A gun is a tool for projecting force, or power. Force can be used for good or for ill, but in any event only force can counter an opposing force.
Possessing power means that first, you are capable in theory of confronting opposing power and defeating it. Second, it means that you now have the responsibility of deciding when to use force. This means grappling with the thorniest moral problems that we face, and making clear decisions on what is right and what is wrong. Third, because you have power, you have a reciprocal responsibility to use your power for the good of others. By carrying a weapon, you are accepting an obligation to protect those around you.
Not possessing power means that first, you are completely dependent on others for your own survival. Anything you do must be in concert with them, or else you become defenseless. Second, you need never seriously confront the problem of using force, because you personally will never need an answer. Crucial areas of your moral code will remain vague and theoretical, because nothing is making you draw clear lines in the sand. Finally, because you have no defense against force if used against you, you will do your best to banish force from your world entirely, except for those whose protection you rely upon.
Those who carry guns are, in general, resilient and self-reliant. Many also are deeply ethical, and infuse their daily lives with their ethics, because they could at any time be forced to choose between life and death, simply by virtue of the weapon they carry.
There are more practical reasons for firearms use, or course. But we must not forget that when we fight for the right to bear arms, we are not only fighting for a physical tool. We are fighting to determine the very character of the American mind—whether we want our children to grow up fearing power, or using power to fight evil.
Offended? Intrigued? Contact my manager.
Here begins your journey into the mind of everybody's favorite asian, and I don't mean Jet Li.
What follows is the somewhat inane, mostly irrelevant, and self-important ramblings of a man on the brink of madness.
Welcome... to the Chu.
Saturday, February 26, 2005
In better words than mine [L]
I've made a few amateur attempts at explaining "The Gun Thing" here at Chublogga - mainly as segues into cool pictures or stories - But Critical Mastiff really nails it on the head: