Stevens wrote this song for a musical about Billy The Kid that was never produced. It is noteworthy that in the late '60s and early '70s, gun-toting revenge fantasies such as the Death Wish series gained great popularity. This is partly attributable to the Baby Boomers, who having lived in a vacuum of free love and communes through the '60s, began to settle down, get jobs, and suddenly own property, at which point they saw the value of defending it.
A promotional poster for this song featuring guns was issued by Stevens' record company. Stevens denounced the poster years later when he became a Muslim.
According to the book Sociology in Perspective by mark Kirby, this is one of the songs banned from the radio by the BBC during the Gulf War. A song about guns is likely to cause controversy, but not likely to encourage actual violence. Michael Moore's 2002 documentary Bowling for Columbine examines the American fascination with guns, and counters all the media speculation of the effects of music and video games on the perpetrators of the Columbine high school massacre by suggesting that maybe a culture steeped in violence with guns and ammunition readily available everywhere had something to do with it.
Along with "I Love My Dog" and "Matthew And Son," this was one of the songs Stevens would play while touring with Jimi Hendrix and Engelbert Humperdinck.
Volker from Hamburg"I'm Gonna Get Me a Gun" was covered by the British hard rock band "Dirty Tricks" in 1975 (available on Spotify) and the British rock band "The Jeevas" in October, 2003 (available on Youtube).
Volker from HamburgAnother song that Cat Stevens wrote for the musical about Billy the Kid was "Northern Wind". That's why the song is sometimes called "Northern Wind (Death of Billy the Kid)". It first appeared on Cat Stevens' second LP "New Masters" in December 1967. The gun that is talked about in "I'm Gonna Get Me a Gun" reappears in the lyrics: "And with this gun goes everything I want to say Not for you, but for anyone who takes it away Let it fill his life, life, life until there's nothing left Let it kill his wife, wife, wife until he goes to bed"