Reason vs. Force


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Reason vs. Force

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 drunken 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 muggers 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.

The time the kid in Orlando tried to rob me the only reasoning he understood was the HK in my right hand.....:sarcastic:
Very insightful and well written.

Just to nitpick, I would add avoidance to the ways humans interact, not just physical, but verbal, such as Q: “when will this get done? “ A:“tomorrow” (manana or avrio), no conflict, but also no resolution. This is very popular in many cultures. Many Oriental cultures will not say no to you, as this is considered rude, they will put off answering,” let us talk about this after tea” or “I will see what I can do”.

I guess this might be considered a type of reason, and not having the avoidance category does not detract from the purpose or effectiveness of the article, I am just making an acedemic observation.
I posted that reason v force on Florida Concealed Carry Forum This is one of the responses By the way this is a very nice site so far anyone with questions about florida should check it out:wink:

Within arms length, a finger, when coupled with skill and determination, is as deadly as 230gr 45 cal bullet. In the same circumstances, a Bic pen, a rolled up magazine or a set of car keys can be just as lethal. A knife, requiring even less skill and physical ability is even more lethal. These instruments all require you to be in close physical contact with your opponent and to have a considerable amount of training and strength to be effective. The modern handgun is a distance weapon that requires very little skill and virtually no physical strength to be as effective, if not more so, than any of the above mentioned instruments, when used in self defense. That is the strength of the defensive firearm. The ability to render a dangerous opponent harmless at a distance, without necessitating the level of skill and physical ability necessary for other defensive instruments, is the main strength of the handgun.

But, the mere possession of a handgun does not guarantee that you will be free of the threat of someone forcing you to do something. It does, however, grant you an effective means of countering that application of force. If you have the will to use it and are aware of its limitations.
here is another

I would think that the above would only be true if I couldn't reach you before you could get the gun into play.

Under 12 feet, and certainly under 8 feet, you'll deal with me physically if I want you to without the benefit of the use of that firearm. Inside conversational distance, your gun won't mean squat to me if I choose to make it so.

Thinking someone can't deal with you by force because you have a gun is being guncentric. It's a fallacy perpetuated by those who believe the firearm is the final answer to every force used against them.

This last weekend I demonstrated and then had students repeat this for hours. You need time and distance to get to that weapon, without creating it or knowing how to create it, you can still be forced while armed.
It may have been Massad Ayoob who said that a Man with a gun is in serious jeopardy when confronted within 7 yards by a Man with a knife. Action/Re-action stuff.
It is the "21 Foot Rule" and an updated research article on it is Link Removed The actual distance could be shorter or longer, and being within that distance with a knife does not automatically justify deadly force.

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