A Society With Arms

Bang!

Image by ToastyKen via Flickr

“An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life”
Robert A Heinlein

On the way to work the other morning, the first half of that quote popped into my head and I had thoughts on it’s use and further thoughts on why it it doesn’t fit. And, because I’m nice, I decided to share them with you.

So, the quote is used by The Polite Society, an organisation that aims to teach people to use firearms in real life situations.  The firearms are, in all cases, concealed carry. The idea behind both the quote and the Society is that if everyone was both armed and prepared to fight to the death in various situations, that the world would be a better place. A high ideal and, at first blush, seemingly realistic. However, this assumes that firstly absolutely everyone is armed and willing to fight to the death and secondly that in this very aggressive atmosphere that everyone would react appropriately and not start shooting at the slightest provocation.

So, with our extensive collective knowledge of human nature, do we agree? Personally, I do not. If we look at armed societies through the ages we see differences in armaments – the wealthy had great weaponry (swords, flails, maces) and the training to back them up and the lower classes became very handy with a stout stick. The society was only polite because if anyone except the wealthy won a fight, the winner would be set about and jailed or killed. If we are to have a society where differences will be settled in a battle to the death we would have to have far more formalised and strict codes of conduct to ensure that the winner isn’t charged with murder, to ensure that a duel isn’t called simply to hide a murder and to ensure that the fight is, above all, fair and even. I have even invented a name for it and no one else has ever thought of this: the Code Duello. It is a cracking title and should ensure that there are no problems at all in any way.

Personally, I am more than happy to leave firearms in the hands of the military and the police. While firing a weapon can be fun, in a controlled environment, the idea of most of the oxygen thieves I see on a daily basis being allowed to both vote and carry a weapon fills me with dread. While there are incidents of the military or police doing dangerous things with their guns, if we look at how often each person takes one out, statistically the incidents are insignificant (that is not to say that the incidents are insignificant on a personal basis, of course).

Living in the UK, we don’t have a history of regular citizens being armed. In fact, the debate to regularly arm the police ran for many years and may yet run again.

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Posted on 27 September, 2011, in Generalities, Stupidities and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. The other problem with guns is that they are so dangerous in the hands of any untrained individual and by allowing weapons to be used freely, there is always a risk of accidents.

    Now Samurai swords are another story 😛

    • This is true. What they should do is invent a gun that fires both forwards and backwards at the same time. So that anyone who fires the gun will think twice before doing so.

    • Yep, guns sure can be dangerous.
      Just like sex, drugs, (rock-n-roll??), hot stoves, sharp (or dull) knives, and a myriad of other common objects and activities that we deal with on a daily basis.
      Oh yeah, and don’t forget cars. It’s not the cars that maim and kill, it’s the people who drive them …

      • Genius response. Except that in all of your examples, those items are multi-use: sex is not just a potential way to die, it is also good for recreation and procreation. Music is recreational and creative and inspiring. And so on.

        A gun has one use: to kill someone.

        • Ray: You’re absolutely correct: except that, coming from a self-defense & personal protection standpoint, I prefer to say “stop the threat” instead of ‘kill.’ (It may happen that the threat is killed as a result, but the intent is only to stop the threat.) Guns can be a very useful tool when one is confronted with an imminent violent encounter, especially by attackers of superior strength or numbers.

          But remember, even in the hands of a bad guy, the gun does not cause the violence; the violent person causes the violence. And he does so with Intent. Defending against him (with or without a gun) is also done with Intent. It is the person, not the tool, upon whom the onus of responsible behaviour lies. And it is that same person who must bear the consequences of the action.

          If handled properly, the gun will inflict injury only when the user intends it to do so. If handled improperly, the gun may cause ‘unintentional’ (yet still irresponsible) damage.

          Is that not remarkably similar to a well-known multi-purpose tool most people use everyday: the car. It is not DESIGNED to maim or kill people, nor to cause damage to other property. Yet everyday, thousands of those nasty cars do just that. Ooops, you say, it’s not the car, it’s the driver: my point precisely. And it is my opinion that those who drive irresponsibly (distracted, unskilled, over confident, or simply with blinders on) and cause damage should be held as accountable for the damage they cause as a gun owner whose gun discharges accidentally. Both are criminal acts of negligence, not accidents.

          Yet in this country there is an insurance company who will, if you total your car, replace it with a newer model. I find it utterly reprehensible that they will reward irresponsible driving with a newer car! (Sorry for the tangent, it just irks me).

          Any tool (or activity) in the hands of an irresponsible user can be dangerous or deadly, regardless of the intended use of that tool (or activity). It is up to us as members of a polite society, to ensure that our use of tools, our behaviour, and our activities are conducted responsibly. That means with attention, with consideration, and with Intent.

          Polite Regards,
          Knight-Owl Defense

  2. Interesting…the problem with that world view is that there are now far too many under the authority of the wealthy few who would love nothing better than to use their arms against the innocent. When there were a lot fewer military and law enforcement personnel our odds of not being in the wrong place at the wrong time were a lot lower.

    While I personally am a pacifist, historically, disarming the population has been followed in not too many years by genocide – except perhaps in the U.K. (so far). For example:

    1) 1911 Turkey established gun control. From 1915-1917, 1.5 million Armenians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

    2) 1929 The Soviet Union established gun control. From 1929 to 1953, approximately 20 million dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

    3) 1935 China established gun control. From 1948 to 1952, 20 million political dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

    4) 1938 Germany established gun control in 1938 and from 1939 to 1945, 6 to 7 million Jews, gypsies, homosexuals, the mentally ill, and 12 million Christians who were unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

    5) 1956 Cambodia established gun control. From 1975 to 1977, one million “educated” people, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

    6) 1964 Guatemala established gun control. From 1964 to 1981, 100,000 Mayan Indians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

    7) 1970 Uganda established gun control. From 1971 to 1979, 300,000 Christians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

    Because of this – even though the U.S. has many rather rowdy types who are too gun-happy for my tastes – I am not in favor of disarming the public.

    Fortunately for Americans, the Oath Keepers refusal to disarm civilians during Katrina may be what has prevented martial law from being declared here. I am extremely thankful that they are spreading the word about unlawful orders and that many will not automatically follow them.

    The source for all of those examples is theforbiddenknowledge.com and searching on any of those excerpts will bring you to the page that contains that and much information.

  3. I really appreciate what The Polite Society is doing. There are so many women out there and even men who are prone to danger from nature and also other men. This kind of training can hone up the art of self defense and help a lot. I wish to join this training. It is true that it cannot be taught to everyone as it might be dangerous but basic self defense must be taught.

  4. In fact you want to let arms in the hands of police and military? I would like to not see arms anywhere, not because I want to stop violence like a young innocent girl but just because I think human being is an idiot who cannot handle any weapon at all. I know, it is impossible, so the only way to peace does not exist…

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