“The Gun Is Civilization” By Maj. L. Caudill, USMC (Ret) **Update**

*Update* 3/6/2013 Researching and verifying authorship of this post.  Necessary corrections will be made.

*Update*  Just read a news story relating to the subject matter  – (Patch.Com) Gwinnett Police have released a recording of the 911 call made by a Duluth woman after she shot the knife-wielding intruder who attacked her at home last Wednesday (May 11). Her assailant, identified by police as Israel Perez Puentes, 34, of Alpharetta, died later from the gunshot wounds.

The incident occurred about 6:30 a.m. when Punetes entered the home in the 2800 block of East Mount Tabor Circle in unincorporated Duluth, as the resident, a 53-year-old woman, was coming out of the shower, according to a Gwinnett Police spokesman. “She was exiting the shower when the man wielding a [kitchen] knife entered her bathroom,” said Gwinnett Police spokesman Cpl. Edwin Ritter.

The woman tried to fight off the man with the shower rod after she had fallen into the bathtub. Her attacker then forced her into the bedroom. Puentes apparently was going to sexually assault her, Ritter said. She was able to retrieve her .22-caliber pistol and then shot him multiple times, according to Ritter. Puentes left the house through the rear door and collapsed in the backyard.

A neighbor to whose home the woman had run after the attack placed the 911 call then put her on the telephone. Sobbing hysterically, she managed to tell the dispatcher about the attack and give her address.

“I was in the shower and the lights cut out in my house, and a man came in with a hood, and he had a knife in his hand….He told me to be quiet. He told me to get out of the tub, and he tried to force me on(to) the bed,” the woman told the police dispatcher.

The woman was able to retrieve a .22 caliber pistol that she kept in a nightstand near the bed. “I took my .22, and I shot him as much as I could.” The woman informed the dispatcher she locked the rear sliding glass door after he ran out, and she rushed out the front door to the neighbor’s house. She said she wasn’t sure of his whereabouts.

Puentes was transported to Gwinnett Medical Center in Lawrenceville where he later died from his injuries. The woman was transported to Gwinnett Medical Center in Duluth and was treated for minor injuries, Ritter said. No charges are expected to be filed against the woman. “It was apparently a justified use of deadly force,” he said. (read more)

——————- original thread below ——————-

“The Gun Is Civilization” 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 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.

By Maj. L. Caudill USMC (Ret.)

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28 Responses to “The Gun Is Civilization” By Maj. L. Caudill, USMC (Ret) **Update**

  1. Otis P. Driftwood says:

    I can think of a lot folks who need civilizing.


    • bob says:

      Uh-oh… Is Otis P. Driftwood morphing into Rufus T. Firefly?


      • Otis P. Driftwood says:

        Or maybe Wolf J. Flywheel. Or possibly even Hugo C. Quackenbush.


          • Otis P. Driftwood says:

            LOL – that should be Hugo Z. Hackenbush. Others include J.Cheever Loophole, Quincy Adams Wagstaff, and S. Quentin Quale. I don’t have EVERY Marx Brothers movie, just most of them.


            • bob says:

              What made me think of of Rufus T. Firefly in this context was that war sequence at the end of Duck Soup, with all the guns blazing… not to mention that song they sing:
              “They got guns,
              We got guns,
              All God’s chillun got guns!
              I’m gonna walk all over the battlefield,
              ‘Cause all God’s chillun got guns!”


  2. Wraith says:

    Yep. It’s EXACTLY like that. Great find, SD! 😀


  3. CJMartel says:

    An armed society is a polite society, very true. Good post Major Caudill, you have presented a very sound case for defense of the 2nd Amendment. I have a question for you, if the government decides to disarm Americans for our own safety will the military support the people or the tyrants?


  4. Leatherwing says:

    This is a very good post, but Major Caudill is not the author (and may not even exist). The actual author is Marko Kloos. It was written in March of 2007 and was mis-attributed to Major Caudill just a few months later.

    Marko is an eloquent defender of Liberty and deserves full credit for his ideas.

    His original post is here:

    More information here:


  5. Good Post SD. The elitist think they know what is good for you and me. They have their ways of being persuasive. They don’t tend to use guns just a forked tongue. The gun is what keeps their tongues and egos in check. Power of the trigger I say!


  6. Sir

    With respect, I disagree with the fundamental basis of your argument.

    I have served as a paramedic in the UK for over a decade and have seen enough of civilian society in a state of heightened emotion and panic to know that the idea of allowing them to own guns is terrifying and would certainly create more work for the Emergency Services.

    Your argument could (and likely was) used at a governmental level to justify the proliferation of nuclear weapons. If putting a firearm into the hands of a terrified pensioner is a reasoned “force leveller”, then so is providing weapons equal to those the US possesses to every other nation in the world. I’m sure you would agree that would end badly.

    Furthermore, to suggest that guns are the definition of a civilised society is ridiculous and offensive. Gun ownership is much less common in Western Europe than in the US. Does that mean Europe is a less civilised part if the world than the United States?

    I appreciate that parts of the world have a Pandora’s Box problem and with what is effectively an arms race resulting in firearms being in the possession of undesirable elements. To defend and protect, of course nominated civil officials and military forces should have access to the appropriate equipment to carry out their duties. But that is no justification to arm the general population. That’s madness.


    • Menagerie says:

      Nominated civil authorities are too late to defend and protect in many situations. Criminals will always have weapons. The right to bear arms is constitutionally protected in this country, and it will never be freely given up by the majority of our citizens. Your argument is totally illogical in relation to this post. Furthermore, the general populace is armed, so it would have to be disarmed. You live in a different society in the UK. That aspect of it will never be tolerated by Americans who have been born and raised with not only the right to own a gun, but have done so since childhood. Madness is being helpless in the face of an armed attacker.


  7. (Issues commenting with my Facebook login, trying my Twitter account – I’m Mathew James Westhorpe for clarity).

    “Madness is being helpless in the face of an armed attacker.”

    This is true, but equally it is madness to give the attacker the “right to bear arms” in the first place.

    An a Briton, I accept that there are cultural differences affecting our viewpoints here and I understand that in the US, any attempt to disarm the already armed is likely to go very badly. It’s Pandora’s Armoury – guns can’t be unmade. But can you not see that when your solution is also your problem, you’re stuck in a self-defeating loop?

    But don’t worry, I’m sure I’ll come around to the US way of thinking eventually. The gradual Americanisation of UK culture will mean that we’ll soon be arming frightened old ladies in the UK too, which will result in the gang of muggers who previously only carried knives will have to “tool up” to take her down. Crossing the road to avoid them will no longer help me either – now they’ll have ranged weapons. I know, I’ll carry a gun too. Woe betide those kids who keep playing in the street and scratching my car now…

    From my perspective, that’s terrifying downward spiral into gun culture. If that’s what counts as civilised progress, as a species we’re already doomed.


  8. Yulia Coon says:

    You are missing the point, Seismic Stan. The attacker does not need to be given the right to bear arms. He has the gun already, no matter what the law says. I was raised in the Soviet Union where gun ownership did not exist, period. Ever bother to see the statistics of domestic violence and street attacks there? God bless America and the 2nd Amendment. I sleep much better now with my little Bersa within my reach.


  9. JL says:

    And to imply that criminals in the UK don’t have firearms is ludicrous. UK Gun crime rates have doubled since ’98 http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/6960431.stm
    How’s that 1997 gun ban working out for you??
    Australia banned guns in 96, and every facet of violent crime has increased. Burglaries and home invasions are so rampant that 36% of Australians think their home will be burgled in the next year. Bravo. Brilliant. Congrats, you guys succeeded in creating a “society where the state has granted him (the mugger) a force monopoly.”


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  11. Pingback: Best EVER ProGun Argument! USMC Maj Caudill (Ret)

  12. ZC says:

    Interesting so many Brits feel it necessary to weigh-in on a U.S. matter. I’ll tell you what, Brits, you valiantly fought the American Revolution standing in lines like sitting ducks while we used our brains and intelligence and took cover while we shot the firearms we owned. We won. Your logic, your “style”, your laws aren’t wanted or needed here (as evidenced by the American Revolution).


    • JOE says:

      Excellent. These idiots and the left see a tragedy with guns,then could say a:lets get rid of the guns which doesnt solve anything but put the criminal or lunatic in control, and we
      are left defenseless to them as they may attack ex. a gun free zone,our 2nd amendment is violated, and we are no longer a democracy but maybe under a tryrannical leader or government control. Or b: we law abiding,tax paying,legally armed citizens will not be
      defenseless, our rights to bear arms is not violated, and we still remain democratic but NOT under government control. Freedom does not come free, there are costs such as
      lives that is true. I am tired of the left using Sandy Hook as an example and stating if you
      do not believe their way then you are non-human or a demon for rather having your rights than having the loss of life. NO, it is the opposite, what if that theatre was not a NO CARRY zone would Holmes attacked there – NO, or if the school would have had chl carriers would Lanza go there – PROBABLY NOT BECAUSE HE WOULD KNOW THAT THERE IS THE POSSIBILITY OF SOMEONE STANDING UP TO HIM INSTEAD OF HAVING HIS WILL TO KILL. i am not mean,or a vigilante that does not care about life, and one who is choosing the right to bear arms over such a tragedy. I am a Vietnam vet who does care about life, does not want any child OR anyone killed whatsoever, but i choose my right to bear arms as it shall not be INFRINGED, as i fought for my country for us to have our freedoms which do come at a cost (lives lost in war, this includes maybe lives lost at home). I WILL NOT give up my rights JUST BECAUSE you think your way – OH, you can have no more than 10 rounds in a magazine, NOT CLIP YOU IDIOT, or you can not have this gun because it looks military,or you can not have any gun . FINE. BUT I have the right to bear arms and defend myself and that i will do because it is my right if it ever came down to that. I WILL NOT choose your way so that I am left defenseless to protect
      myself and family or EVEN YOU if it came to that. Lets take ex. Myself and YOU whom i do not know are sitting across from each other in a restaurant and a lunatic comes in shooting. MAYBE since i am legally carrying with a chl and believe in the 2nd amendment i might have the chance to take this idiot out. DO YOU HAVE THAT OPPORTUNITY? NO, YOU ARE THE ONE WHOM DOES NOT HAVE THE ABILITY TO


  13. Steve says:

    This article’s argument “is fallacious in several ways”. Take his premise to its logical conclusion; ie everyone has a gun, and you simply replace one set of force dynamics with another. These dynamics would be identical to the ones that would exist if no one had guns, except with far more lethality; you eliminate the physical differences that allow one person to overpower another and replace them with differences in skill with the weapon, willingness to employ it, etc.

    But, because the gun, in any hands, is such a potentially greater threat, there’s no doubt the author would get what he desires, that is, to be left alone. Far more alone than is conducive for the flourishing and continuance of civilization. Far from creating an atmosphere where people could persuade each other without resorting to force, you simply get a situation where no one can confidently argue ANYTHING, for fear of it escalating into a lethal encounter. Would you engage in a controversial, or emotionally sensitive, or divisive argument with a person packing heat, even if you were, too?

    And yet to grow and progress as a species and a civilization, these types of arguments, where people end up seethingly angry at each other, where one ends up feeling hopelessly humiliated, befuddled, defeated, are indispensable. They are also IMPOSSIBLE in a world where everyone has a gun. Someone will always be capable of getting the drop on someone else and that fact would have a chilling effect on all human social interaction and advancement.

    We tried this experiment once. It was called the “wild west” and there are very good reasons why it is considered an obsolete model.


    • aliashubbatch says:

      If you want to argue about gun control, try commenting on an article that isn’t nearly two years old. 🙄


    • stella says:

      The “wild west” wasn’t an experiment. The gun in the frontier United States served its purpose as long as it was needed. The gun serves a different purpose today. No “place in time” is the same as any other, and no place in the same time is the same as any other. A rancher in Oklahoma has different needs than a suburbanite in Oklahoma City. But it is the right of the rancher and the suburbanite to determine what those needs are.

      The fact is that the government may not limit the right of the citizen to own and carry a firearm. If it is the desire of our citizens to change the 2nd amendment, there are already ways in which that can legally be done. There was and is a good reason for the second amendment, which guarantees that right. The Bill of Rights is not the Bill of Needs.


      • Steve says:

        Could anyone look at the actual rates of gun incidents in the U.S. and deny that the shear number of firearms has made it more, not less, likely that a U.S. citizen will fall victim to someone with a gun (notice, I didn’t say they had to necessarily be shot)? What do you think is the ratio of bad guys being thwarted, in the commision of an offence, relative to innocent folks being assaulted by firearm, either in malice, or in error? It’s simple logic, on the whole, the nation is less secure from gun incidents, the more guns that exist and the vast majority of those incidents victimize innocent people. The actual compiled numbers do not lie. Is a rate of death and injury to innocent people by firearms that’s 10 to 50 times higher than similar first world countries, many that enjoy lower overall crime rates and are quite civilized by U.S. standards, worth relying on the gun as the primary guarantor of “civilization”?


  14. Steve says:

    Oh, and the fact that I should even have given pause to post the above comment for fear that some irrational gun nut might take violent exception to it, just goes to reinforce my point… And btw, I’m an accomplished IPSC competitor…


  15. Steve says:

    the article is making the rounds on social media – incorrect attribution and all – so it’s current and so is the debate right now…


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