Monthly Archives: September 2010

Firearm as a Prosthesis

From Beck:

You have no moral standing to authorize the taking of someone else’s productivity for anything.


And from ESR:

…never, ever, ask permission to carry or give others an option to deny it – just do it and refuse to discuss the matter.

I hadn’t read ESR for a while, mostly because I was kind of out of the “Open Source” world at least from the perspective of reading related blogs and such. Linux and Free Software have already won in so many ways that I figured why should I bother? I haven’t had a job in years where I was pressured to switch to Windows. Times, they are changing.

My first reaction to his post linked above was, “WTH? You mean he wasn’t carrying until 14 months ago?” I didn’t grow up with guns. My Dad was in the US Air Force for 2 years and worked on base as a civilian for 35 years before retiring and as far as I remember was pretty anti-gun. Add to that the fact that we lived in the “cradle and grave of liberty” (as someone put it recently), Massachusetts.

Yet when I moved down to North Carolina 5 1/2 years ago, it wasn’t long before I was making up for lost time. It’s knitebane who finally encouraged me to go out and get my CHL (otherwise known as permission slip from busy bodies hoplophobes to exercise a supposed right … but I digress) and then to finally go out and buy my first firearm. I’ve been carrying for four years, now, everywhere I can. It kind of surprised me that ESR, who has never been shy about his advocacy for gun rights, has only been carrying for 14 months. But, no matter. Welcome, ESR, as you join those of us who see no reason to go about our business unarmed.

An important nugget of wisdom I take from his post is what I quoted above. But I would take it a step further. And my apologies to Breda, though I do think she will get it more than anyone and likely agree.

Imagine visiting a friend’s friend at his house for the first time. This friend’s friend doesn’t know you’ve been injured many years back and as a result, have a prosthetic leg. During conversation as you are sitting on the couch across from this new acquaintance, you go to cross your legs and he suddenly notices that you have a prosthesis. He interrupts himself and gets up and says something to the effect of, “You didn’t tell me you had a prosthesis! That’s very uncomfortable for me. You’ll have to leave that in the car and don’t come back with it next time.”

I know. Highly unlikely. But if someone said that to me about me carrying in his house, I think my reaction, now, would be the same. I am compensating for something. I am compensating for the fact that I’m not going to be high on PCP if I’m attacked by a thug who is. I’m compensating for the fact that I have a smaller build than most thugs are likely to have. I’m compensating for the fact that I’m getting older and more rickety as the years pass and have less of an ability to fight off an attacker hand to hand. And I’m also compensating for the fact that most attacks happen when and where you’d least expect and most people do not have the situational awareness, the survival mindset, nor effective tools to deal with those attacks.

My firearm is, quite simply, a prosthesis.

So if I am presented with a situation of someone asking (or demanding) that I come back without my firearm, there is really no response I can give them. Like ESR, I believe I should refuse to discuss it. The only questions I would ask someone making such an unreasonable demand would be simply, “Do you want me to leave? Do wish me to never return?” Don’t even mention the firearm. Consider it inseparable and don’t let a hoplophobe come between it and you. Make it clear to him that by rejecting your firearm, he is rejecting you and don’t let him squirm his way out of it. Every time he says something like, “I don’t want you carrying a gun in my house,” respond with a question like, “You don’t want me in your house, you say?” Do not let him get away with anything different than by rejecting the firearm he is rejecting you. Period.

I quoted Billy Beck as well (and do go read it all, as it’s a good rejoinder to those on the supposed ‘Right’ who don’t want to touch Social [in]Security, Medicare, Medicaid, etc.) because the ‘no moral authority’ attitude applies here, too. No one has the moral authority to tell you that you must turn over your property to someone else who has not earned it from you nor to stop carrying your means of defense any more than he has the moral authority to tell you to leave a part of body at home before visiting.