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 is all there is.

In a truly moral and civilized society, like the Western civilized world we live in, people predominantly interact through discussions of persuasion. In our moral society, force has no place as a valid method of social interaction. There is only one thing that can remove force as an option; that is the ability to have a personal firearm. As paradoxical as it may sound, let us look at why having a personal firearm reduces force.

When I carry a gun, you cannot deal with me by force. You have to use reason and try to have a discussion with me in order to persuade me. This is because I have a way to negate your threat; which is a bad employment of force on me. The gun is the only personal weapon that puts a 100 pound woman on equal footing with a 220 pound mugger; puts a 75 year old retiree on equal footing with a 19 year old gang banger, and puts an isolated person on equal footing with a carload of drunken people with baseball bats. The gun removes the disparity in physical strength, size, or numbers between a potential attacker and a defender of life and liberty.

There are plenty of people who consider the gun as the source of a bad force equation. These are the people who think that we would be more civilized if all guns were removed from society. Do they think this way because a firearm makes it easier for an armed mugger to do their job? A mugger can only be successful if all of their potential victims are disarmed. Disarmed either by choice or by legislative fiat–it has no validity if all the mugger’s potential victims are armed.

People who argue for the banning of personal firearms are really asking for us to be automatically ruled by young gang members, the strong of evil intent, and those that would do us harm. This is the exact opposite of a civilized and moral society, or are we missing something here? A mugger, even an armed one, can only make a successful living in a society where the state has granted a force monopoly where no one else is as armed as they are.

Then there is the argument that a gun makes civil confrontations more lethal that otherwise would only result in some minor injury. This argument is fallacious in several ways. Without guns involved, confrontations are won by the physically superior party who would be inflicting overwhelming injury on the loser by force; not reason. It is proven that there is less crime where all homeowners are required to have a gun in their home than places that ban them.

There are people who think fists, bats, sticks, and stones do not constitute lethal force. They are watching too much TV or see too many movies. In these warped environments, people take severe beatings and come out of it with only a bloody lip at worst. The fact is that the gun does make lethal force easier but know it only works in favor of the weaker defender, not the stronger attacker. If both are armed, there is a level playing field which seems fairer than any other option.

The gun is the only weapon that is as lethal in the hands of an octogenarian as it is in the hands of a weight lifter. It simply would not work as a force equalizer if it was not equally lethal and easily employable to everyone who welds it. Without one, you are vulnerable; with one, you are equal.

When I carry a gun, I do not do so because I am looking for a fight, but because I am looking to be left alone. The gun at my side means I cannot be forced; I can only be persuaded. I don’t carry it because I am afraid, but because it enables me to be unafraid. It does not limit the actions of those who would interact with me through reason; it only limits the actions of those who would do me harm by force. It removes force from the equation… and that is why I carry a gun. Carrying a gun at my side is a civilized and moral act, because without it, only harm can come my way.

Adapted from Maj. L. Caudill USMC (Ret.)

So, the greatest, most moral civilization in this world is one where all citizens are equally armed and each person can only be persuaded through discussions; never forced by a thug.