Why I carry a gun


June 21st, 2011, 11:49 pm #1

The Uncomplicated Rationale for Carrying a Firearm
By Major L. Caudill United States Marine Corps (Retired)

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.