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The truth that was swept under the rug

Why carry a gun?

Recently, I was reading a short article on why that author carried a gun.  In my opinion it was thought provoking, so I thought I would post it here for your comments.  It is written by a gentleman named Marko Kloos and was originally entitled “Why the Gun IS Civilization”.

“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 compelling 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 that might sound to some.

When I carry a gun, you cannot deal with me by force.  You have to use reason to try and 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 gangbanger, and a single gay guy on equal footing with a carload of drunken 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 an 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 the 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.

There’s an 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 and 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 a octogenarian  as it is in the hands of a weight-lifter.  It simply wouldn’t work as well as a force equalizer if it weren’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 am 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 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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February 28, 2009 - Posted by | 2nd amendment | , , , , , , ,

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