The American Militia
The Tool Using Tools
Each of us is militia, part of the Militia. The distinction here is subtle and troublesome because
of the dual nature of the word militia. It can be either singular, the individual person who is militia,
or the group of people making up the Militia. Who knows which should be capitalized and does
it make any difference anyway? The end result is the same, we are tools used by the Militia which
is also a tool to secure liberty. Again singular and plural use of the same root word tool, but in this
case the “s” plural helps out.
Now that you are thoroughly confused, lets focus on something simpler, the inorganic device, the
gun, the tool of liberty and thus freedom. What follows is a short essay from a warrior, one who
may or may not agree that he is part of the American Militia. What he has to say however is
interesting. Civilization exists in a balance between reason and force. Oppressive, offensive and
tyrannical force can be used in place of reason to control actions, but then freedom is destroyed.
Force can be used to oppose such tyranny, then reason can be applied and freedom restored.
Preserving liberty in the face of oppression or tyranny by the use of arms tends to ensure and
promote Civilization. In freedom, civilization can grow, in tyranny it will eventually die and chaos
will result. Read on.
WHY THE GUN IS CIVILIZATION
By Mrko - the munchkin wrangler
Note; Sometimes incorrectly attributed as “Forwarded By Maj. L. Caudill USMC (Ret)”
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.
You will notice here a few concepts from some earlier American Militia essays; To be left alone,
to react to attack or disaster, to resist aggression and more. Though Marko speaks only of
criminal aggression, his words hold equally true related to tyrannical aggression. That is the
further militia part he did not discuss. I have the feeling, had Marko, and especially Maj. L. Caudill
USMC (Ret), and I been talking about this face to face, they would have been questioned and
enticed to dive into the question of militia. How interesting that conversation could be if the topic
came down to illegal orders, given by tyrannical authority for the use of military force in the United
States against the general population. What would anyone in “authority” say if ordered to go out
and disarm the population in general? But that is another story, back to the question of arms and
Here is a quote you most likely have heard many times in the past, “An armed society is a polite
society”. Now I will bet you did not know the second part of that quote, “Manners are good when
one may have to back up his acts with his life.” Of course the author is that wizard of Science
Fiction, Robert A. Heinlein and the quote is from “Beyond this Horizon” written in 1942. This quote
relates to the above text by saying that, by force of arms a person may defend himself from an
attacker. As one of our founding fathers said, arms keep the criminal at bay.
Speaking of the gun as Civilization is a bit unusual, but you just need to make the connection that
by the use of the gun and force of arms for the just, the wicked will be repulsed. Or as Heinlein
might have said, if the criminal had to think that he might have to pay for his actions with his life,
there would be a lot less criminal action going on. The individual members of the militia are that
“armed society” that makes up the American Militia. They stand ready to defend themselves, the
community and civilization in general.
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