18 June 2007

The Weapon is Civilization

Marko Kloos

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

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.

Edited to cite true source of article.

1 comment:

Alex Castro said...

I wasn't sure how to get a message to you, anyway feel free to link any of my articles/blog.
Alex Castro