The Right to Life, Personal Defense, and Weaponsgreenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
The Right to Life, Personal Defense, and Weapons.
A short essay.
Some have had questions about this subject. Hope this helps!
Lets share some principles:
1) Human Nature : mother nature has been very creative in the diversity of attributes given humankind : some are weak, some are strong; some are fast, some are slow; some are bright, some are dull; some are strong, some are weak; some have long arms, some have short arms; some are slow to anger, some are quick; some are pleasant, some are irritable; some are submissive, some are aggressive; some are easy to get along with, some are not; - while not the only cause, the differences between various individuals are one cause for them acting in certain ways that seem 'normal' - for them.
2) Thugs and Bullies: since man began, there are now and have always been, those who would take advantage of others when the opportunity arises; we call them thugs and bullies, pirates, highwaymen, thieves, rapists, burglars, etc.
3) Philosophy : most believe that the fact that one is alive, presupposes the right to promote and further that life; that part of promoting and furthering ones life allows one to defend that life from assaults from others; logic suggests that that right is reciprocal, - i.e. that one may protect and defend his life, so long as one does not impede the similar right of others.
4) Prudence: logic, history, law and morality suggest that the preciousness of human life allows one to offer to defend the life and property of others - primarily, ones family and loved ones, but surely, extended as far as one is justified; in fact, some societies REQUIRE one to come to the aid of another who is being attacked by a third party
5) Extension of Force : without implements, the length of a mans arm is the limit of the extent of his power; when the first man picked up a tree branch and swung it at his attacker who had a longer reach, he was extending his defensive force beyond the length of his natural arm; all developments in the field of weapons have been to extend the reach of a mans arm; from the hand and arm, to the knife, the club, the sword, the thrown spear, to the bow and arrow, the sling, the catapult, the personal firearm (handgun) to the rifle (long gun) to the cannon, the airplane, the missile - all, just greater extensions of the reach of a normal mans arm; we should remember that the use of these tools for food gathering and sport came AFTER their creation for personal defense. 6) Invention and Progress: man is an inventive toolmaker; a weapon (of whatever type) is just a tool; a tool for the accomplishment of a specific task - the task of extending of ones power beyond the reach of ones arm in the defense of ones life; the development of a tool does not, by itself, determine its usefulness or appropriateness, but rather, the use to which a tool is put, determines its appropriateness and usefulness; tools are necessary for the sustenance and advance of a technical society; whether you choose to carry a knife, or sword, billy club or gun - or none, - is largely (with certain restrictions), your personal choice.
7) Means and Methods: in an anarchic society, the defense of human life might invoke any method one chose to use; in what some may call 'more civilized' societies, society places limits on the means and methods used to protect and defend, and proscribes the specific offenses to ones person to which one may properly react [see list below]
8) Responsibility and Vicarious Transfer of Rights: some don't like the inconvenience of having to provide for their own defense and property; where they are members of a society, some can transfer a portion of their own responsibility for defense of their life to another, to either another individual (mercenary - gun for hire) or an organization (police department); either way, the individual is still responsible for his own defense; - by analogy, he is like the meat-eater who does no killing, but hires a butcher instead, to do his killing for him.
One should not forget, however, that for most of us in the U.S., today, SOMEONE fills the responsibility for OUR defense and longevity; in fact, MOST in this society would not enjoy the ability to walk the streets, drive downtown, or do what they do were it not for those others who wear a gun 24 hours a day while they do not; someone, (whether a cop, a deputy sheriff, or a highway patrolman) is vicariously protecting you while you exercise the choice to not actively protect yourself. [armies fill a similar role for the society as a whole].
9) Opportunism : most attacks by one against another happen very quickly; time plays a large role in the defense of oneself; thugs and bullies will always take advantage of both your weakness, the best tools available, and the perceived lag in response time, if any, of your hired protector. It pays to be vigilant and prepared.
10) History : in the grand scheme, more human lives have been saved by the use of firearms than have ever been taken by them. The freedoms we all enjoy today have been secured and preserved only through the use, and the continued threat of the use of force. Like it or not, war IS an extension of diplomacy. Would I take the life of a thug in the defense of your life? In a heartbeat! Right is only secured through might.
11) Y2K and the Future: in a perfect world, the need to protect and defend oneself would not exist; since this is an imperfect world, that need DOES exist; as the disruptions to normal life-styles increase due to Y2K and other causes, the need to become more personally involved with ones own protection and defense will increase; if society becomes less ordered and civilized, one will, in fact, if one wants to live, have to assume FULL responsibility for the protection, defense and continuation of ones life; - or one will die.
12) Personal Choice : we all make choices; hopefully, we always can. How one prepares to respond to threats to ones life are ones individual choice. In the protecting of ones life, some choose not to carry a gun; others choose to carry a gun; both are matters of personal choice; one who carries a gun would never prevent another from doing so; those who choose not to carry are hopefully, as magnanimous. So too, whether one lives or dies, is largely, ones own choice.
Below are thirteen acts most states determine to be of sufficient threat to life that the use of force is justified in response.
Thirteen Commonly Recognized Felonies.
M. murder and mayhem. A. assault and armed robbery.
B. battery and burglary-at-night. A. arson and auto theft. R. rape. K. kidnapping. E. extortion and felonious escape. R. riot.
Peace. Good Luck. Be Prepared.
-- Perry Arnett (email@example.com), December 07, 1998
Amen and Amen!!!
-- INVAR (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 07, 1998.
REALLY, REALLY LIKE IT!!! This is one of the best thought out essays on the subject I've seen in years.
which brings up a small (.1 %) quibble. In #7 last line, you use the word "proscribes". Didn't you mean "prescribes"???
(incasae the italics didn't work : "proscribes" "prescribes")
It kinda changes things and I couldn't translate in context. sorry for the nit pick.
-- Chuck a night driver (email@example.com), December 07, 1998.
Good job, Perry.
Im glad you also acknowledge the personal choice of those who choose not to carry a gun. There are other ways to fight. It IS a personal choice and as such, should be made individually, and not infringed upon by any outside authority or opinion. Both for or against.
-- Diane J. Squire (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 07, 1998.
Perry- Never have seen it put better. Great stuff!
Diane- I take back every "ARRRGGGHHHH!!!!" that I have ever said about your posts.
-- Jack (email@example.com), December 07, 1998.
Thank you Jack. I turn the "ARRRGGGHHHH!!!!" bag back over to you. It's quite hefty. Perhaps it can be put to better use for recent numb-nuts.
Diane, gun-shy, but fighting with the digial newsmedia konk 'em in their e-mail sword!
-- Diane J. Squire (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 07, 1998.
well done Perry! well done!
-- Arlin H. Adams (email@example.com), December 07, 1998.