This is a complementary piece to Kathy’s post about the Judge who, given a chance, would dump ALL guns into the ocean. It contains excerpts from an article attributed to a Maj. L. Caudill USMC (Ret.). It’s a short, but worthwhile read. This isn’t the first time it’s been posted, it has been featured on a number of other blogs, and I originally published it in 2013, but it explains so well why the Judge referenced in Kathy’s post is so egregiously wrong, that I thought that it was worthy of a re-post and a little more exposure on Pesky Truth.
In researching Maj. Caudill, I didn’t find a website or anything personally linked to him (except writings) and in fact, did find one reference that questioned whether the Major really existed at all. So, while I’m still going to attribute the excellent points to the good Major, they may have been written by someone else using the “Major L. Caudill USMC (Ret.)” as a nom de plume.
I also found a couple of references to someone named Markos Kloos to whom it has also been attributed. At any rate, I didn’t write it, though I wish I had, it is uncommonly to the point and logical. Kudos to whichever of those two gentlemen is the true author.
Reason and Force
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.
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 drunks with baseball bats. The gun removes the disparity in physical strength, size, or numbers between a potential attacker and a defender.
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.
The Major’s essay is the single best explanation that I’ve seen of why a concealed handgun has a logical and worthwhile purpose and is not the instrument of the devil as so many gun control supporters profess. It points out in a few profound paragraphs the difficult-to-refute logic that applies to so many of us who choose to carry a concealed handgun.
When you’re old, not very big, and can’t run away, what options do you have to defend yourself against one (or more) younger, more fit, and larger assailants?
In Judge Kenneth Walker’s world, NONE.