Skip to comments.Why The Gun In Civilization? - Maj. L. Caudill USMC (Ret) "An armed society is a polite society."
Posted on 06/14/2007 9:11:34 AM PDT by InfantryMarineEdited on 06/18/2007 4:54:56 PM PDT by Admin Moderator. [history]
Why The Gun In Civilization?
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.
See reply #27 for an update on the source of this article
Awesome inescapable logic.
Good essay, Marine. But you know the blissninnies will see it as a paradoxical excuse for violence (shudder) that they think they can hide from, right?
Excellent article. He persuaded me, and he didn’t need to use force to do it.
Well stated. The logic is undeniable, even though the paranoid socialists still seek ways to disarm America for the very reason that the Second Amendment was created...
Uhhhh...because the uncivilized guys had swords?
Very good. Short and sweet.
Awesome inescapable logic.
I have to disagree. The Major left out the third way, irrational/emotional appeal.
“Awesome inescapable logic.”
Not to the hoplophobes or authoritarians in our society.
Hmm. I wonder if I can sue someone who mugs me under Anti-Trust laws...
I have often tried to explain the change in behavior with regards to responsible armed citizens. It changed my behavior and attitude unknowingly. It took a year for me to notice. But I have never been able to explain it with such eloquence as is stated above.
Prior to CCW, I was prone to be more aggressive when threatened, out of fear. My attitude was to get the upperhand ASAP if there was an imminent threat in order to survive long enough to escape. In fact, a self defense course I observed long ago was teaching women to attack viciously at the eyeballs and groin if they feared for their lives. To act aggressively immediately and as soon as the attacker was on defense, make a run for it.
With a concealed weapon, I have an alternative because I know that the odds are at least even and likely tilted in my favor. I have many more options.
I tend to be ok with behaving like a sissy to avoid confrontation or escalation as long as I am armed. I think it is because I ma confident and feel less threatened. I am very humble and polite when confrontation arises these days.
This article is just one of the reasons why there are some in society that would like to deep freeze all Marines and only thaw them during wartime....
Heck, they have already started it with Ted Williams....
But that passes for reason among liberals.
Reason and force. It is helpful to repeat words attributed to Thomas Jefferson. “Government is not about reason. Government is about force.”
The Major left out the third way, irrational/emotional appeal.
That's persuasion. I agree that irrationality is often used to apply to emotional appeal. It is also true that to act based on ones emotions rather than reason is irrational. Actions based on reason are rational. Appeal to emotion is an attempt to manipulate people to act on their emotions rather than reason. But because a person acts with consent then it is still persuasion.
That they don't know they're being manipulated via their mysticism does not relinquish them from being responsible (held accountable) for their actions. Heck, most people aren't aware of mysticism. If they were, they'd eliminate it. Neither the irrational persuader or the person being manipulated can be divorced from their chosen actions.
They both acted with irrationality. One acted out of ignorance and the persuader acted with intent. Intent to circumvent the reason of person he wants to manipulate. It is in this process that the persuader chooses to turn against himself (acting irrationally) by manipulating his victim to act on irrationality (act on emotions) rather than reason. The persuader is the lesser person and tries to bring down the better person to act irrationally.
It's a mainstay of politicians, bureaucrats and other parasitical elites.
Great essay Marine. Are you the author?
However, you will find that many here, while they agree with you [and I] about our unalienable right to carry arms, - will disagree with the Constitutional [and libertarian] non- aggression principle, - usually stated as "do not initiate force or fraud, or "if it harms none, do what you will, or "treat others as you'd like to be treated, or " live and let live. "
This disconnect in logic is one of the major puzzles of conservative thinking.