A Society With Arms
“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).
- “An Armed Society Is A Polite Society” (knightowldefense.wordpress.com)
- Guns at Your Work: Coming Soon to an Office Near You (psychologytoday.com)
- Gun Control? I Use My Right Hand With My Index Finger On The Trigger; Republicans Use 2A To Control Alot Of Votes And Money (angrymanspeaks.wordpress.com)
- Five charged after weapons cache find (menmedia.co.uk)
- Right to bear arms lawsuit in Illinois: Professors’ amicus brief (volokh.com)
- Fact Sheet: Guns Save Lives: Published by the G.O.A. Sunday, 28 September 2008 (whitelawoutlaw.wordpress.com)
Posted on 27 September, 2011, in Generalities, Stupidities and tagged Code Duello, Concealed carry in the United States, Firearm, firearms unit, gun control, Guns, Military, Polite Society, Recreation, Robert Heinlein, united kingdom, united states. Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.