Leveling the playing field

Now, 15 years later, virtually all law enforcement agencies and officers are either issued AR-15 style rifles, or have them accessible. But, that is the police. In the context of self defense, why do armed citizens need AR-15 style weapons? Because, the armed citizen faces the VERY SAME criminals that police face. The only difference is that police, because they are more often called TO the incident, face these criminals more regularly. Understand, though, criminals do not prey on police, but instead, they victimize the public.

If the armed citizen wants to have a fighting chance against criminals who are armed with high capacity rifles and pistols, they also need effective weaponry. Just like the police did back in the 1990s and today.

Marty Hayes, President of the Armed Citizens Legal Defense Network, responds to “why anyone would need one of those”.

In reading Marty’s response, it made one thing clear: it’s about “leveling the playing field”.

I’ve often said that a firearm is a force equalizer. A petite woman vs. a 300# beast of a man? Force disparity. Old man vs. young thug? Force disparity? Fit able-bodied person vs. small gang? Force disparity. So much of self-defense is about overcoming that disparity. I mean, when some martial art talks about how it’s techniques allow that weak tiny woman to overcome and cripple a 300# man, the underlying message is that martial art allows you to overcome force disparity, and thus it’s a good thing. Rape prevention techniques talk about using tasers, pepper spray, walking in groups – all means of overcoming force disparity. It’s all about reducing the disparity, or better, becoming the one with the force advantage so perhaps no one will mess with you in the first place. However, the reality is while these measures are all useful and do overcome force disparity, a firearm is a better tool for overcoming force disparity. It’s like any technological advancement; it’s why we blog and tweet and email, and why the US Postal Service is shriveling up.

We seem to put great stock in “leveling the playing field”. Why do we drug test in sports? Because we don’t want someone to gain “unfair advantage”. Why is there large political movement to change this country’s legal and economic structure? To stop few people from gaining unfair advantage and control over the rest of us. We want the field level, or whether people want to admit it or not, if the field is going to be tilted they want it tilted in their favor. So why should self-defense be any different? Why should we put ourselves at a disadvantage or force others to be at a disadvantage? That’s akin to telling the petite woman to not fight back against her rapist. To use force of law to deny her effective tools? That’s akin to tying her hands behind her back. Doesn’t it sound stupid to suggest “Hey ladies, the most effective way to keep from being raped is to lie there and take it! Just give him what he wants!”? So why do you suggest solutions that effectively create this situation?

There are numerous reasons why someone would “need one of those”, be it an AR-15, a modern semi-automatic firearm (rifle or pistol or shotgun), a firearm that could hold more bullets than you deem to be “necessary”. Fundamentally it comes down to overcoming force disparity and ensuring that “level playing field”. It’s about allowing the weak to stand strong. And yes, YOU are weak. There is always someone stronger than you: physically, mentally, economically, politically. And if not today, tomorrow you may be weaker (if nothing else, someday you will be old and frail). Are you willing to resign yourself and your fellow man to being crushed? Or would you prefer to stand strong?

5 thoughts on “Leveling the playing field

  1. My former husband did not believe a woman could be raped. His position was the act could not happen if she was fighting back. One day, he and his much larger cousin were wrestling on the front lawn. Cousin completely wore my husband out. I’ll never know why, but I quipped,’And that’s how women are raped’. And the sun came up!
    When you are up against someone much larger/stronger/meaner than you, some kind of equalizer is needed- desperately.

    • I think it stems back to something Marc MacYoung touched on in something I posted a few days ago. We’ve become a society where people are so detached, they can’t fathom violence. As well, there’s issues of “learned helplessness” and well.. just simple ignorance or “don’t know any better”.

      But hey.. if the lightbulb finally lit, great.

      • With the ‘penny loafer’ crowd, violence is so distant from their everyday lives, they simply don’t have anything with which to relate. If they learn about such things, it’s a repetitive annoyance on the evening news or a newspaper filler, much like advertisements. In my ex-husband’s case, it was a learned and accepted idea that had never been questioned.

  2. With the ‘penny loafer’ crowd, violence is so rare they have noting to which to relate. If they hear about personal violence, it’s from repetitive articles on the evening news or fillers in the newspaper much like advertisements. In my husband’s case, it was a learned and accepted point of view that had never been questioned.

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