Why the gun is civilization

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Why the gun is civilization

Postby GOSA » Tue, 2007-07-03 08:43

By Maj. L. Caudill USMC (Ret)


Human beings only have two ways to deal with one
another: reason and force. If you want me to do
something for you, you have a choice of either
convincing me via argument, or force me to do
your bidding under threat of force. Every human
interaction falls into one of those two
categories, without exception. Reason or force, that's it.

In a truly moral and civilized society, people
exclusively interact through persuasion. Force
has no place as a valid method of social
interaction, and the only thing that removes
force from the menu is the personal firearm, as
paradoxical as it may sound to some.

When I carry a gun, you cannot deal with me by
force. You have to use reason and try to persuade
me, because I have a way to negate your threat or
employment of force. The gun is the only personal
weapon that puts a 100-pound woman on equal
footing with a 220-pound mugger, a 75-year old
retiree on equal footing with a 19-year old gang banger,
and a single gay guy on equal footing with a
carload of drunk guys with baseball bats. The gun
removes the disparity in physical strength, size,
or numbers between a potential attacker and a defender.

There are plenty of people who consider the gun
as the source of bad force equations. These are
the people who think that we'd be more civilized
if all guns were removed from society, because a
firearm makes it easier for a [armed] mugger to
do his job. That, of course, is only true if the
mugger's potential victims are mostly disarmed
either by choice or by legislative fiat--it has
no validity when most of a mugger's potential
marks are armed. People who argue for the banning
of arms ask for automatic rule by the young, the
strong, and the many, and that's the exact
opposite of a civilized society. A mugger, even
an armed one, can only make a successful living
in a society where the state has granted him a force monopoly.

Then there's the argument that the gun makes
confrontations lethal that otherwise would only
result in injury. This argument is fallacious in
several ways. Without guns involved,
confrontations are won by the physically superior
party inflicting overwhelming injury on the
loser. People who think that fists, bats, sticks,
or stones don't constitute lethal force watch too
much TV, where people take beatings and come out
of it with a bloody lip at worst. The fact that
the gun makes lethal force easier works solely in favor of the weaker
defender, not the stronger attacker. If both are
armed, the field is level. The gun is the only
weapon that's as lethal in the hands of an
octogenarian as it is in the hands of a weight
lifter. It simply wouldn't work as well as a
force equalizer if it wasn't both lethal and easily employable.

When I carry a gun, I don't do so because I am
looking for a fight, but because I'm looking to
be left alone. The gun at my side means that I
cannot be forced, only persuaded. I don't carry
it because I'm afraid, but because it enables me
to be unafraid. It doesn't limit the actions of
those who would interact with me through reason,
only the actions of those who would do so by
force. It removes force from the equation...and
that's why carrying a gun is a civilized act.
What have YOU done for YOUR rights today?
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