Our first Cowboy in the White House was Teddy Roosevelt. Everyone groaned when he was elected and muttered "now that damn cowboy is going to be President." Roosevelt made his cabinet swim in the Potomac and rode his horse to work. He was the vigorous President and who is to say he would have reacted any different that Donald Trump to Kim in North Korea. I think he would have been more aggressive and surrounded North Korea with carriers and submarines and dared him to make a move. Not far off for the Donald right now.
Locked and loaded. It is a cowboy metaphor. The gun is loaded and ready to fire. It might allude to automatic weapons but the imagery is one of a man ready to draw. The Wild West for Teddy Roosevelt was the Dakota Territory and then the World. The White Fleet, walk softly but carry a big stick all alluded to a man ready to draw if drawn upon. And after Roosevelt there was that echo that Presidents from Ronald Reagan on have used. The sheriff who is ready to fight to maintain justice. Is it not High Noon with the North Koreans? Gary Cooper has nothing on Donald Trump.
Americans respond to this. We know who the badmen are. Teddy Roosevelt confronted men out West with guns drawn who easily could have shot and killed him. He faced them down and one time knocked one out with his fists. The badmen have to be confronted by the sheriff eventually. The cowboy does not back down. Teddy and Donald have that in common...so far.