Why the Gun is Civilized

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Why the Gun is Civilized

Post#1 » Fri Aug 17, 2007 5:54 pm

Those that know me know I never leave home without them. hangman

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.

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