Pacifism – a naive and dangerous approach to life

Published by the Author on October 3, 2008 at 12:01 am > Pro Gun Rights Articles > Pacifism – a naive and dangerous approach to life

I noticed a link to coming from this site, whose author states that she would rather “hold the burning end of a lit cigarette than a gun.” She describes herself as a Pacifist, and believes that it is wrong to use a gun in self defense, even to stop a would-be rapist and murder that breaks in during the night.  While I understand and share the respect for human life that underlies the Pacifist philosophy she embraces, I cannot join in the naive and dangerous belief that a person should allow a violent criminal to kill them or another innocent person:

I’ll start out by saying that it is a basic human right, a longstanding legal right at common law, and a US Constitutional right to defend oneself against unprovoked violence by using arms (which include guns).  This is a recognition of the fact that there are bad people in this world, who don’t care about human life and won’t hesitate to commit crimes such as rape and murder.  The longstanding existence of self defense rights is also a recognition of the fact that police cannot be everywhere at once, meaning that self defense is often the only option.  I am a vigorous advocate of self defense with guns not because I wish to see criminals shot and killed (nothing could be further from the truth), but because I don’t wish to see innocent people suffer and die at the hands of a criminal – and a gun is the best way yet invented by humankind to stop a violent criminal.

With that background information out of the way, I’ll now address point-by-point a few of the anti gun and anti self defense comments made by the above mentioned Pacifist author:

Why do we need to make available something [handguns, or guns in general] that was designed to kill people?

There are violent people in the world who will prey on the old or the physically weak, and guns are the great equalizer that allow such people to defend themselves.  If all the guns magically disappeared from the world tomorrow (which will never happen), the physically strong would have a monopoly on force, and could stab or beat their victims to death.

[W]hy are people so interested in an instrument of violence?  What is so fascinating?

Guns aren’t fascinating, at least not to me and most other law abiding gun owners, although they are useful tools for self defense or hobbies such as hunting and target practice.  A gun is a mechanically simple tool in which burning gun powder propels pieces of metal at relatively high speeds.  The chemistry and physics are not all that different than the process whereby a car’s engine burns gasoline to move the car down the road.  An unhealthy fascination with guns seems to occur not in people who learn to shoot from a young age under responsible adult supervision, but in those who are taught that guns are evil, as guns then become a “forbidden fruit”.

[I]t is possible for any number of things to be used to kill someone, but there are very few things that are specifically designed to kill.  Those things are of no use to me, and I don’t think that they should be of use to anyone.

This is a similar argument as that used by politicians who wish to ban so-called “assault weapons“.  They argue that guns designed primarily to kill people should be banned, on the theory that citizens don’t need guns to kill other citizens.  This argument completely ignores self defense.  Self defense is the main reason that I and many people own firearms.  Having a gun that was designed for self defense is critical, as a “sporting” gun is often dangerously inadequate for self defense purposes.

We are not battling on a plane of physical strength– are we not seeking equality of the minds? We should all have the same access to education, not the same access to weapons! We must be equal in our thought, not in our strength.

Some of those are beautiful ideals, and I agree as to the importance of education and instilling of values in children.  However the cold hard fact is that many people today are willing to commit unspeakable acts against their fellow humans.  Eloquent words and well reasoned protests will not stop such people from using physical strength to overpower and harm their victims.  Even if we could instill non-violent values in all children, and eliminate economic motivations for crime, there are still some people who would commit acts of physical violence because of mental illnesses, anger, or just pure sadism.  Disarming the law abiding and peace loving members of society will just leave them vulnerable when such a violent person goes on a killing spree, as we have seen time after time in “gun free zones“.

I do believe that “self-defense” with a deadly weapon *is* violent retribution. That is exactly what it is. They threaten you, so you return the threat– retribution.

Self defense is not retribution, but prudent action to stop an aggressor from inflicting harm. If a criminal breaks in to my home and is about to commit a murder or rape, I would shoot them not to “punish,” “threaten,” or “retaliate,” but to prevent their act of violence from being committed against myself or another innocent person.

As a (relatively) small and weak woman, I am saying that I still don’t believe that I should carry a gun. I don’t believe in retaliation, I don’t believe in physical justice, I don’t believe that it is my right to take a life, even if my own is threatened.

It is certainly your right to choose not to own a gun, just as it is your right to choose to be a victim if a violent criminal decides to attack you.  I respect both of your rights (and wish you would respect my right to not be a victim or to allow my loved ones to be victims).  I think that both of your decisions are terribly wrongheaded, both for your own safety as a woman and for society as a whole.  Luckily for you, there are many armed citizens who carry guns for self defense and defense of innocent people in their vicinity.  Such people deter crime, or stop it when it happens.  Armed citizens also kill or wound criminals, which stops the criminal from victimizing another person the next day.  It is impossible to say, of course, but an act of violence against you may have been averted because an armed citizen refused to be a victim.

If the perpetrators of gun violence are wrong, then how am I not wrong if I arm myself to kill?

Defending one’s life and children’s lives from a violent criminal is not only not wrong, but the morally right thing to do.  I would see it as a grave wrong for a parent to sit idly by as their children are murdered or otherwise seriously harmed by a criminal.  Although I’m not willing to spend the time and space to go into an in-depth discussion of philosophy and morals here, I’ll say this: Many people, including me, use the Universalizability test as set out by Kant.  Basically, this test condemns as immoral acts which everyone could not commit.  For example, killing people at random is not universalizable, as there could be no stable society if everyone committed murder at random.  However shooting a home invading criminal in self defense is universalizable.  Were every home invading criminal to be shot in the act by a citizen acting in self defense, not only would there be a stable society, but home invasion and related crimes would be drastically reduced.  In short, Kant’s Universalizability and other tests used to determine what is right and wrong would seem to favor self defense.

There are so very many Mahatma Gandhi quotes that are so relevant, the one that is perhaps most important to remember is the most famous: an eye for an eye will leave the whole world blind.

As discussed above, self defense is not about vengeance or an eye for an eye, but about stopping a violent criminal from inflicting harm.  However while we’re on the topic of Mahatma Gandi, one more quote by Gandi that you may want to read is “Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the Act depriving a whole nation of arms as the blackest,” which would seem to be at odds with your anti self defense and anti gun stance.  Similarly, the Dalai Lama statedIf someone has a gun and is trying to kill you, it would be reasonable to shoot back with your own gun.” Pope John Paul II followed on that sentiment, sayingUnfortunately, it happens that the need to render the aggressor incapable of causing harm sometimes involves taking his life. In this case, the fatal outcome is attributable to the aggressor whose actions brought it about, even though he may not be morally responsible because of a lack of the use of reason.”  Having quoted those individuals, I feel compelled to issue the disclaimer that I don’t necessarily agree with or endorse all of their beliefs, and only quoted them as part of this discussion.

I do not know anyone who protects himself with a gun, whom I respect.

If you know and respect more than a few people, then I’m sure that plenty of people you know and respect have gun(s) – but you just aren’t privy to those facts.  About 40% of US citizens have a gun in their home, and most of them don’t go announce this fact when you meet them.  Indeed few people that I interact with on a daily basis know that I own guns or run this website, as it is not relavant to any conversations that we have, and I don’t wish to have anyone break in and try to steal my guns from my gun safe.  Indeed a former coworker of mine had a walk-in, steel reinforced, gun safe in his basement -where he lawfully stored about 200 guns.   Most of those guns were over 100 years old and suitable for collecting purposes, although he had plenty of modern and fully functional firearms.  His neighbors and most of our coworkers didn’t know that he owned any guns.

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  • Glenn O. Radtke

    Regarding your comments on pacifism… Ironically, many pacifists cite religious beliefs/morality for their choice. The irony is that the religion that "brought ya God" a few thousand years back doesn't see things this way. I'm Jewish. Judaism teaches that to stand by and let someone commit violence makes you partly responsible for that violence. If I see someone being attacked I have a moral obligation to do whatever I can to protect that person –short of putting myself in just as much or worse danger. But that duty to protect doesn't just apply to protecting others, it applies to protecting one's self as well. I don't have the RIGHT to stand idly by while someone kills me. I (like all humans equally) am a creation of God. I must defend that creation against someone who decides it is his place to cause harm.

    Oh, and some other things I am: card carrying member of the ACLU, member of the Democratic party, very liberal, long-haired and well-educated and would never go hunting because I don't believe in killing things for recreation.

    -Glenn O.

    • clemors whomp

      Glen O, How can you possibly be all the things you claim to be and still consider your self well-educated?

      • vpm

        Hey come on, that's not fair. I am well educated, liberal and long-haired. I am a pacifist as well(if you think Gandhi was, I am) and prepared to apply lethal force if necessary.

        Also, I never go hunting because I don't believe in killing for recreation. I always do it for the sole purpose of acquiring meat and leather.

        On the other hand, I won't comment on the being leftist or anti-gun part.

  • DJ Sarver

    “[A]nd a gun is the best way yet invented by humankind to stop a violent criminal.” – have you ever heard of mase? Geez. Why should anyone EVER have to shoot, let alone kill, another being? Yeah, obviously some criminals carry guns, which is why they should be banned; therefore, eliminating the threat that guns pose to innocent people, and no one would have to react in self defense using a gun. We might have the right to punish people, but we never have the duty to carry out that punishment. And you claim that guns are also good for hunting? Hunting is not a sport nor a hobby; people who claim this are no better than the criminals who prey on humans. Maybe to the criminals, raping women, robbing people, etc., is a sport. It’s good to see that you are taking people’s comments into consideration, but you need to think a little more about this before you come to your conclusion.

    • Hicus Dicus

      Its spelled Mace and it works about half the time. Another thing I would like to point out , criminals are already banned but it does not seem to be working. Since you seem to be working very hard to be a victim, do you have your affairs in order. Since man is an animal and their are way too many of them perhaps their should be an open hunting season on them with a no bag limit.

      • munkyfst

        Hicu I agree with you, DJ Sarver I am very resistant to mace (OC= Olioresin Capsicum i.e. the chemical that makes hot sauce hot). I work with it and transport very large quantities on a daily bases. I've had cases explode from heat in the truck (first time this happened was hysterical…to the ambulance crew) or a can go off from just being dropped. Mace is there to make the people afraid of firearms "feel" safe. You might as well carry a bottle of tobasco sauce.
        And as for CN tear gas, I found out in the military I'm immune to it's effects, but NOT CS tear gas, that sh*t SUCKED! Damn drill instructor just had to be persistant!


    DJ Sarver:

    Thanks for taking the time to reply. I respectfully disagree with your comment, and the points I made in this article and in countless others on this website refute your conclusions.

    First, banning guns won’t keep them out of the hands of criminals. They will smuggle them in, use one of the hundreds of millions of guns already in the country, etc. Drugs are illegal, but there are plenty of those around! Nor does it make sense to think that a criminal who is willing to commit murder will somehow obey a gun ban. Re-read the above article and the related articles if you wish to see a more in-depth discussion of why gun bans don’t work – or just look at Chicago’s crime rate.
    Even if gun bans were to work, and all guns were to vanish, that would just mean that the weaker members of society would be at a disadvantage, relative to the generally stronger criminals. Surely you don’t think that an 85 year old grandma should have to use her fists to stop a 18 year old home invader, or that a 100 lb. woman should be forced to use her bare hand against a 300 lb. rapist who breaks in during the night? Here are some examples of what will happen when people are armed or unarmed, and confronted by a criminal without a gun:

    Second, the above article addresses how self defense is the stopping of a criminal so that that criminal cannot inflict harm, rather than punishment of that criminal. The goal is only to prevent the aggressor from inflicting harm, but that tends to require deadly force, as it is the only reliable way to stop a human bent on committing violence. That is why cops use a gun when their lives are in danger, rather than pepper spray/mace. If you don’t see the distinction between punishment of a criminal and self defense, I would suggest re-reading that portion of the above article to see the full argument I laid out, as well as my article addressing various other self defense tools.

    Thirdly, I’m not a hunter, and have no desire to go hunting, however I have no problem with other people exercising their right to do so. I would suggest you read this article if you wish to debate hunting with me. I encourage you to comment there if you disagree with my reasoning.

    One final thing I would say is that you may wish to reconsider your word choice in some aspects of your comments. Calling hunter “no better than the criminals who prey on humans” and likening them to “the criminals, raping women, robbing people, etc.” seems to be inflammatory for the sake of being inflammatory, rather than part of a reasonable and rational argument. Making such accusations doesn’t advance your viewpoint in the slightest, and is just hyperbole. The same is true for your assertion that my arguments are not well thought out, especially when the text of your comment makes clear that you didn’t read (or at least digest) the entire article I wrote. If you care to read my bio page on this site, you’ll see that I started out as an anti gun guy, and only after a great deal of thought and education did I recognize guns as a social good. (I’ll leave my substantive reply to your anti-hunting statements to any future comments that you leave on the above referenced hunting article.)

    • Hicus Dicus

      Dear sir, its pointless to talk to these potential victims they should be required to wear a bullseye on their back as they will be running away.

  • Galen

    DJ Sarver:

    Yeah, obviously some criminals carry guns, which is why they should be banned; therefore, eliminating the threat that guns pose to innocent people, and no one would have to react in self defense using a gun.

    There is one very BIG problem with your assertion. Criminals DO NOT OBEY THE LAW!

    Chicago and (up until recently) Washington DC have a complete ban on handguns. Yet crimes committed with handguns are the norm. Obviously the only people obeying the law are the very citizens who the crimes are committed against.

    How do you explain this?

  • Rich

    To whom ever wrote that guns should be banned all together and that tasers work and mace (not Mase) works the same: I have to know not only your age but your education level as well, you of course dont understand guns and that is why you want to ban them, but i would give up my gun all day if I thought everyone including the criminal element would. But seeing as they are criminals and breaking the law anyway why would they ever do this. You talk about thinking before you speak please do so next time you write anything anywhere. I also have to ask why are you on this site if you are so against guns.

    • clemors whomp

      Rich, these folks do not fully grasp a humans propensity for entertaining themselves with violence. Get a judge and you can convene court when ever necessary.

  • ChrisCP

    The pacifist/anti-violence position has always fascinated me. The idea that someone is so anti-violence that they'd allow someone else to hurt another person in the name of this ideal strikes me as hypocrisy or irony or both.

    If, by not committing an act of violence against a criminal determined to do violence to a third person, your pacifism allows that criminal to harm that third person, are you not indirectly committing an act of violence/doing harm to that third person?

    "If you choose not to decide you still have made a choice." –Rush, from the song Free Will

    For those that think that pepper spray and tasers are the answer, consider how many people are unaffected by those less-than-lethal methods of self defense. I wouldn't want to bet my safety or my family's safety or the safety of a restaurant or shopping mall or church full of people on the chance that the guy threatening us all with a gun wasn't so full of adrenaline (at the very least) that he wouldn't feel a face full of pepper spray or a low-voltage zap to his torso. And why would I want to get close enough to the man with the gun to apply a consumer grade taser in the first place? THAT is just suicide, IMO.

    • Hicus Dicus

      The synonym for pacifist is moron. Why shoot them it is a waste of expensive ammunition. Just give them an enema and they will disappear.

  • sdgundamx

    The pacifist/anti-violence position has always fascinated me. The idea that someone is so anti-violence that they’d allow someone else to hurt another person in the name of this ideal strikes me as hypocrisy or irony or both.

    If, by not committing an act of violence against a criminal determined to do violence to a third person, your pacifism allows that criminal to harm that third person, are you not indirectly committing an act of violence/doing harm to that third person?

    The idea is no more ironic or hypocritical than executing someone for a crime that they have yet to commit (which is what happens in the case of self-defense). To universal pacifists (those who do not believe in resorting to violence under any circumstances) it is a no-win situation. Either way someone is going to die–and to a person who values all human life that is simply unacceptable.

    I am not a universal pacifist, but I do take issue with some of the arguments being cited here. In particular, I take issue with the notion that every situation is a black-and-white kill-or-be-killed event. Surely there are many more options (including, but not limited to, running away). In the US, the legal use of lethal force has gotten far too carried away. There was a case a while back in Texas where a guy shot and killed two thieves who were stealing from his neighbors house. At no time was he in any danger–the thieves were too busy carrying things to hold or display any weapons. Yet no charges were filed against him. The shooting was considered “justified” under Texas law. Apparently in Texas, a TV is worth more than a human life.

    In Japan, where I live, guns are practically illegal (it is virtually impossible to get a license for one except in very rural areas where hunting is still allowed). Yet we do not see here, as the article predicts, 80-year old women being attacked by 300 pound assailants. Instead, Japan is one of the safest countries in the world. When a police officer is forced to discharge a firearm in the line of duty it makes national headlines.

    The point here is that a lot of this article is based on fear–without guns or lethal self-defense measures the nation would collapse into a dog-eat-dog-survival-of-the-fittest hell. And that notion, of course, is outlandish. There are many countries like Japan that restrict gun ownership which have very low crime rates.

    • Rozyredtoes

      You steal my TV I won't just shoot you I will buckwheat you. Any body who tries to take anything that I have spent my life working and growing old for has forfeited his life if can catch him. These are the basic rules of human nature and any one who thinks other wise is either a potential victim or a criminal. I my opinion a criminals life is not precious particularly if he is about to ruin mine. Money and possessions represent the days of your life and toil and once a day is lived it is gone forever.

      • munkyfst

        Hmmm… Rozyredtoes I understand your opinion and your feelings on personal possesions and hard earned money, but I don't agree with them, I will not however deny you the right to defend what's yours. I personally have never really cared for material possesions, I'm a Buddhist, but I'm an armed one. At this point there are many Liberals and Pacifists scratching there heads, and I expect that from those who are uninformed, go watch a kung fu movie and figure it out, if you can"t read a book about Shaolin munks and the reasoning for self defense.

        • munkyfst

          As for the fellow living in Japan, comparing your society to another is comparing apples to oranges (or rice and saki to beer and beef jerky). It's a completely different upbringing in Japan, I now I lived there for 15 years and have a Chinese (similar society when comparing social norms) wife. A criminal in Japan would be an embarrassment to other criminals if he assaulted an 80 year old woman. He would at the very least be laughed at and ridiculed so completely that his fellows would "give" him to the authorities. Here mugging septigenarian is just … a mugging, yes there is social outrage, but is there shame on the part of the criminal who assaulted a weaker individual, no, the only care that individual has is how much did I get.

  • The Author


    Thanks for the comment.

    I would like to start by noting that armed self defense is not capital punishment, by any stretch of the imagination. I support armed self defense and oppose capital punishment. More on that here:

    As far as Japan:

    In response to your statement that not every situation is kill or be killed, I agree. However it is not possible for a crime victim to know with certainty whether they are about to be killed or not. Given that fact, I would say that it is unreasonable to expect the innocent victim to take even a 1% chance of death in order to preserve the life of a violent attacker.

    Also, note that even a single punch can sometimes kill:

    Finally, even if an attack won’t result it death, and the victim knows that (somehow), I don’t see why a crime victim should have to stand there and suffer the attack in order to avoid killing their attacker. For example, should a woman allow herself to be raped, rather than kill the rapist?

    • sdgundamx

      Thank you for your polite and intelligent reply.

      In regards to self-defense, my problem was more with people who shoot others in the back or while they are carrying a stereo out the window and claiming "self-defense" than with people who are actually under violent physical assault. I get upset over responses (like the one I quoted originally) where people valued material possessions above a human life and my comment was a response to that.

      Next, your Japan weblink isn't very convincing to me. That attack was a hugely isolated event. Besides which, my claim was not that crime is never committed in Japan. My claim was that Japan has outrageously low crime rates despite the absence of guns… which is true, if you look at the statistics. The fear-mongers on this thread seem to think that we'll all be helpless without guns, but there are plenty of gun-less countries out there that show that not to be true.

      In closing, I never stated we don't have a right to self-defense. Perhaps I was a bit unclear, but I was trying to state that if we are going to potentially take another's life by discharing a firearm at them we'd better have a damn good reason to do so–a much better reason than, "He tried to steal my TV." TVs can be replaced. A human life cannot.

  • yoyotweak

    The idea is no more ironic or hypocritical than executing someone for a crime that they have yet to commit (which is what happens in the case of self-defense).

    Yes, stand by and wait until the criminal has taken your property, beaten you, or kills you before you take any action.

    Wow, that’s some scary logic.

    Pacifism: the moral conflict of using mortal force.

    1. I have a natural right to exist.

    2. I have a natural right to defend my existence.

    The whole natural world abides by these universal truths. in order to fulfill its ultimate natural purpose: to provide for, thrive and perpetuate its species.

    In the moment aggression arrives, there isn’t an animal in the world that doesn’t employ some means of evasion, or counter force, lethal or otherwise, depending in its particular intrinsic attributes, to secure its survival either with competition from its own species, or from external predation.

    Therefore, to the universal/pure pacifists:

    Why should man be exempt?

    • The Author

      Very well put, my friend.

      • unnamed

        Believe it or not we are supposed to be at the top of the food chain. We are not animals though some human beings act barbaric at times. Yes every species has instinct to protect and survive. The human race has the mental capabilities to make choices. Thats what sets us apart from all the other species of the world.

        • clemors whomp

          Unnamed, Being barbaric can be fun especially if one can find a flock of pacifists.

  • Daniel

    I personally resent the common anti-gun claim that arguments supporting the right to arms for self protection are fear-based. It demonstrates a lack of willingness on their part to try to understand the issue to be so dismissive.

    • hicus

      You better believe they are fear based. I don't want to be hurt. . .What kind of idiot came up with that totally moronic statement. I know!! Rosie O'Donnell.

  • oedu

    Though I guess this is a mild case, after a recent violent assault (which actually could have been much worse and was essentially averted by taking a blow and letting it go) at a party, I began to wonder about my own strict adherence to pacifism.

    I'm a philosophy major and I do think there is depth to this issue, and I think the attempt to make universal principle in gun laws is no less naive than the same of pacifism. If we do want a better society, we probably need to make contextually relevant decisions, ones which are usually not simple, not based strictly in principle, but concerned with the facts of a place and people.

    For gun laws, this might mean that some area, ridden with poverty, moral corruption, and a culture of violence (and thus crime), might be biased in favor of armed self defense, simply because it is likely to prevent or reduce crime (by making it mortally dangerous), or increase the survivability of an attack.

    HOWEVER, a place with a lot of poverty, but strong morals and no culture of violence may be ridden with thieves, those who do so just to get by. Those thieves can be reasonably expected have absolutely no intention of sexual or violent assault (and you can probably reference crime data to make this assumption). While their crime is not excusable, shooting them makes very little sense (at least mortal wounds, come on guys). In this case I think pepper spray and tasers are a much better solution in self defense as it's more likely to scare them away, the NEED to KILL a member of your society does not exist. Is it not reasonable to have more strict gun laws in these areas? We ARE protecting members of the society, even if they happen to be criminals. Their criminal status is not guaranteed in the future if a correctional facility is actually capable of doing its job, which given that the thieves have morals and no culture of violence would seem to just need to find them a societally acceptable job they were happy in.

    • Hicus Dicus

      The only way to get a better society is for massive asteroid hit and start all over again. The first rule for the new society is to make the study of philosophy a capital crime.

      • munkyfst

        Hmmm…. a nice pandemic with religious overtones…. that'll make them wish they weren"t philosophy majors, or at least make them stay out of everyone else's business for awhile. lol

        • pacifism hater

          Shut the hell up, loser.

      • pacifism hater

        What a liar you are. If you think that should happen, may the ever-lovin’ crap be blown out of your ass.

  • Harry J Reeves

    Pacifist are in my estimation genetically deficient people who will end up being the first to meet Jesus which can at least mean one less mouth to feed. I have personally know some of these folks and have had more enlightened conversations with tree stumps. I would give aid to a stray dog before I would a pacifist. If you don't agree with this opinion I don't really care.

    • Leroy

      Hey Harry, I haven't heard from you in a while, so I figured I'd comment on your comment on pacifism. Well said. I just read the aricle on Pacifism-A naive and dangerous approach. It is amazing to see in this day and age people can be so naive/stupid when it comes to defending themselves and/or family. I hope all is well and stay safe. I'm going to a gun show this weekend, maybe I'll find something good. I'm supposed to be taking my new girlfriend to the gun show. She's never been to one and wanted to go.

      • Rozyredtoes

        Leroy I just returned from the first gun show I have been to in a long time and all I have to say is what a bunch of misguided ignorant Dicks they are the best ammunition the anti gun lobby has and they don't even know it.

      • munkyfst

        Pacisifist … and buddha does a facepalm…. "WHY DO THEY HAVE TO QUOTE ME!"
        Buddha NEVER said don't defend yourself, he does say don't start it, and be nice. I've found carrying a gun does promote nice, and prevents you from starting something too. :)

  • unnamed

    Self defense is definitely a god given right but when you walk into a situation with gun at the ready, that you can easily avoid, it makes you the criminal! I noticed that some of these aggressive gun owners can't wait to use their pistols on a real target, human beings! Maybe they should join the war effort and get their chance to shoot someone and get shot at. Maybe they'll change after that. A true warrior avoids war.

    • Kenpai

      Wouldn’t have anyone to shoot if people stopped breaking and entering in states with High levels of armed homeowners.

      How did you notice they can’t wait? Not taking any chances for you or your family =/= a grin on your face at 2:45am when you hear the alarm go off and reach for the akimbo Sawed-off shotguns you had been waiting to try on humans.

    • Harry J Reeves

      Dear no name, your opinion on supposed gun owners you know and what they think has no relevancy on anything real or imagined. You thought patterns like many others on this planet make no difference to anybody but your self. I truly believe that if the circumstances came to bear you would act no differently than the rest of us. If what I say is incorrect you can always find sanctuary in the room with the vent fan, just be sure and leave your weight posted on the wall so authorities will know how much to dig out and bury.

      • unnamed

        My opinion does have relevancy. My thought patterns like many others on this planet do make a difference or you wouldn't be trying so hard to debate your beliefs. I do believe you have the right to own a gun and use it if need be. I'm not disputing that. But laws were initiated for very good reasons and I'm sure i speak for most of the population on this subject. You can't force your opinions on people when they have minds of their own. One great thing about this country is that they have the freedom to think for themselves and have their own beliefs. There is nothing wrong with debate but the sarcasm isn't going to change anyones mind into seeing things your way. It makes you sound like an idiot.

        • Hicus Dicus

          Before one can have his mind changed it is necessary that he have one. Sarcasm is the only way to cope with morons who believe that human life is a precious commodity.

          • unnamed

            I now know what a moron truly is. Thank you !

        • Harry J Reeves

          Dear unnamed the only place your opinion would have any relevancy is on comedy central.

        • Harry J Reeves

          Shame on you for calling people degrading names and making racist and inflammatory comments about Gods own people and your fellow citizens. You should pray that you can get a kinder and more benevolent attitude and be someone people can look up to so it will be easier for them to get you in their cross hairs.

          • unnamed

            Now that sounds like a threat from an agressive moron.

        • Herrbaggs

          Dear Unnamed, With comments of that sort you will never get a job as a mediator for hostage situations. I have an idea, get a gun and stick it up where the sun don't shine and see if you can hit your tonsils. If you are successful all your acquaintances will have a party. In your case I am sure a large swab of preparation H will help.

    • Hicus Dicus

      Since I don't believe in God would I still have right to defend myself?

      • munkyfst

        And the famous response to that is "But God believes in you."
        Now that we are past that, Hells Yes you can defend yourself, "mindless" animals do it so can you. I'm not saying you are mindless, just makeing a point. I believe it's a fifty fifty toss up as to who is most willing to defend others and themselves, "bible-thumpers" or Darwininians (athiests). Now as for starting a war….hmmm…

  • Daniel

    Reasonable people tend to agree with the principle of not initiating violence when it is not necessary. Where pacifism goes to far is to suggest that you’re better off dying at the hands of a criminal rather than having used force (like a gun) to defend yourself. Few live up to this belief, as even the most fervent pacifists will usually reach for a make-shift weapon (frying pan, kitchen knife, bat, etc.) when they hear someone breaking into their home. Look up the word “preparedness” in the dictionary and you’ll see a picture of a gun.

    It seems that there are also a lot of people swayed by misperceptions promoted by Hollywood and in the media. Generally, gun owners are not wanna-be outlaws or vigilantes, as we are all too often portrayed in the news and in movies. We are peaceful people who don’t want to hurt anybody, and hope to God never to have to defend ourselves forcefully against a real person. And many of us are lucky enough to get that wish.

    Having a firearm is like having a fire extinguisher. It is a prudent precaution because while you hope you never have to employ it, and you make effort never to get yourself in a situation where you’ll need it, you’ll most likely be glad you had it.

    Fear of the statistically less likely occurrence of this preparedness backfiring and causing more harm than good is, I think, what compels many otherwise rational people to go unarmed and defenseless. It’s always best to be careful and educated in regard to handling powerful tools, but the promotion of baseless fear for the sake of popularizing disarmament is dangerous because it causes many would-be survivors to end up being victims.

    I differ with pacifists on one more level. The fact that the only potential for a viable resistance against corrupt political powers is when the commoners are armed is also a good reason for citizens to keep guns. This keeps government “in check” and subservient to the people, rather than the other way around. This is noted in the 2nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution as one reason for protecting the people’s right to keep and bear arms. An extremist pacifist would sooner see a disarmed populace be slaughtered by a tyrannical ruler than see those people overthrow that ruler with force.

    • Rozyredtoes

      Daniel, If you are trying to convince these pacifists with intellectual conversation to change their minds or what ever it is they have, you are trying to teach a pig to sing. Its wastes your time and annoys the pig.

      • munkyfst

        Well spoken Daniel. Says the Budhist NON-pacifist.

  • suzanne

    oedu suggests that gun laws could be applicable relative to the type of living environment, or how crime-ridden is the neighborhood, city, or region.

    We moved to a peaceful, small town over 30 years ago. Soon after, a serial killer, Ted Bundy, from a different part of the country, came through our town and destroyed several young women (from disfigurement to rape to murder).

    A young woman we knew, a good friend's neice, moved to another small peaceful town about a hundred miles from here. She was beheaded by the serial killer, Danny Rollings, another out-of towner. He killed several there, including a man and woman in their apartment.

    Dangerous threats are hard to anticipate according to our surroundings. How many news reports have we read about atrocious crimes against innocents where it was shocking because "nothing ever happens" there?

    As disabled, senior citizens, we want to be always armed to reasonalby defend ourselves when surprised by a serious threat.

    • Clemorswhomp

      Most violence prone folks tend to pick the appropriate area to have their fun so they don't get caught and can continue their festivities again at a later date. I live in the middle of 50 fenced acres in the Ozarks with 5 dogs, three attack cats and a gaggle of geese and let me emphasize, there is no such thing as a safe place. If you doubt this, the Jehovah's witnesses have found me several times no matter how clever my camouflage.

  • D Ray East

    The most peaceful person in the world is an intelligent well educated and thinking person who is carrying a GUN.

    This person knows perfectly well that anyone else may also be carrying a weapon as well. He also knows that if he is called upon to use what ever weapon he is carrying it may cause him to have to take the life of another. This is something that no one would ever take lightly. Not only that but he then is putting his own life on the line. Plus he will never forget for even one second that he has killed another. That is one thing it will be extremely hard to live with every day for the rest of their life.


    • munyfst

      I have seen war and peace, life and death, growth and destruction, euphoria and anguish. I'm a Budhist, I carry a gun because I have seen these things.
      Taking a life is not an experience I would offer anyone, but being forced to stand by and allowing one to be taken needlessly is so much worse. I know both these things.
      I'm a Budhist… I carry a gun.

  • noone

    The problem I see with pacifism is that when you are in trouble it won't save you, and more often that not trouble comes searching for you, whether you want it or not.

    I speak for personal experience: I'm reasonably young, yet I have been molested on three different occasions by groups of men.

    By know you're probably screaming: "Avoidance! You were searching for it!" Bullshit. Every time it was broad daylight, every time it was a populated area in a "good part" of my town.

    Every time I was lucky enough to get away.

    You say: hey, you run away!

    Again, bullshit. In another situation, I might not have been so dumb lucky. Want an example of what criminals can do? Again, I can speak for personal experience.

    An eighty year old family friend of ours was throw down his house staircase: the criminals wanted the location of his house safe, wich did not exist, so he couldn't cough it up. The man, rather active for his age, ended up paralysed in bed because of the wound sustained during the robbery, and died after almost two months, very likely as conseguence of the wounds received during the fall. The trauma on his wife and his children is still indescribable.

    I would like to point out another error you made. A weapon is not a tool for random punishment of criminals, it is rather an emergency tool to push the criminal to reconsider his actions: just as a guard dog will bark to protect his sheeps from the wolf, the handgun will threat the criminal: quit your actions or you will risk your life. IF the criminal doesn't stop and ONLY in this situation, then, yes, the pourpose of the handgun is to shot the criminal- again not to kill him (even if that may be a byproduct of the self defence), but to stop the criminal from hurting an innocent person.

    By the way, pacifism has no foundation in traditionals religions: the Catholic church, for example, does not consider a sin self defence even when the act of self defence results in the death of a human being, as long as

    . the defender did everything in his power to avoid the fight

    . the defender did everything in his power not

    to provoke the fight

    . the intent of the defender is not to kill the attacker but to stop him

    I could spend hours talking about this argument, but I will make ot short…

    PS I am not a native english speaker so I apologize for my mistakes and I hope I made myself clear

    • Herrbaggs

      Noone, You don't need to apologize, you speak with more clarity than most high school graduates.

  • Leroy

    First of all I am sorry to hear of your horrific experiences, as well as the friend of the family's experience. My heart goes to you and you have my deepest sympathy. I don't remember saying a gun is a tool to punish criminals. I agree that guns are for law abiding people to defend against criminals. Check out some of my other blogs. PS your English is fine.

  • stupid

    Every so called pacifist I have ever met is a liar. I have never met an actual genuine pacifist. They do not exist. When they get mad and argue and raise their voice and swear at you, they are committing an act of violence. Like it or not emotional and mental assault is still assault, and it is violent. It is just not physical violence.

    • Leroy

      That's a good point, I haven't thought of it that way. Many so-called pacifist are just plain full of sh-t! That reminds me, I recently had a conversation with a young lady who said she suppoerts the 2nd Ammendment but does not wish to own or use a gun. She said to protect herself she relies on God, pepper spray, baseball bat, butcher knife and icepick. I told her "all that is a fine start, but what if that is not suuficient?" She says she just can't think of killing someone even in self defense. I told her those other items she mentioned can kill. To make a long story short she eventually asked me about what type of gun do I recommend for her. I told her it is perfectly natural to be nervous about guns and I will give her more info as needed.

    • pacifism hater

      I believe you, although I wish that you didn’tcall yourself stupid. If anyone should be called stupid, it’s a goody-goody pacifist.

  • Concer

    Guns are not an answer, They are not correct and should not be used, they should not be needed. The people that should own guns, unless they are for display or filled to not be used are People of Law Enforcement. Hunters also have their own type of firearms which I believe is different from the topic at hand. Should trouble arise then it is the duty of the person to call local Law Enforcement to resolve it. Any weapons owned should be more or less turned in. I have known of instances where a person registers a fire arm for someone else almost as a right of passage for friends, family, hunters, etc, every family has their own right to choose, how ever it is not the best nor the safest answer. Scenario, you do not use a GUN for a good number of years and or it is taken out of your custody, ends up in the wrong hands, what happens? Display Items are on display for a reason. Pacifism is not an issue, it is safety.

    • Herrbags

      You are so naive, incorrect and misguided you are not even worth having a conversation with. If you did not have a gun and I did not have a gun you would still lose. I believe that society has a name for people like that.

      • pacifism hater

        You tell him that, Man! All that pacifist stuff is just a bunch o’ brainwashin’ bullcrap.

    • Lloyd Booth

      Doing away with guns will never solve the differences of what it takes to be sovereign. If Concer had a plan, solution, or program to bring each and every person in the world to the same level of harmony and understanding then guns may not be necessary. There are thousands of different cultures, beliefs, and religions that have not, cannot, nor will not fit into the one-size-fits-all mold.

  • hicusdicus

    Forget criminals, any human under the right conditions can become dangerous and homicidal. If killing them is the only way to stop them then that is the way it must be. Guns can be a tool of violence along with many other things but they are not responsible for the violence. The cause for violence is in the nature of man. In my own situation I can not let a man who is threatening me, hit me. I have a bone disease and a hard blow to the face could kill break my neck. As far as material things go, please quit referring TV sets. What if some one was stealing your guns. If you let them get away with them they could use them to kill innocent people. So shoot them in the back preferably where the sun don't shine. One other thing, dogs are considered property which I guess. makes them material possessions… Try to hurt or kill my dog and see what happens. My wife comes first my dog comes second and I come third everything else is canon fodder. There are times when my dog comes first and whats her face comes second. Actually pacifism is just a silly ideology that can only exist in an armed and law abiding society.

  • Dudejo

    Not that i don't take this seriously but the article's title reminds me of a part in the movie Team America where the main character faces off against Alex Baldwin in an acting contest.

  • Lloyd Booth

    It is common to argue for pacifism when the pacifists are secure and safe on the inside of the fortress, while militarism has weapons pointed outward to insure tranquility.

  • Guns Forever

    All the pacifist and God fearing people fail to read their own scriptures. Jesus was surrounded by disciples carrying weapons. Was it not written in Mark 14 (King James Version) “And Jesus saith unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered…And one of them that stood by drew a sword, and smote a servant of the high priest, and cut off his ear.” Get with the program and arm yourselves.

  • pacifism hater

    Thank you for typing this article. I’m so tired of all that fanatical support for pacifism. Whether we like it or not, violence will always be a part of human nature. Those who insist on eliminating and replacing it will peacemaking violence are delusional.