Wednesday, April 28, 2010


Today I offer this very well written piece - that places the proper perspective on what a gun means to a civilized society; timely as the Supreme Court hears arguments for and against the Chicago Gun Ban. A veritable Internet Mystery - this piece has been floating around the Internet since 2007, attributed a mythical Marine Major Caudill, but a search for source verification reveals it was actually written by a Mr. Marko Kloos, at his excellent blog Munchkin Wrangler.

The Gun is Civilization

By "Major L. Caudill, USMC(Ret)" -
a.k.a. Marko Kloos

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.

"So the greatest civilization is one where all citizens are equally armed and can only be persuaded, never forced."


  1. True. "Man" began to be "equal" when Colt offer the Colt Single Action Army (also known as the Colt Peacemaker) for sale.

  2. No mystery here. Mr. Kloos wrote it, had it on his site for the longest time, then it appeared all over attributed to Maj. Caudill. Ted Nugent even fell for it. No surprise why it's so widely distributed - it's absolutely brilliant.

  3. Thanks for posting this. I'd not read it before now. Excellent.

  4. Hearkens in some ways back to Ann Ryand's character Francisco d' Anconia and his argument summarized so well in this sentence: ". . . Until and unless you discover that money is the root of all good, you ask for your own destruction. When money ceases to be the tool by which men deal with one another, then men become tools of men. Blood, whips and guns - or dollars. Take your choice - there is no other - and your time is running out." The current administration is destroying our money. When they disarm us, the only medium of exchange will be their whips and guns, and our blood.

  5. The last anonymous I couldn't agree more. America's eye's have been bound shut to the truth. The media in this country should be ashamed of their implicit role in the charade that goes on everyday. I am convined that we are in fact looking through a looking glass at this time in history. The elitist are control of our lives and the terntacles of their various agenda's is continueing to tighten it's grip. They are in the first stages. They will take our money. The Federal Reserve. Taking away the gold standard. Then our health, the list too long to go with that.Flouride, fast food, subsidized farming owned by large conglomerant's. Take our land, 40% of the land in the US is owned by the federal government. Sell off our jobs. Reduce our birth rate's so we have to import labor by subsidizing Planned Parenthhod. Then they will take our guns. Because, it's like they are not superiorly armed than us already. We will be their slaves; as if, we are not already. Taxation without representation! That's what our forefather's came here far. To start anew! Cast off the old world conventiona's and do the things that will allow people to prosper and be the person that they capable of being. Not taken care of from c radel to grave. Sorry just a rant after going to economics class and reading real news and useful insight and information.

  6. This theory depends on everyone ELSE being amenable to reason. It also depends on everyone having the exact same understanding of guns and their deadly potential. Those who are numb or apathetic to the power of guns will become the most powerful. Those who have less to lose(or just think that) become more powerful. Those who are more violent(hair trigger) become more powerful. Those who are emotionally unstable become more powerful. Its impossible to weed out all of these groups of people.

    "Blood, whips and guns - or dollars. Take your choice - there is no other..."

    Classic fallacy, the false dilemma.