The New York Times published an article detailing what they think makes a “modern” man. Most of their “definitions” are benign, and some I even agree with (such as the bit about not cutting fat off your steak and eating the entire thing). One in particular struck me…
25. The modern man has no use for a gun. He doesn’t own one, and he never will.
Wow. That isn’t just a philosophical bungle, it is flat out a denial of man’s role as the defender of his family, and of the physically weak. Luke 22:36 expressly records Jesus Christ instructing his closest disciples to sell their cloak, their most prized personal possession and their identification of status in Jewish society, and purchase a sword. With Christ there are always multiple interpretations of what He said, but one cannot ignore the very literal words spoken in order to read into a statement what you want to see. Sell your clothes… buy a weapon. Not a spear, or a bow… a sword. The sword was the equivalent of the modern firearm.
Jesus Christ instructed his followers to arm themselves so that they could defend themselves and each other. There are other deeper meanings as well, but let’s just stick with the literal words spoken because it seems that the New York Times just said that Jesus was wrong because according to them, a real manly man doesn’t need to have the ability to defend themselves or someone else. Considering the source I shouldn’t be surprised. Don’t mind that, if not for someone with a [gatling] gun, that joke of a paper would have been burned to the ground by a riotous mob back in the 19th century.
I argue that the NYT is flat wrong and here is why…
“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. It removes force from the equation… And that’s why carrying a gun is a civilized act.
By Maj. L. Caudill USMC (Ret.)