Friday, April 23, 2010

Junk Email - Guns - Montello

I received this forwarded email today and it gave me pause. I've enjoyed thinking about it. Let me know what you think. If you disagree with the arguments, I'd especially like to hear your thoughts. Not just that you are against guns, rather, how this argument is flawed. I appreciate seeing things from all sides, but I'm having trouble finding issue with this Marine's thoughts...especially when I read them through the lens of a physically weak individual, which we will all become soon enough.

The Gun is Civilization
by Maj. L. Caudill USMC (Ret)

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 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.


I'll tie all this into Montello by asking the following question: does being in the wild west of Montello necessitate owning and/or carrying a gun for civilization?


  1. Whoa, so much conflict in this idea. I, for one, have never owned/operated a gun. I am a peaceful person and I enjoy reason and being civilized. There are 2 sides of this for me: one, I have never lived in a situation where I felt I NEEDED to pack a gun. Two, when I think of Montello (even though it should be a peaceful, simple existence) I know that because of the landscape and TYPE of travelers that may wonder through those parts it is a necessity to carry. It is a simple fact, in medieval days and the wild west if you did not have a weapon for protection you WOULD be enslaved by threat, injury, and/or death. Now, we obviously live in a much more protected situation here in the U.S....for now...but you MUST have a sense of physical security. Tough topic ya know? I would LOVE nothing more than to abolish hatred and forceful behavior. Fact is, it's here to stay...

  2. ("because of the landscape") I meant animals...clearly having a gun to protect us from wild animals has no argument. All of this is a frame of mind and everyone is different.


    An Armed Society is a Polite Society.

    Statistically there is more reason to carry a gun now in this day and age then the "wild wild west."

    I carry a firearm nearly every hour of everyday. Much for the same reasons that I keep a little emergency cash in my wallet or wear my seat belt every time I get into a car.
    In hope, I will never have to use it, but I would sure rather have it than be in a situation that my kids, wife, or my life is in danger and be without it.

    To me the proper question is, what is a valid reason for not carrying a firearm? (I admit there are some in some circumstances) Whether in the wilderness of Montello or the concrete jungle of suburbia I see no difference.

    One extra motivation for carrying my firearm in Nevada that I hadn't thought much about until this last weekend is that the only place to store a firearm with adequate safety is a gun safe that is bolted to your floors and walls. In 20 acres of nothingness I have no gun safe; a firearm is definitely a big responsibility. If I lock it in my car there is only 1/8" thick glass protecting it from anyone who had half a mind to take it while I was out traipsing along the countryside. If I keep it in my tent even while I was just in camp, my kids who are too young to fully understand the danger of firearms, are only a zipper away from a firearm when I take my eye off them for half a minute. If you don't keep it in a holster on your hip on in a sling around your shoulder, where can you safely keep it and keep track of it 24-7?
    Maybe this is a little different for you, with a secure container and children that are older than mine.I felt a lot better wearing it than leaving it anywhere unattended after I found out that Nevada is an open carry state half way through my trip. I also feel great in general having a firearm on my person(and even better about my wife having one), just in-case; after all, it is the greatest equalizer.

  4. PS. I have learned that this is mis-attributed to the wrong author. The correct author is Marko Kloos aka. The Munchkin Wrangler

  5. Yeah so my dad passed this along to me. This responds to your post Preston...