Armed society- Polite society


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OGFIRE
September 10, 2007, 05:01 PM
I have always heard the "an armed society, is a polite society" and always took this to mean not to anger an armed person. I have found that when I carry, I make it a point to be polite, therefore lessening the chance of a meaningless or useless altercation. This was not a consious decision just something I noticed about myself. Maybe this is and alternate meaning of the phrase.

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strat81
September 10, 2007, 05:08 PM
I think it means both. I'd wager that the overwhelming majority of THR members pray they never, EVER, have to use their guns in self-defense. When I CCW, if I'm called [low-road names], I'll just take it in stride and move along.

Flak_Jakett
September 10, 2007, 05:09 PM
If everyone carried a gun how many home invasions, muggings, armed robberies, kidnappings... etc do you think there would be? If everyone commiting a violent crime had to deal with a gun wielding public, I think crime would plummet. There would be no more easy targets. People would be polite. They would also be polite, because if your nice to someone, if something happens to you, the person might have your back and vice versa.

P97
September 10, 2007, 05:47 PM
I think most people that carry realize that they have the power within reach of their fingertips to take a life. They want to be sure, before they use this power, that it is as a last resort and there is no other alternative.

Ghost Tracker
September 10, 2007, 05:58 PM
To me, and I'd guess most everyone here, the decision to carry a gun automatically means giving up the right to be; a hot head, an aggressor, a taunting smart-@zz, a bully, an insultor, or a prima dona with their tender emotions ready to snap. The downside (taking a life) is FAR TOO serious of an event to be prompted by issues of EGO! Holstering a CCW means you leave your ego at home in the dresser drawer.

Christianninja
September 10, 2007, 06:04 PM
It's like in The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. When everyone is within arms reach of death, you either get real polite or real dead.

(Hehe..."arms reach"... I made a pun.)

Ghost Tracker
September 10, 2007, 06:17 PM
"The Moon is a Harsh Mistress", wow, good conversation and a Literary Society as well. I LOVE it around here. (...nice pun, by the way)

BMacklem
September 10, 2007, 11:37 PM
Actually I believe that Heinlein proposed the idea of an "Armed polite society" in the book "Beyond this Horizon".

In that book, there are people who wear a badge that makes them true citizens that can carry a gun, and the reactions between those people who wear arms is what that phrase would be described as... completely polite, and very careful.
An altercation ensues because someone drops a crab leg down a railing into a womans soup on the terrace below them, and one fool demands satisfaction because of it, although the main character provides payment for drycleaning, and utmost apologies for his "clumsiness" (even though it was his friend who dropped the crab leg)
The young hothead draws his gun, and a quick duel ensues, where the hothead is wounded, and the night continues as if nothing happened.

That would be an almost ideal society. *sigh*

esq_stu
September 10, 2007, 11:52 PM
I've always taken the expression to mean being armed is an awesome responsibility - to avoid having to use arms.

I see it in my own conduct - My alertness level is much higher. I steer clear of places and situations where trouble is more likely.

I know most people around me are not armed, and yet I go to far greater lengths to avoid conflict - to control my temper, to be polite, to keep my distance from bad drivers, etc., because I know how bad it will be if I ever need to resort to a lethal weapon. I really feel that carrying for the last 5 years or so has changed me in many ways.

230RN
September 11, 2007, 02:11 AM
Armed. Polite. Example:

Having learned to drive in NYC, part of the skill-set was hollering out the car window.

I regret to say that this habit followed me out here to Colorado.

"Hey, that's a stop sign, not a die sign!"

"C'mon, I wanna get outta sekint gear, awreddy!"

"Et Cetera, you (see Thesaurus for appropriate derogatory words)!"

But ever since I got my CCW, I've been a pussycat.

I don't use my horn or my finger any more.

I don't hit my brakes if someone's following too closely.

When I get the Universal Hand Gesture (UHG), I usually mouth "Sorry!" even if it wasn't my fault.

I even let people into the lane ahead of me instead of using the incredibly responsive power of my turbocharged vehicle to prevent it.

Imagine that!

Dragoneye9
September 11, 2007, 02:31 AM
Robert Heinlen has used "An Armed Society is a Polite Society" in alot of his novels. He also comments on the downward slide of moddern civilization. In his book "I fear no evil" (if I remember the name right) that world dosen't garenty safety out side of building and there are sections of cities the police will not enter and leave to criminals. Sometimes I wonder if we are headed that way with the modern mentality that the police will save you, rather than standing up for yoursel. Wich admittdely is hard to do and not come off as a complete jerk. Just my $.02

Jim Watson
September 11, 2007, 07:33 AM
The phrase "An armed society is a polite society" comes from 'Beyond This Horizon' by R.A.H. It refers to the custom of most men and some women going armed at all times and the social acceptance of dueling. I don't have the exact quote at hand but roughly, manners are good when your life depends on your behavior. It does NOT refer to self defense against criminals... there is no crime worth mentioning.

This does not mean there is a lot of fighting. There is the one shootout in the restaurant mentioned above and there is no occurence of a set duel in which "your gun won't burn until the referee gives the signal." Something does have to be worked out so the Man From The Twentieth Century gets a little discipline without a valuable historical resource getting killed.

Some of the above posters mention being more polite when wearing a gun. I say this is due to the reverse of Heinlein's society. We know that if we shoot or even draw a gun, we will come under close investigation by powerful government officials. We are barely allowed to protect our lives, never our honor.

There is another less common quote that I particularly like. A coup de etat by an organization of genetic engineering technocrats is put down only after the police have recruited enough volunteers because: "The police of a state should never be stronger or better armed than the citizenry. An armed citizenry, willing to fight, is the foundation of civil freedom."

Double Naught Spy
September 11, 2007, 08:25 AM
I never understood the concept that an armed society is supposed to be a polite society. It conjures the notion that we must live in fear of pissing off somebody else who might be armed and who would use a weapon to take vengence against our impoliteness.

It seems quite disturbing that some folks apparently consider being armed making them more polite because they are fearful of being armed because they have the power within reach of their fingertips to take a life. This gives the impression that they have problems with their ability to control their emotions and must therefore mentally work in such a manner to not unleash lethal force unnecessarily.

I did not realize this quote was from a fictional book. Interesting how so many pro-gun people have taken their lead for gun handling and behavior from a work of fiction.

ceetee
September 11, 2007, 08:50 AM
I've always understood it to mean pretty much a combinaiton of all of the above. When the majority of the populace is armed, any transgressions in the mores of the time are dealt with swiftly and severely, and sometimes the "wrong" person comes out ahead. Therefore, you should mind your manners, unless you want to start something that could end up in your own demise. Not just that, but because there would be little true criminality (out in the open, anyway), most people would feel safer, and would be more inclined to be polite, and helpful towards strangers.

Double Nought:

There are many interesting ideas for governance to be learned from Heinlein's works. For example: In Starship Troopers, the entire civilization is governed by former servicemen and women. Not because they're smarter, or more able to govern, but because they've shown (through the act of volunteering for a tour of duty in the armed forces) that they place the welfare of the whole as greater than that of the individual.

In several novels, the idea of an armed society, ready to mete out justice in the stead of any organized government exists. In some stories, religious majorities attain power, and become corrupt, requiring them to be overthrown. Over all, there is a strong libertarian trend. In every Heinlein story of space exploration there's an attitude of "I'll take care of what's mine, you take care of what's yours, and we'll get along fine." Some notable quotes:

Lazi, you've heard me say nine thousand and nineteen times that we do not carry weapons to give us Dutch courage. If a gun makes you feel three meters tall and invulnerable, you had better go unarmed [...]
--Lazurus Long, Time Enough For Love, pg 435

We don't shoot cops if there is any way to avoid it. Safer to kiss a rattlesnake.
--Lazurus Long, Time Enough For Love, pg 435

Mary, if there is anything I have learned in the past couple of centuries, it's this: These things pass. Wars and Depression and Prophets and Covenants -- they pass. The trick is to stay alive through them.
--Lazurus Long, Methuselah's Children, pg 24

He was aware of the present gentle custom against personal weapons, but he felt naked without them. Such customs were nonsense anyhow, foolishment from old women -- there was no such thing as a dangerous weapon, there were only dangerous men.
--Methuselah's Children, pg 27

Besides, as my boss says, with all governments everywhere tightening down on everything wherever they can, with their computers and their Public Eyes and ninety-nine other sorts of electronic surveillance, there is a moral obligation on each free person to fight back wherever possible -- keep underground railways open, keep shades drawn, give misinformation to computers. Computers are literal-minded and stupid; electronic records aren't really records . . . so it is good to be alert to opportunities to foul up the system.
--Marjorie Friday Baldwin; Friday, pg 5

Sick cultures show a complex of symptoms such as you have named . . . but a dying culture invariably exhibits personal rudeness. Bad manners. Lack of consideration for other in minor matters. A loss of politeness, of gentle manners, is more significant than is a riot.
--Dr. Hartley M. Baldwin; Friday, pg 242

cnorman18
September 11, 2007, 09:22 AM
"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, "Beyond This Horizon"

Ghost Tracker
September 11, 2007, 09:43 AM
Before this becomes the newest chapter of the R.A.H. Fan Club of Armchair Sociologists (but I quess it's pretty much has anyway), let's remember what the OP really asked -

Are we, the armed, polite because we fear our actions could result in the frivilous taking of another's life...or our own?

Honestly? I think more about the first than about the second.

fletcher
September 11, 2007, 09:47 AM
+1 to it being both. I take it to mean that if you are armed, and others may be armed, you will take care to not put yourself in situations (either by negligence or by provoking someone) which may result in a life being taken. Not everyone has the same fuse length.

General Geoff
September 11, 2007, 10:50 AM
Interesting how so many pro-gun people have taken their lead for gun handling and behavior from a work of fiction.

Sometimes fiction is more logical than reality.

Jim Watson
September 11, 2007, 11:53 AM
Yup.
Fiction has to make sense to sell books. Real life doesn't.

Correction on ceetee: In 'Starship Troopers' you don't have to serve in the armed forces to get the franchise. You volunteer for Federal Service and only a few go to the military. As the doctor said, the mental and physical examination is not to accept or reject you, it is to find out what duties you are capable of performing. You cannot be turned down if you volunteer. You might end up like the one guy who could not cut the infantry training. He would not accept a medical discharge and ended up fourth cook on a transport ship.

Ghost Tracker
September 11, 2007, 12:02 PM
[Sometimes fiction is more logical than reality.]

It's now time for an appropriate quote from another well-known author...

"The truth, unlike fiction, doesn't have to be believable"
Mark Twain

ceetee
September 11, 2007, 12:33 PM
Jim:

Shorthand. Brevity. Mea Culpa.

jpk1md
September 11, 2007, 12:40 PM
I think most people that carry realize that they have the power within reach of their fingertips to take a life.

Too bad folks don't think that way when they're behind the wheel of a 5000 lb hunk of steel and plastic flyin' down the road at 75mph while drinking a doubleskinnydecafextrawhiplatte while simultaneously talking on the phone and changing radio stations

Joe Demko
September 11, 2007, 01:12 PM
We are barely allowed to protect our lives, never our honor.

Speaking only for myself, I don't need violence to protect my honor. The only one who can dishonor me is...me. Nothing you do or say can effect my honor. Only what I do or say. Fighting over honor in the past generally meant fighting over what other people would think. Color me egocentric, but I don't give enough of a crap about what other people might think to kill or be killed over it.

The whole armed society=polite society thing works out so well in Heinlein's novels because he writes it that way. An examination of actual world history shows that in the times and places where there was something approaching Heinlein's model it did not result in a crime-free, polite utopia.

People in the real world aren't as cooperative with how we want things to be as characters in novels tend to be. Real people have friends and family who may not think you killing poor Jeffie for rudeness that somehow slighted your honor was right. Now they come after you. Or, if you are a feared and noted weapons master, they pick fights with your lesser-skilled friends and family and kill off a few of them as payback. So then you want payback...and so on. Study up on feuds and vendetta and see how beautifully it worked out for the families involved and for their societies in general.

Guns aren't magic. You can (maybe) make a person do what you want him to do by pointing a gun at him. You can't make him a different person. People as a group are the same. In times and places where use of weapons was less restricted than it is now, there was still crime and there was still rude behavior.

ArfinGreebly
September 11, 2007, 01:24 PM
Interesting how so many pro-gun people have taken their lead for gun handling and behavior from a work of fiction.
Some of the clearest and most cogent wisdom I've ever read came from fiction.

You'll seldom find any in real life.

G_Lyons
September 11, 2007, 01:47 PM
I find that when I carry an insult does not bother me nearly as much and I will not respond. I don't know if this a trained response or if it psychological that I know I am safe and I don't have to get defencive over words. This allows the situation to die and everyone comes out fine. I think a big part of that is because when I am unarmed I feel more vulnerable to any attack. Where as if I a have my side arm I know that what is said does not warrant action (unless it is a physical threat) only another's physical actions will warrant a response.

Another aspect I think that this does make the average CCWer or OCer more polite because we have a higher burden of self control. If you get angry with someone and it escalates you will be scrutinised because you are the one with a gun so you must be a "nut job" to go walking around with a gun.

foghornl
September 11, 2007, 02:16 PM
I remember a sort of parallel statement...

"You can carry a gun, or you can carry a temper. You cannot carry both at once." or words to that effect

GEM
September 11, 2007, 04:00 PM
One interesting thing in book was that the hero - Hamilton Felix chose to switch out his ray gun for a 1911. In the crab incident, the aggressor was surprised as were his friends when he got shot and bled rather than being cauterized by a ray.

Felix also had doubts about the dueling aspect and was thinking of taking up the brassard - meaning you couldn't be challenged but was talked out of it.

The society was a pretty awful genetic hierarchy and fairly discriminatory if you had the wrong genes.

The dude from the past got beat up instead of shot - his old reflexes weren't up to those of the genetic supermen of the time.

It ended with a weird foray into reincarnation. Women were fairly subservient and Felix became attracted to a gun carrying genetic experiment female.

This was before Heinlein went off the deep end and had his hero having sex with his cloned sisters and time traveling to **** his mom during WWI.

Eek!

Double Naught Spy
September 11, 2007, 07:17 PM
Some of the clearest and most cogent wisdom I've ever read came from fiction.

You'll seldom find any in real life.

And gosh yes, when applied to real life, we find we are surrounded by those who are nice because they fear the other guy might be carrying and some are nice because they are fearful they will lose their temper while carrying. I see the lack of clarity of real life wisdom to which you refer.

Jim Watson
September 11, 2007, 08:09 PM
Or neither of the above.
I am nice when I wear a gun because in the present P.C. climate, I could find myself prosecuted for shooting in self defense. More afraid of the government than the crooks.

Joe D is of course right. As John W. Campbell once told a fan, an author looked smart and his hero came out on top because he got to write both sides.

another okie
September 11, 2007, 08:13 PM
There is a book by a historian at a California university in which he examines two mining towns, one in Nevada and one in California, in which almost everyone carried a gun. He concludes there was almost no petty crime, but occasionally a dispute would end up with dead folks laying around. The crime rate was much lower than in any American city today.

revjen45
September 11, 2007, 08:20 PM
I'm polite because I AM armed and have nothing to prove other than that I am not stupid enough to intiate violence over some trivial slight (plus I was taught that it's the mark of a civilized human being). In the days of chivalry knights were expected to conduct themelves with restraint and gentleness toward all who didn't demonstrate their own sub-humanity by their actions. I carry to protect my life, not to teach some rude ignoramus a lesson. If their behavior persists someone else can upbraid them and my only sin will be schadenfreude when I read about their demise in the newspaper.

Double Naught Spy
September 11, 2007, 09:41 PM
I carry to protect my life and the lives of loved ones. Being polite has nothing to do with being armed. I was just as polite before I was armed as I am now that I am armed.

Sadly, and we have seen numerous examples posted here, being armed does not necessarily make for a polite society. We get all kinds of examples of those who are armed that act in rude or bullying behaviors because they are armed and some of these folks are legal CCW folks and law enforcement (talking about off duty incidents) who display their guns as a sign of power to get their way, be it lover's triangles, road rage, or what have you.

BMacklem
September 11, 2007, 10:29 PM
The whole point of things is that we *should* all have several things in common, which *should* make us polite to each other.... a love of guns, life, and liberty.
We all , if we could gather for a big THR barbeque or somesuch, probably get along quite well, because we all want to take that high road, and be sensible and polite to each other.... not somuch because we'd all theoretically be armed, but because we were all (mostly) of the same mindset.
I could personally see myself being good friends with quite a few of you outside of this board in real life, and if more of you were closer to Wisconsin, I'd surely love to have a get together.

That's what being in an amred and polite society is all about. People who all share the temperment of wishing society to be safer, and free from tyranny.

Heinlein may have written fiction....but it would be a wonderful place to live, and I think with more of us acting politely, and always taking the High Road, we'll make this country better day by day... just by being a part of it.
(how's that for some pop psychology) ;) :neener:

Ghost Tracker
September 12, 2007, 09:18 AM
When Confederate Officers were "re-patrioted" as Citizens of the United States after the Civil War, part of the required oath included the condition that they would NEVER AGAIN participate in a duel.

While matters of Personal Honor have now given sway to the cultural anomoly of Political Correctness...I have often thought that it might not be such a bad idea to be able to, without impunity, put my life on the line for an opportunity shoot a scoundrel through the eye.

yesit'sloaded
September 12, 2007, 09:42 AM
THR cookout? I am all for that. We could have it by regions or state.

Officers'Wife
September 12, 2007, 09:57 AM
While I can't say for certain that an "armed" society is a "polite" society I have observed three different cultures. The first in the city of Chicago where two groups where armed- the police and the gang-bangers. While the majority of the police are polite they seem to have an air of distain to the "civilian" population they "preserve and protect." The gang-bangers are anything but polite.

After my Mom died I ended up in a farming community in Indiana where firearms are quite common. The majority of the farmers I've met are stoically polite.

Then when I married my "society" was that of the military. Some are polite and some are not...

The diff I've seen has not been the firearms but the attitude towards the firearms.

In both groups in Chicago the firearm was a symbol of power and the attitude revolved around that power. On the farm, the firearm was one more dangerous tool among a host of dangerous tools. The attitude was getting the job done and going to the house in one piece. Here on the base the attitude that weapons are the tools of the trade, from the small arm to the real guns. The symbols here are the "bad boys of Bastonge", Col Simons and the Green Berets, the "Screaming Eagle" and the American flag. I've come to the conclusion that "politeness" is cultural. Chicago is ruled by a culture of violence that infects all that violence touches. The farmers have a culture of life built on death (For the customer to eat steak the cow must die.) and continuity of life (the cornstalk dies for the seed that will be next years cornstalk.) And the army is the culture of preventing death and dishonor of our Constitution.

Three cultures, same tool. I submit if strapping on a handgun makes you more polite you are fooling yourself, the politeness is already inside, you just chose to exercise it out of respect for your tools and to reflect the culture you subscribe. Giving a tool some unnatural power to effect our nature is just that, unnatural. As the Bard noted, not in our stars but in ourselves.

Selena

JohnL2
September 12, 2007, 10:19 AM
I remember a sort of parallel statement...

"You can carry a gun, or you can carry a temper. You cannot carry both at once." or words to that effect

Terrific quote. I'm stealing it.

I agree that politeness is in the culture, not because you strap on a gun. Come on.

Geronimo45
September 12, 2007, 11:39 AM
I have often thought that it might not be such a bad idea to be able to, without impunity, put my life on the line for an opportunity shoot a scoundrel through the eye.
Then we'd have no Congress.

easyg
September 12, 2007, 12:03 PM
An armed society is a polite society?

If that were true then Iraq Somolia would be one of the most polite societies in the world.
As would Iraq.

miko
September 12, 2007, 01:09 PM
Study up on feuds and vendetta and see how beautifully it worked out for the families involved and for their societies in general.
It might not have worked well for the few families - but it certainly worked for the societies. While being culled out by each other, the families with wrong culture/genetics served as a good example for others.




As for politeness, we - humans - have instinctual urge to meet any real or imaginary slur or offence with confrontation, even if it's a bluff. Getting confrontational might get you hurt but being perceived as meek was much worse procreating-wise in the days of hunter-gatherers. Evolution hardwired those emotions into us.

Now, when I have a gun with me, when I know that I am equal to anyone, regardless of size or number - I feel safe and confident. I feel much less emotional when someone slights or offends me. I feel less urge to engage in aggerssive confrontation. I also feel no fear and get no surge of adrenaline - which keeps me rational and less swayed by emotions.
While someone acts like an a-hole, I can quietly consider the options, chances, reprecussions, venues of retreat and lines of fire.

So I am polite, yielding and forgiving. My blood pressure is stable, my visage is serene. There is no thought involved, let alone consideration of future legal issues.


miko

Ghost Tracker
September 12, 2007, 02:08 PM
If that were true then Iraq Somolia would be one of the most polite societies in the world.
As would Iraq.

Where is "Iraq Somolia"?

And while the citizens of the places (?) you've mentioned might kill you in a quick second, cut off your head, and draw your body through the streets...they are, for those same reasons, quite polite to persons able to do the same things to them.

Wheeler44
September 12, 2007, 03:22 PM
I grew up in a small bush town. Bears were everywhere half of the year. No police force at all. Almost everyone carried , at least in the summer time. I can't say that crime was lower than it is down here, or that people were more polite. There were several shootings over the years. In every case both people had guns at the time of the shooting. I think that the statement " an armed society is a polite society" is kinda wishful thinking.

TallPine
September 12, 2007, 06:30 PM
Well, I can't exactly see that a disarmed society is polite either :p

Double Naught Spy
September 12, 2007, 07:03 PM
Since Somalia was brought up, that is an interesting example. Mogadishu was governed by a series of major and minor warlords and there were frequent squabbles between groups. It was far from being the mythical polite society claimed in the fictional quote. Politeness goes right out the window if one of the ways of getting ahead in society is by the death of the leaders in your area. Politeness is a dumb concept when the local law is based on might making right. It is a dumb concept when folks feel that risking their lives to better their position is a worthwhile pursuit.

The notion that an armed society is a polite society only works if everyone lives in fear of being killed by one's fellow society members and if everyone in society values life above all else. Without these values in place, it is just a fairytale.

I don't understand the rallying behind of a fairytale as a justification for gun ownership. It doesn't even make sense.

Guns won't make a society be polite just like a lack of guns won't make it polite either as noted by Tallpine

another okie
September 12, 2007, 09:41 PM
There is a difference between being polite and being nice.

ceetee
September 13, 2007, 08:51 AM
I don't understand the rallying behind of a fairytale as a justification for gun ownership. It doesn't even make sense.

I don't think we use it as a justification for owning guns. I think we own guns for all different kinds of reasons, like sport, self-defense, or hunting. I also think that we use the little allegories and catchphrases as a way to remind ourselves that there are still flaws in the way we live our lives. Our justice systems are flawed, in many cases our own personal values and ethics are flawed, and I think we (as a species) generally recognize that. In using these catchphrases, we remind ourselves that we can always strive to improve ourselves, and our surroundings. If firearms are just one tool (out of a whole toolbox) that we can use, then we choose to do so.

Ghost Tracker
September 13, 2007, 09:59 AM
It's a nice, thought provoking quote from a talented fiction writer, just the kind of thing that a talented writer writes. It's not really intended to be the basis for in-depth sociological or cultural verification. I'm sure "God made man. Sam Colt made them equal." isn't discussed too much at the Theological Seminary.

Mat, not doormat
September 13, 2007, 03:14 PM
This was before Heinlein went off the deep end and had his hero having sex with his cloned sisters and time traveling to **** his mom during WWI.

Eek!

Yeah, one of the pervading themes of Heinlein's stuff was that sex shouldn't be sinful. In fact, the only sin was hurting other people unnecessarily. He saw the only reasons for the cultural taboo against incest were the possibilities for genetic monsters resulting from inbreeding, or emotional damage resulting from the use of force against a younger person. Both of which cause harm, thereby being wrong in Heinlein's code. However, with those possibilities dealt with in various ways, he saw no problem with it. In that context, I think that when the underlying reasons for the taboo have been dealt with, that the taboo can be safely discarded.

Ben, the worst thing about sex is that we use it to hurt each other. It ought never to hurt; it should bring happiness, or at least pleasure.
"The code says, 'Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife.' The result? Reluctant chastity, bitterness, blows and sometimes murder, broken homes and twisted children and furtive little passes degrading to woman and man. Is this Commandment ever obeyed? If a man swore on his own Bible that he refrained from coveting his neighbor's wife because the code forbade it, I would suspect either self-deception or subnormal sexuality. Any man virile enough to sire a child has coveted many women, whether he acts or not.


One of his biggest points was the way in which people are ruled by their cultural conditioning, whether those taboos and customs are healthy or not.

As far as armed and polite goes, I subscribe more to Jim Watson's theory than anything else. I'm not consumed by a desire not to kill, but I also don't have any real desire to do so, either. My reasons for conflict avoidance stem from fear of the government officials he mentioned, rather than any life is sacred outlook. My life, and those of my family and friends are sacred to me. Following that, women and children in general. Other than that, I really don't care all that much. Maybe I'm cynical?

~~~Mat

JKimball
September 13, 2007, 04:37 PM
I agree it takes more than guns to make a society polite, but I can certainly see how the added element of arms can bring politeness into an otherwise "impolite" situation.

I am reminded of this phrase whenever I see Rosie O'donnell screaming at somebody. Maybe she knows she can't be polite, and that's why she is afraid of an armed society. For two reasons: 1. She would be afraid of being shot by someone she offended. 2. She projects her own emotional instability onto other people. She fears what she would do in her rage if she had a gun and expects that others would do the same.

Double Naught Spy
September 13, 2007, 09:50 PM
I agree it takes more than guns to make a society polite, but I can certainly see how the added element of arms can bring politeness into an otherwise "impolite" situation.

Right, but it does not change the politeness of society.

coelacanth
September 14, 2007, 02:59 AM
Had to read it twice to really get the gist of her idea and how it turns the OP question back on itself but she nailed it. An armed society is the only one I would care to live in for any number of reasons but the arms do not define the society.

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