that silver is the new Lone Ranger?