PostHeaderIcon Civilization vs. Pacifism

Once again, a couple of comment sections below have become unwieldy and wondering off topic. This is to continue the discussion of the likelihood of civil war and/or revolution (same thing) in our near future. Given the evidence that the purpose of the Fast & Furious fiasco was to create a public outcry, for the government to do something about the proliferation of weapons in America; the upcoming vote on the UN Small Arms Treaty; and the recent events in the Aurora Batty-man massacre; the issue of gun control is back on the table in our political debate.

Some would chastise us for discussing this subject so soon after said tragedy. I disagree. The subject was already on the table, the UN vote is this week, and shrill cries from the gun control lobby are already filling the air. We would do the victims of this tragedy no justice, by acquiescing to calls for propriety, meant only to silence opposition to their agenda. Thus I will begin with my reply to a recent comment:

Greg, I note with interest that once again you shamelessly admit your handicap as a pacifist. Yet, I wonder; do you perceive your affliction as such? Or, do you count yourself among similarly afflicted city folk, who have deluded themselves into thinking their abdication of the responsibility of self-defense, is somehow a principled and morally superior position, to those prepared to shoulder such responsibility?

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. — Maj. L. Caudill USMC (Ret.)

Can you find fault with this citizen’s logic? Do you dispute his assertion that carrying a gun is a civilized act? Would it disturb you to encounter him armed in public? Would you fear him? If so, why?

On previous occasions, I have asked you to read my old essay, Urban Varmints. You have not indicated whether you have done so; but it included:

Weapons exist. That is reality. It has always been so. It will always be so. No amount of wishing, or foolhardy legislation, is going to change this truth. Weapons are what elevated man above a helpless savage. Without weapons, man is defenseless against any number of beasts bigger, stronger, quicker, or better equipped for combat than he is. The violence-prone bad guys are always going to have weapons. How could a rational mind conclude that the solution to their threat is to disarm the good guys?

Repeating firearms leveled the playing field for mankind. Before their invention, stronger individuals could always intimidate and dominate the weaker members of society. Now, any able-bodied man or woman can attain competence in the use of firearms and become the equal of the largest brute. It is irresponsible not to acquire this skill, and have such a weapon handy anytime one’s family is at risk of encountering a violent criminal.

Can you find fault with my logic? Would you dispute my assertion that to be unprepared to personally defend oneself is irresponsible? Is that responsibility any different for the cattle rancher living 30 miles from the nearest town, than it is for the citizens of the town? If you think so, why?

Which is the greater threat to your security, the retired Marine casually wearing a holstered pistol; the rancher casually carrying a 30-30 in the crook of his arm; a grandmother sleeping with a shotgun beside her bed; your next door neighbor with a pistol beside his; a storekeeper with one under the counter; or a masked jackbooted thug carrying an assault rifle, dressed exactly like the Batty-man killer in Aurora, except with SWAT lettered on his back? The latter acting under the color of law, is far more likely to kick down your door in the middle of the night, shoot your dog for defending you, and shoot you too if you make the wrong move in your confusion – all because they got the wrong address, or a false report regarding your activities.

How is it possible not to comprehend what the morally bankrupt principle of pacifism has done to degrade our civilization, particularly in our big cities, where only the brutes are permitted to defend themselves? I’ll repeat, society used to be civil, and a lot safer, when men were men and gentlemen were armed. â—„Daveâ–º

22 Responses to “Civilization vs. Pacifism”

  • Erik Lundrbeck says:

    The one thing that needs to be stated is the fact that the gun control lobbyists aren’t about keeping people alive, but disarming them from being able to protect themselves against their tyranny. Tyranny always comes wrapped in pretty paper with a nice bow on top.

  • Greg says:

    Pacifism for me, is the following, and actually I line up more with Troy’s thoughts:
    First of all: I have a legal right to defend myself if provoked. THe first blow, however, must be on the opponent. If they pull a gun, that is a provocation. No issues with my defense beyond that. Violence in all it forms simply makes me queasy.

    Second of all: Guns in an ordinarily peaceful person’s hand… does NOT disturb me. What disturbs me is when someone (shooter in Colorado, the Columbine massacre, etc.) who should not have a gun DOES get a gun. With that said, guns are not something I like, but I will not enforce my viewpoint on you and have them taken away. I do not know if this was intentionally done on your end…but… you seemed to imply that I want to take everyone’s guns away. No. I simply wish for guns to be in the hands of people who simply want to defend themselves, rather than shoot a building up. A gun is not evil; using the gun to cause violence, is.

    Third of all: War is evil in all its forms. If you consider WWII and we were attacked by Japan, yes, this was a provocation and thus fits under self-defense. But… this does not mean I liked WWII or anything that came with it–including, but not limited to, the Holocaust.

    Fourth of all: Keeping in mind the self-defense theory. I have gone on record before and supported the Afghanistan war, but most certainly not the Iraq War II. I do not have very much recollection about any other war. (When the Gulf War broke out, I was three)

    The final point I want to drive home is this: It has been my contention that, on a macroscale, if all nations were peaceful, war would not exist. Disputes would be settled peacefully, rather than in a violent manner. In fact, it the microscale was peaceful, there would be no shootings, etc.

    • Point 1) I learned a valuable lesson at a school dance when I was in high school. I have always been a hefty guy, and seldom provoked; but a wiry little freshman, with a snout full of liquid courage, thought he would show off in front of the girls, and out of the blue challenged me to a fight. I didn’t take him seriously, and laughingly allowed as how I was uninterested in such an uneven contest, so if he was serious he would have to land the first blow. The quick little jerk hit me seven times before I realized I was in a fight and could duck, at which point he bent over me to try wrestling.

      All I could see at that point was his crotch. My one and only blow, delivered with everything I had, left him in the fetal position, writhing, and screaming in agony. Yet, I still had a split lip and bloody shirt, which I hadn’t needed to suffer. Ever since, not being a masochist, if I could not or walk away from a confrontation or talk my way out of a fight, I made damn sure I got in the first lick, and made it a good one. Much wisdom comes from experience. 😉

      Point 2) Who gets to decide, and by what criteria, which citizens do not have the natural right to defend themselves, by owning a gun? Is there any objective standard that would have prevented the whistle-clean Batty-man from acquiring his weapons, that would not have infringed on our retired marine or rancher from acquiring theirs? This is America, and I reckon anyone too dangerous to be trusted with a gun, shouldn’t be allowed to be driving around with the equivalent of three sticks of dynamite in their gas tank. Batty-man could have killed a lot more victims, had he simply lobbed a half dozen Molotov cocktails into that crowded theater near the exits. What are the chances of banning gasoline, or keeping it out of the hands of psychopaths?

      Point 3) The Holocaust was not a product of war, it was the product of utopian dreams for a perfect society. It took the war to extinguish the implementation, of those misguided efforts to form the perfect society.

      Point 4) Afghanistan was merely the first theater of WWIV, which has been misnamed the ‘War on Terror.’ The wisdom of opening a second theater in Iraq was debatable; but by no means ill-conceived. Syria and/or Iran will be the next theater, and the wisdom of entering them will be just as debatable. See World War IV Analysis, which I wrote six years ago, for a perspective on Iraq that you have probably never considered.

      Point 5) If I had my wishes, I would be able to fly without an airplane, and could start life over at about age 16, knowing what I know now; but I am as likely to get them, as utopian dreamers are likely to convince all nations to be peaceful, all individuals to settle their disputes with reason, or all psychopaths to stop being irrational and violent. â—„Daveâ–º

    • Erik Lundrbeck says:

      “What disturbs me is when someone (shooter in Colorado, the Columbine massacre, etc.) who should not have a gun DOES get a gun.”

      This is the unfortunate side effect of a freedom much like how freedom of speech allows for civilized, rational people and pro-theocratic or racist zealots to speak their mind. Much of what the fringe might say might not be to our pleasure, but once again that’s the side effect of freedoms. From what I understand currently the Aurora nut job had no criminal record so there goes the background check. However, I think if there were ANY signs of some mental conflagration with this psycho, those who noticed it should have spoken up.

      Next, I don’t believe all should be blamed entirely on the ease of obtaining a weapon, but on the media who give a week or two worth of attention on this megalomaniac and not enough time on the victims of this tragedy. After all, like Andy Warhol stated once that everyone wants their 15 minutes of fame. Unfortunately, the media complies with this unwritten rule with ease because it provides them with ratings. They think nothing of the ramifications of this. But that there provides another problem, who gets to decide what should be reported? I would like to believe that the people have the power to ignore the news, but its like with any accident or tragedy, we have to see. Like being on a highway in a traffic jam due to accident, we crane our necks to see the grisly scene before us. I can’t state why we humans do that, but its what we do.

      It would be very hard to make sure that only guns end up in the hands of the sane and rational, but if the insane want to kill and need a weapon, they are a myriad of ways to make implemented weapons (the internet provides instructions which opens the gate to censorship) and black market weapons. If the will to destroy life is there than then means to follow through with that will will always be at any cost whether legal or illegal. I’m sure criminals don’t go through legal means to get their guns, but they have them anyways.

      Although I think your beliefs are noble and even be commended, I just don’t believe there’s any suitable way to assure that loons don’t get guns unless you go worldwide and annihilate every gun in existence, but then as I stated before if the will to destroy life is there then the means to do it will be found by that unstable person.

      • Troy says:

        Well said and thanks for joining the discussion.


      • Troy says:

        Although I think your beliefs are noble and even be commended, I just don’t believe there’s any suitable way to assure that loons don’t get guns unless you go worldwide and annihilate every gun in existence…

        As I have written elsewhere, such confiscation (or annihilation) would require a police state to implement.

        For my part, I much prefer the occasional “loon” to the constant presence of a police state. Our odds of being the victim of a “loon” are miniscule. Our odds of suffering in a police state are astronomical.


  • Greg says:

    There are two criteria I have always used for this part, Dave, “Who gets to decide, and by what criteria, which citizens do not have the natural right to defend themselves, by owning a gun?”

    1) Background check. If you are a criminal (and have used a gun in a violent crime), you don’t get one. If you’re a felon, you forfeit your right to vote. I think that there should be a class for “Violent felons” that do not get guns.

    2) Mental health. Obviously, I’m not suggesting you have to see psychologist each time you want to buy a gun. But if you’re diagnosed with something, you should be red-flagged.

    — NOTE: In this case, the Colorado shooter did not have these problems. I’d wager to guess, though, that this was an exception to the rule. Not sure of the figures on this.—

    3) Online websites should have automatic checkers that run through the above.

    (The point of this is, if you’ve done nothing, and have nothing “Wrong” with you, you have the right to have a gun. I have Asperger’s. In my opinion, I would not qualify under my own program to own a gun >.> )

    3) Tighten enforcement of the above. Let’s use Columbine as a better example. In the event of a tragedy such as this, the following must be ascertained:

    1) Company policy. Is it enforced by the company, or are they told to ignore it? If the policy is largely ignored, then the company should be able to be sued by the family and be subjected to the law.

    2) Did the employee break the policy? The employee would be held accountable.

    3) In Columbine, if the parents were directly responsible (IE, they provided the guns to the kids), they are equally at fault and should be charged for breaking the law.

    4) Obviously, the criminal should be held responsible. Further, if these conditions already exist, the enforcement much be tightened.

    To go back to your examples, NONE of those would be against the law in my opinion. The only possible exception is if the soldier in question has PTSD (As well as the degree of severity)

    Basically, the point is to discourage and deter those doing such a horrible thing, while at the same time preserving the rights for the 99.9% of us who are law-abiding 🙂

    “Unfortunately, the media complies with this unwritten rule with ease because it provides them with ratings. They think nothing of the ramifications of this. But that there provides another problem, who gets to decide what should be reported?”

    I agree with you 100% on this. I’ll give you an example of what I found to be deplorable on one of 9/11’s anniversaries. When OBL was still alive, CNN ran an hour-long expose on how it didn’t get killed. The whole time I was watching it, in the day or so leading up to the anniversary itself, I couldn’t help but think, “Should we really be paying this much attention so as to devote an entire show to him?” The answer is no. That’s what he, the Aurora shooters, etc. have in common: In order for their “mission” to have worked, he must be given attention. I would much rather a 4-minute soundbite on the update for the search for OBL (obviously this is moot because he’s dead >.> ) followed by 40 minutes talking about the victims who died and how they contributed to society, their goals, their dreams, their aspirations 🙂 (You’ll even note I am referring to it as “Tragedies such as this one,” so as not to single it out. Though I did for Columbine.)

    Now, as to who controls what they report? The media should. The media should sign a petition amongst themselves as an unwritten/unspoken rule that much more attention will be paid to the victims rather than the perpetrator.

    “Although I think your beliefs are noble and even be commended, I just don’t believe there’s any suitable way to assure that loons don’t get guns unless you go worldwide and annihilate every gun in existence, but then as I stated before if the will to destroy life is there then the means to do it will be found by that unstable person.”//

    Thank you. That means a lot (The first part) 🙂 . The second part goes to Dave’s larger point, that everyone should have a gun. But the problem then becomes, if everyone has a gun, a crowded theater could become a shootout if someone so much as goes for his wallet. This would be if we go to the extreme and abandon all gun laws. But if everyone is able to generally operate under the assumption that everyone else is more or less “Rational” (or “sane”), that problem goes away.

    This is why I wrote in Dave’s other poster/meme post about gun control that it is a tricky issue. I am not happy with the way it is now, but it is difficult to say how to improve it :/

    • You have responded to Point 2) of a 5 point rebuttal, Greg. Would I be wrong to presume more will follow?

      Your criteria are unpersuasive:

      Point 1) Background checks should be unnecessary to purchase scarves, ropes, chains, tire irons, baseball bats, knives, guns, or gasoline. A rational society would keep these, and hundreds of other deadly weapons, out of the hands of untrusted known “Violent felons,” by the simple expedient of isolating such brutes from potential victims, one way or another. Once identified, they should be hanged, castrated, incarcerated, or banished, as the case merits. To release them again into our midst, with ready access to our women and children going about their daily lives, is to warrant that they have paid their dues to society for past transgressions, and/or have been rehabilitated to the point where they are no longer a danger to their neighbors.

      If this is so, then there is no logical reason to deny them their natural right as human beings to defend themselves, which our Constitution guarantees all freemen. If it is not so, then they should never have been released. This is simple common sense, and I would apply the same logic to the voting franchise. One significant reason for recidivism, even for non-violent perpetrators of youthful indiscretions, is the stigma we attach to ex-felons. Even when repentant and entirely rehabilitated, it is difficult for them to find suitable employment, and the opportunity to try to live a normal upstanding life among us. For many, prison is a university that makes hardened criminals out of once naive fools.

      Point 2) No way, my friend. I trust the so-called ‘mental health profession’ even less than politicians. There are far too many self-medicated dolts among their ranks, and their diagnoses are often just gobbledygook. To suggest we entrust this lot with the awesome power, to pass judgment on which of us qualifies to exercise our natural rights, is itself verging on insanity. More importantly, these fools are generally for sale to the highest bidder. In any court trial, where the question of the mental condition of anyone is in question, so-called experts in this field can be hired to support the case of either side of the dispute.

      Just how difficult would it be, for a tyrannical government to have anyone disagreeing with their agenda, and perhaps inclined to vocally protest such, classified as mentally deranged? It would take me less than a day, to find a shrink willing to classify attendance at a TEA Party rally a form of anti-social psychosis, and another who would find participation in a OWS demonstration likewise evidence of a mental aberration. Under this criteria, whoever gets to define ‘normal,’ can disqualify anybody they choose. Not on my watch… â—„Daveâ–º

  • Greg says:

    Well, Dave, to respond to your other points:
    Point 1) That would qualify as self-defense in my opinion, so you’re good there. Basically, I’m advocating a society that is built on self-defense, and not on “breakdown of reason,” as Troy pointed out before on his “is Troy advocating violence” thread.

    On the Macroscale, an example would be: A nation is rattling its saber at us. We negotiate with it, negotiations fail…. they shoot off missiles at us. The minute the missiles appear on radar, that is a provocation. I believe we have air defenses capable of shooting them down, do we not? If not, then when war seems inevitable, wait for the littlest provocation to begin. But we must be provoked first.

    Point 2) I take it you are advocating less filters so that a clinically insane man can get a gun? I’m responding to your point about mental health. Second of all, I definitely agree that if a convict is released, they should be rehabilitated first. Now, the problem therein lies in what if he’s “going through the motions” at rehab. It is very difficult to tell that. How would we know?

    Point 3) Right, the Holocaust was not the product of war. But please note that we would most likely have not gone to war had not Japan attacked us. Our response = self-defense. There are gross injustices in the world, such as the Holocaust, to be sure. But where does one draw the line. To attack Syria, for instance… does that then become the gold standard that says we must intervene? Surely that means we must invade all the dysfunctional (From our perspective) and oppressive governments in Africa as well. It is a slippery slope, and we arguably started down it, in this regard, when we invaded Libya.

    Point 4) I don’t buy into World War IV, sorry. In order for there to be a World War, all the major powers must be involved, actively, and attacking one another. We do not see this today: China has not attacked us, we have not attacked Russia, Germany (best economic shape in the EU) has not done anything to any of those three directly. Further, China has no interest in attacking us directly over Iran. While they do get oil, right now, China is trying not to have relations with our nations go sour. This would be bad in that case.

    Point 5) Psychopaths–again, the way society should work is that no one does anything to retaliate before a person has proven them to be psychopathic.

    Back to your point: You are right; we SHOULD have the use of force to defend ourselves from insane lunatics. But this does not mean that I should like doing it. 🙂 (Not implying that you like doing it either).

    This one caught my eye:
    “A rational society would keep these, and hundreds of other deadly weapons, out of the hands of untrusted known “Violent felons,” by the simple expedient of isolating such brutes from potential victims, one way or another…” // I agree with this. To change the topic to a different thread I saw before, pedophiles should be given a bracelet around their ankle that emits loud shrieking noises or something whenever they go near a playground, school, etc. Would you support the same methods for violent felons in terms of guns, etc.?

    I noticed that my criteria with the stores, etc. was not answered unless I missed it?

    (I wanted to get the biggest points out there yesterday while I had it on my mind. Now that’s done, I can respond to the rest, as I have done 🙂 )

    • Point 4) Semantics, Greg. While I may have been one of the first and few to call this WWIV, I have since seen it often referred to as WWIII, and it has been rather common over the decades for writers to refer to the Cold War as WWIII. In any case, you have inspired me to clarify my usage of these terms in my lexicon. â—„Daveâ–º

      • Ha! Out of curiosity, I just did a Bing search. I was by no means the first to call it WWIV, and was probably inspired to do so by one of these articles. â—„Daveâ–º

        • Greg says:

          I would probably not be the first to point out that Muslim jihadists’ caliphates won’t work; in fact, they used to have one in Turkey (I think?) that got disbanded. The reason it won’t work is because of the fact that Sunnis, Shia, etc. always fight with one another. Whether they realize it or not, it will not work for those reasons.

          • Look up the Ottoman Empire (Caliphate), Greg. 600+ years is taking a bit long to decide something won’t work and disband it. Sure, there will be sectarian infighting over who gets to be the Caliphate, there always was and always will be; but one thing they absolutely agree upon, is the need to subjugate infidels, and eradicate the big Satan (that would be us) first. Their internecine squabbling isn’t inhibiting their attacks on us one bit. â—„Daveâ–º

        • Greg says:

          Also, thank you. I now understand what you meant 🙂

        • Greg says:

          No, it’s not. What I’m saying is is that their aims are not going to ever materialize and what they’re doing is going to be a waste of time. Secretarian squabbles are also much more violent than they were 600+ years ago. THere are things such as IEDs and nukes, you know. Additionally, they can’t even agree on things like the Third Imam, etc… so it won’t work. They will try, but it won’t WORK is the point.

          Also, look at the Papacy. How many Catholics do you think agree with it 100%? I don’t think a lot will be in favor of making the wife subservient to the husband, for one; for two, I think that their stance on birth control to much of the world is unpopular. Regardless of whether or not all Catholics are on board 100%, there are other groups, such as Protestants, etc. that do not agree with the Papacy. Yet the Papacy still exists as a reflection of Christianity? Why? Well, for starts, the Papacy only reflects the Catholics and not the Protestants. For another, Christians typically don’t blow each other up.

          My point in being is this: In order for the rational, logical mind here to think that a Grand Imam/Caliphate will actually work… does not make sense. Sure, they may want it, but it will not WORK. Had they been doing this through peaceful means, I would not care in the least (For the time being). However, the reality is that they are not, and therefore must be stopped. (I might also point out that what seems like the vast majority of Muslims are NOT jihadists; this seems reserved to those who bought into the Bin Laden school of thinking)

          Now, if we wanted a Muslim “papacy,” which is what the Caliphate is, the CAliphate would not be one person, but many. Additionally, they would be in constant conflict with each other. This is why I do not think the plan will work in execution; I also like to think that a vast majority of Muslims (American and non) do not buy into doing this through violent means.

  • Daedalus says:

    There are a lot of things that “don’t work,” Socialism & Monarchy come to mind, but they can leave a trail of damage and destruction through time in the trying. Besides, the issue isn’t “working,” it is individual rights.

    • Greg says:

      My issue here is, when do individual rights (IE, allowing everyone, included nutcases, to have guns) compromise the safety of those around us? For instance, it is my right to drink; I should not drink and drive and am not legally allowed to. Along the same lines, if someone is somehow impaired, should they be allowed to have a gun? I don’t particularly subscribe to this viewpoint myself; it needs quite a bit of tinkering. But perhaps we should start there to flesh it out on both our sides 🙂

    • Greg says:

      Also, going back to the caliphate–which I take it you were responding to? I know it won’t work, most people know it won’t work. Does it not somehow make you feel better or at least give you some sort of sweet ironic justice when you realize they are almost certainly wasting their time and getting themselves shot/bombed/etc. by us, for an objective that is most certainly not going to be able to be achieved to begin with? I think it just makes them stupider and, actually, laughable to a certain sense–were the situation not as grave with lives on the line as it is. Do you see what I am getting at?

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