The Gun is Civilization


January 24, 2013, 08:12 PM

Why The Gun In Civilization?

By Marko Kloos

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 gay guy on equal footing with a carload of drunk 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 mugger's 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.

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January 24, 2013, 09:54 PM

January 24, 2013, 10:29 PM
Clear and concise. Absolutely, why is it so hard for the other side to understand?

January 24, 2013, 11:21 PM
Very interesting argument, one I've not heard before. Almost has an Objectivist bent, with its counter-intuitive truth of peace through firepower. On a much larger scale, Mutually Assured Destruction kept us "civil" with the Russians during the Cold War, and made both of us very deliberate in our decisions. Both we and the Russians had a history of very aggressive actions toward unfriendly, weaker states, but we managed to get along well enough with each other even despite our mutual animosity.

"We are fast approaching the stage of the ultimate inversion: the stage where the government is free to do anything it pleases, while the citizens may act only by permission; which is the stage of the darkest periods of human history, the stage of rule by brute force." -Ayn Rand


January 24, 2013, 11:38 PM
Absolutely fantastic!
Well done sir.

January 25, 2013, 01:03 AM
Original Post #1:

The Gun is Civilization


Why The Gun In Civilization?

By Maj. L. Caudill USMC (Ret)

As corrected by Moderator:

The Gun is Civilization


Why The Gun In Civilization?

By Marko Kloos

Just to clear it up, the Major did not write that. Marko Kloos, AKA "The Munchkin Wrangler" wrote that on his blog.

The story, in brief, as I remember it, is:

A. Marko Kloos got tired of defending his intellectual property rights on it, because it had been circulated with so many mis-attributions that it was not worth his time anymore.

B. At one point, the Major sent a copy of Kloos' "Why The Gun Is Civilization" to his Pastor and the Pastor thought the Major had written it, and it was circulated that way as well.

It is so well-written that it went fairly viral a couple of years ago.


In these days, it should go viral again, but with proper attribution.

I am particularly sensitive to this issue because I've had intellectual property re-used without attribution, so forgive me for bringing this up.

Terry, 230RN


January 25, 2013, 01:16 AM
Nice essay. I like that a lot.

January 25, 2013, 01:21 AM
It is true. 10,000 years of recorded history and most of it has been pretty crappy, but when guns were invented things started getting better and as guns got more and more efficient we continued to get more and more "civilized" if you want to define civilized as universal suffrage, civil rights, etc...

January 25, 2013, 01:33 AM
Nicely put.

This is what I've been explaining to people for quite some time. It wasn't until the advent of portable, easy to use weapons that could be used equally effectively by the weak as they were by the strong that the weak could actually effectively defend themselves against the strong and make their voices heard.

Prior to the firearm, all other weapons could not be equally employed by the weak. Clubs, knives, swords, etc were far more effectively used by the strong than they were by the weak. Even the bow.

And if it were small enough to be easily concealed, it was even less of an aid against the strong.

Figure the odds of many people actually understanding this, though.


January 25, 2013, 01:48 AM
the only part i didnt like is the beggining where it says "If you want me to do something for you" why would you want me to do something for you? and try to convince me or use force

i dont dislike getting paid to do smething what is this "convincing" you talking about

January 25, 2013, 09:48 AM
I've had that same essay saved as a draft on my e-mail account for a couple years. It says it better than I can, and it comes in handy when trying to educate the ignorant. I just copy and paste it and send it out to the person I'm talking to, and let them think it over....

Baba Louie
January 25, 2013, 10:28 AM
For the Love of all that is Holy, SSN, PLEASE change the false author and give credit to Marko Kloos. PLEASE!

IIRC, Marko posted that piece here on THR initially when he first wrote it.

Al Thompson
January 25, 2013, 12:08 PM
The original:

Marko has gotten money from folks who have published it. ;)

Baba Louie
January 25, 2013, 12:11 PM
Thank you Al.

January 26, 2013, 08:58 PM
I'll assume a mod fixed the attribution..... Thank you... I've been up in the White Mountains on a snowmobile all day and just now logged on.

I simply posted it as I found it..... From a source that appeared to be reliable.

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