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 white woman
on equal footing with a 220-pound nigger, a 85-year old retiree on
equal footing with a 19-year old punk/thug, and a single guy on
equal footing with a carload of animals 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] robber to do his job. That,
of course, is only true if the robber’s potential victims are mostly
disarmed either by choice or by legislative fiat–it has no validity
when most of a criminal’s potential victims are armed.
People who argue for the banning of arms are asking for automatic
rule by the young, the strong, and the many, and that’s the exact
opposite of a civilized society. A criminal, 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
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.