A weapon, from the perspective of rationally arming citizens with the capacity to be so, is a tool. A tool that serves, depending on the case, to deter by force, or to use legal violence in the face of criminal violence.
To understand the legitimacy of the issue of carrying weapons as a citizen is to understand the mechanisms of violence in human society and also to accept our era as it is.
Our society is laden with violence and we have the right to protection like every human being and as citizens of any nation.
Nothing is more taboo than violence in modern society; and yet nothing is more present, either as an act of violence, or as a threat, or as a more or less visible deterrent.
An individual, or a predatory group, ready to use violence to racketeer or loot, as is the case in every metropolis in the world, constantly observes and estimates the defence capacity of all the passers-by he comes across. A demonstration, a retreat of the forces of law and order, and predatory violence explodes.
But in reality, it is always present. This is the reality of our cities. There are some very simple and true things to say about violence. And yet it is very difficult to say them. Not because they are difficult in themselves to formulate; but rather because they are embarrassing truths, and there is only a weak tradition of formulating them.
For example, there is a long tradition of formulating truths about death; and so a man who wants to formulate them anew can rely on this tradition. On the subject of violence, there are reports of men who have experienced violence and the exercise of violence. These statements are scattered and are not brought together in a coherent whole, in a set of human experiences. How can we simply describe violence, how can we define it?
Violence is first of all the use of physical force to determine an order, for example, the order of access to a resource. Everything that interests men can be considered as a resource, natural resources, the material wealth produced by work, but also, for example, means of expression, access to which can be blocked by force, threats and violence.
Violence is the use of coercion between men to regulate access to resources, understood in the broadest sense - and this applies to all living beings since both violence and death are universal. In the desert, I push you in front of a well: you can stand aside and wait to drink, or fight and perhaps drink permanently first. In the street, I have money on me, the fruit of my work: the predator wants to take it by violence, that is to say, to have pre-eminence over me in accessing the resources produced by my work.
The predator sees a very beautiful girl, but he knows that he will never have her free consent: he wants to take her by violence, or kill her to avenge her humiliation. This type of activity is not accidental: it is bound to happen again in a disorganized society like ours. Our society is not a natural society, whose members are all in solidarity.
The image of the carnivore is a traditional one: it takes the life of an animal to feed itself or its young. If I put you before me for access to a vital resource, it is because I am marking that our bond is more important than the resource, more important than life itself.
My thirsty child will drink before me. But if, when attacked, I give up defending myself, it is my children, my people, whom I give up defending, and who perhaps will be humiliated or die.
Self-defence is not only a right, it is a political duty. It is a necessity for the survival of the people. That is why strength and courage have always been virtues: strength and courage are the foundation of human life and history.
The root of violence consists in the fact that for each person, his life is always worth more than that of others, apart from exceptional ties and heroism, and that no one can spontaneously accept to yield to others without reason.
It follows that everyone wants to put themselves before others in all matters, from food to sexuality or friendship. And this is not possible. It is essential in a human group to find and set rules for arbitration. In situations of disagreement within a community, arbitration is needed. It is not possible for unresolved disagreements to accumulate without destroying any link between people, without disorder overriding order.
The disorder is dangerous both inside and outside the country. A human group in the civil war is powerless against its enemies, and all groups are surrounded by competitors, that is, groups that want access to the same resources as your own and can quickly become enemies.
It is possible to discuss, to go through symbols, through rules. But nothing makes the acceptance of discussion certain, except the possibility of the use of force.
That is why every state has armed forces, law enforcement agencies and judges who can use force as a last resort. Conflict, and therefore violence, is inevitable in human life according to human history and memory. It is not the result of the moral choices of the individuals involved: it is necessary.
Anyone who wants to go through it by refusing to defend himself will be crushed by others, simply because the moderate use of violence is, in a good number of situations, a rational choice - the most rational choice for survival.
Didn't Gandhi himself write in 1920: I truly believe that where there is only a choice between cowardice and violence, I would counsel violence. ...] That is why I would advise those who believe in violence to learn how to handle weapons.
Force is about forcing others to do what you want or destroying them.
Force is the unquestionable constraint, through the effective threat of death: walk or die. For this threat to be effective, it must be carried out regularly and publicly. If the sovereign, if the social group is attacked, the aggressor must be punished so that the reputation of the power remains effective in guaranteeing peace and security. It is not an archaic or irrational reaction, but the balance of the social world that must be restored.
If a country were to suffer a military attack, revenge would be expected and inevitable. If the forces of law and order are humiliated in a neighbourhood, not reacting is an abandonment of the neighbourhood to local criminal powers that also use violence. It is the very definition of the forces of law and order that authorises them to legitimately use violence.
Finally, if aggressors safely profit from the fruits of their aggression, there is no peace and security for anyone. The last resort is always force. It is the only way to decide if mediation fails.
Aggression is always a failure of the law of the community.
A state that is no longer respected can no longer ensure peace: this is the road to civil war. Today we live in a state that struggles to ensure its respect within, if not outside, its borders. We are not alone: several large countries are on the brink of civil war, starting with the United States. Citizens are a recourse in the face of this dangerous weakness.
From the citizen's point of view, i.e. from an individual perspective, the test of strength is psychologically the confrontation between the internalized image of one's ability to use the force that an individual retains and reality. If the trial of strength is a scathing denial of a man's expectations, it is a humiliation.
Humiliation is the brutal reframing of expectations by reality. It is an act of universal power. A slap is a direct, brutal humiliation. A denial of the right to express oneself, a refusal to enter a public place, manifestly unequal treatment is a discreet humiliation.
For example, you have to obey all the so-called sanitary measures, otherwise, you risk big problems. You see other people who don't obey them and don't risk anything. The humiliation of citizens is molecularly widespread throughout society, to maintain the unjust order we know. Like others, and even more so, our society is a society of humiliation denied and euphemised. Violence or threats say: no use arguing, you have no choice.
The public humiliation of one man leads to the submission of many. There is a close link between the exercise of violence, humiliation and the notion of self-esteem. The judgements on one's defence possibilities, which are internalised, meaning that each person retains a picture of the social relationships to which he has been subjected. Each person retains greater or lesser capacities for resistance.
In too many situations of strength, modern men perceive this inner voice that tells them: you have no choice. Citizens are now psychologically weakened en masse. The forces of law and order, and today's court decisions, advise assaulted citizens to give away their bags, telephones and clothes without question, for fear of being severely assaulted by their aggressors.
Aggressors are arrested and released the day after they are arrested. The court judgements do not compensate for the humiliation or material loss of the victims. Judges accept complaints from predators against their victims who have defended themselves.
Judges condemn those who wound aggressors without gravity while defending themselves, including in their own homes, including members of the forces of law and order or military personnel doing their duty to intervene and protect.
Citizens are trained to accept humiliation. What can these judges say to young girls who are at risk of being assaulted? Violence is at the heart of social processes. Social processes are organised by violence and by the processes of limiting and framing violence.
Weber's definition of the modern state, the state being the social group that reserves a monopoly on the exercise of legitimate violence, shows both the determining role of violence and that of its control in the functioning of any nation.
The state must effectively reserve the monopoly of the definition of legitimacy, i.e. the control of violence, under pain of civil war. Civil peace is what ensures that the defence of the nation will be organised and assured.
There is no obligation, however, to reserve to the state the monopoly on the exercise of violence. Indeed, the State exercises its sovereignty by a delegation of the Nation. The Nation can therefore directly exercise legitimate violence, as in a partisan war against an invader.
On the other hand, the state cannot prohibit the legitimate defence of its citizens in the event of aggression without becoming a tyranny, without siding with the aggressors.
Today we live in a society where violence is a daily occurrence. However, the dominant mentality would like a society without any violence. Everything possible is being done to disarm citizens physically and mentally: not only the ban on carrying weapons but also, I repeat, the ever-tighter restrictions on the right to defend oneself, including for the forces of law and order.
The absence of legitimate violence outside the State is, however, only an illusion of a society without violence. Open borders without surveillance, streets without law enforcement, citizens educated to humiliation and repentance and forced to remain defenceless are the conditions for the multiplication of predators, and therefore of acts of violence.
Most terrorists were first and foremost delinquents. Most perpetrators of violence have dozens of mentions in their criminal record, including violence and rebellion. With no consequences, they are left in the street with a feeling of omnipotence reinforced after each release.
War, Clausewitz said, is the continuation of politics by other means. In this Cold Civil War situation, based on the observation of antagonistic groups, moving from isolated aggressions to low intensity, even high-intensity civil war scenes, the great strength of the individuals or groups attacking is to blend in with the daily movements of the population.
As long as the aggressors are satisfied with violent robberies, it is still possible to recommend not resisting, to submit, and to give away one's possessions, with an appearance of rationality. But predation is no longer the only mode of urban violence.
When we witness rapes, murders, assassinations, mass terrorist attacks, recommending not to resist appears for what this advice is worth, which is the content demanded by the dominant ideology: consent of countries to its own destruction.
In this context, on the ground, attacks are very rapid, and the disappearance of the aggressors often makes the intervention of the forces of law and order too late. An individual who throws himself on another to slit his throat and decapitate him may do so in a few minutes, before any possible intervention by the forces of law and order.
Thus, armed and trained, law-abiding and rigorously supervised citizens, with the capacity to intervene immediately in the event of a homicidal attack, constitute a definite operational interest. A very sharp reduction in the number of homicidal acts will be the first expected result, both in terms of the capacity to stop the killers, but also in terms of the deterrence that these armed citizens, who are not recognisable by the killers, will represent.
The carrying of weapons by citizens is also a formidable lever for the rebirth of the citizenry. This project rediscovers the living sources of the former national service. National service was not only used to stir up citizens and make them aware of their belonging to the national community.
It also served to anchor in the population the right and duty to defend their country, because defending the homeland is nothing but defending one's own. This is the meaning of the words of the Marseillaise. "They have come (...) to cut the throats of our daughters and our companions... at arms, citizens!
The carrying of weapons by citizens thus makes it possible to train citizens in the duty of defence, both theoretical and practical, and in the legal limits of this exercise. It rehabilitates the right to defend oneself, the fight against oppression and humiliation of modest people by criminals.
It contrasts responsible collective force with the war on terrorism, rather than the impotence of moral proclamations and the extension of social control mechanisms. This is why, when well-conceived, the carrying of weapons by citizens is not a political measure, i.e. anecdotal and ineffective. On the contrary, it constitutes a shield and a lever for national pride and civic freedom to be regained.
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