Some advice worth following: Beware the wrath of a peaceful man.

You can be a peace loving man. Indeed, we should all love peace. We should all know the fruits of peace and peace is a laudatory goal for all men. Moreover, you can be a part-time tough man who avoids confrontation and hates to fight. All that is well and good.

However, as we all learn as boys, fighting is part of being a man. Ironically, interestingly, peace is more likely when we are fully prepared to fight. Sometimes if you’re hesitant to demonstrate your willingness to fight, things go badly very quickly. Looking weak can be very dangerous.

Few art forms capture this tension between peace and violence like the American Western. And few Westerns capture this tension between peace and violence as well as the 1968 Western “Firecreek,” starring James Stewart.

This is a tough movie to watch because it’s painful to see a peace loving man come to accept he must kill. James Stewart plays that peace-loving man. He’s a part-time sheriff named Johnny Cobb in a small town—Firecreek—who must take a stand when a gang of vicious outlaws takes over his town. I saw this when I was 7 years old and what I remember is the hand-made sheriff’s badge Cobb’s children made for him. You’ll see him pin it on in this excellent clip, but forgive the poor video and audio quality. Henry Fonda is excellent as the homicidal bad guy, too. Watch the movie. You’ll like it.