Guns and Civilization

Following the terrible tragedy at Northern Illinois University just this past week, I thought it might be a good time to discuss firearms again and their unique place in our civilization.

“Going Postal” became a part of our language in the mid-1980s, which was also about the time that our freedoms began to vanish exponentially. This is not a coincidence, but cause and effect get all tangled up in any discussion of firearms.

There is no question that Steven P. Kazmierczak had serious psychological issues, as has everyone else throughout history who has ever gone on a pointless killing spree. Psychological issues are not new, but these shooting events very definitely are new, at least on the scale we have seen them over the last twenty years or so.

What is happening to us? To begin with, our media is reporting these events differently these days. In the Virginia shootings, for example, the gunman was stopped by a student with a concealed carry license (who had to run to his vehicle to get his firearm). This fact was reported in only a handful of the several hundred news stories about the shooting. In addition to putting the issue of gun ownership in perspective, this fact might well have given pause to a few of this gunman’s successors.

Our leaders react with glee to these shooting events, because it enables them to place ever tightening controls on gun ownership and carry, which might well help to keep their slimy and crooked hides intact a little longer. That is also no coincidence.

You see, the Second Amendment was not written to protect the right to self defense. It was written to protect the right to resist tyranny by force, if that becomes a necessary last resort.

What causes these tragedies? I have noticed that the single defining characteristic of a substantial percentage of our youth these days is hopelessness. I am not immune to it myself. I may achieve this goal, or that goal, but will these things bring happiness? I cannot always imagine that they will. We are the subject slaves of an increasingly fascist state, and this is going to get a whole lot worse before it gets better. It is not a happy future to look forward to. The only time I achieve satisfaction in my life is when I have a viable and workable plan to change that, one that does not consist of killing my fellow Americans. However, if I am to be honest, I must admit that I do not have to share Mr. Kazmierczak’s issues to understand them. The frustration can be overwhelming at times, and it is very human to feel the need to lash out at something.

Sanity means recognizing that it is a great deal more satisfying to implement a real plan that might actually work, instead of killing random people who have never harmed me in any way. I have chosen to concentrate on writing fiction and feature movies that will teach freedom and independence to an enslaved generation, which satisfies both my need to do something real and my moral issues with unnecessary killing.

All the same, there will be legislation proposed in the coming weeks to further restrict the freedom to own and carry guns, legislation it will be extremely important for us to resist vigorously, and it helps us to clarify what guns really mean to us.

Civilization is relatively recent in the history of man. Life before civilization was once described as “nasty, brutish and short,” and I imagine that was a very accurate description, especially for women.

Would it surprise you to hear that I consider the firearm to be the single most important invention in the history of mankind? My few liberal friends are no doubt reeling in shock, but that is very much my belief.

We had other weapons before firearms, that is true. However, the use of a sword, a knife, a bow, an axe or a spear in combat is a skill requiring constant training and considerable physical strength. A soldier’s life in pre-firearm days was mostly given to constant training with the tools of war, which left very little time for developing ideas or creativity. Furthermore, the strong nearly always took the field, and I do not think I would wish to follow anyone merely because of the size of their muscles. More than half the population – the women and the weaker men – were relegated to subject roles.

When the firearm was invented, that began to change. You can learn to shoot effectively in a day. You can learn to shoot exceptionally in a month. Maintaining your skills requires only occasional practice, and it requires almost no muscle at all to pull a trigger. This left time for men and women alike to think, and to articulate ideas that even make it unnecessary for us to go to war at all. It was a huge turning point in civilization.

More importantly, it completely leveled the playing field. There is a humorous saying, “God did not create man equal – Sam Colt did.” It’s funny indeed. It’s also very true.

You no longer have to be a professional soldier to defend your life and your freedom. You have the time and leisure for other civilized pursuits, while still maintaining the necessary ability to protect yourself and your family. You have an easy and relatively rapid way to obtain meat, should civilization completely fall apart. You are no longer at constant risk from any six foot plus gorilla who wants what you have earned.

A firearm is a tool, like any other tool. A screwdriver can kill, too – more slowly and horribly than a well used firearm – but you don’t hear our leaders trying to ban them. Tools do not have morals, good or bad. You do, and you have the sole right and ability to determine how you will use your tools.

Firearms sound like exceptional tools to me. I can’t figure out why we keep apologizing for owning and carrying them.