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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
The Honorable Firearm

It has been said that the gun has no honor. I beg to differ. Many have cited the ease of use, or perhaps more accurately, its ease of “kill” to be the deciding factor. Anyone who has trained for any substantial amount of time knows that this is largely a false sentiment.

The sword is the paramount example of honor when discussing weapons. With its sweeping artistry, its flowing motions, and its intensive training requirements, it holds the place of honor among weaponry as the most “noble”.

However, I would contend that the gun is a more noble and honorable weapon to carry.

Why?

The premise of nobility stems from the idea that you are placing all the responsibility of honorable function on the item in question. Not only is this illogical, but it can be very dangerous from the standpoint of safety consciousness. I concede that a sword may in fact require more training, perhaps even a lifetime of such, but are not firearms also a “lifetime mastery” pursuit as well?

I prefer to view the concept as a more personal ideal. When you carry a firearm, you are carrying a lethal and precise (in most cases) tool that is designed for only one purpose: To kill. It can be wielded more easily than a sword, especially in an enclosed environment, or vehicle. It requires little training to operate initially, and it is an advantageous choice when concealment is necessary. Why are these things considered detractors when it comes to honor? Does difficulty a weapon noble make? If that were the case, all one would have to carry to “corner the market” on honor would be something that is unlikely to effectively defend oneself. Like, say, a Cupie Doll, a Banana Cream Pie, or a Member of Congress.

Basically, the weight of nobility and honor falls squarely on your shoulders. The true honor of the gun lies in its relative ease of use and your decision as to whether or not (and how) to use it. You may only have to train for two weeks to consistently hit a four inch target at seven yards, but this only magnifies the point that you are now the true bearer of honor instead of the gun.

Rather than skill being the deciding factor, you have morals as your judge. Instead of artistry, you have efficiency. In the place of raw strength, you substitute intelligence (one should hope).

There is no shame in carrying an efficient means of dealing with that which chooses to deal with you. We progress as a species, and someday (O Glorious Day!) we will have something even more effective and devastating than our current choices of weaponry. This in no way detracts from one’s ability to act and carry in an honorable fashion; it only makes one more efficient.

To conclude, I suppose that I have just always seen the gun as a catalyst for a more necessarily refined thought process. The consequences are more easily achieved, and are therefore more drawn in stark moral contrast. Due to this, I believe that the gun is quite possibly one of the most honorable weapons ever seen and carried by Man.

-EvilMonk:22a:
 

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No weapon has honor its impossible for them to have this trait. People have Honor, a weapon no matter its design or intended use has no capacity for good or evil and because of this no inherent honor. They can be used to defend life or take life, they can make victims or survivors, and can protect just as easily as make orphans and widows. What determines they're final purpose is the person and his chosen way of using that weapon. The highest amount of honor a weapon alone can achieve is to sit on display for centuries and slowly rust away to oblivion. To never be used to hurt, injure, or murder anyone. Other then this its existence is a neutral one with no glory, no honor, and no sentiment except what we assign it. What we assign it, because all honor, courage, and righteousness comes from you.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Exactly my point, Ramen (love the name, couldn't live without it!).

Assigning "honor" to an inanimate object leads one to the conclusion that it can have a dishonorable purpose as well.

Not that we have EVER seen that happen...
 

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Great post, and good to see a fellow Kentuckian engaging in some seriously thought provoking writing. This begets lots of questions...

1.) Is it honorable to defend yourself with, er...say a potato peeler? Or an automobile?

2.) Obviously, defending oneself with fists and feet might be considered honorable. What about biting? :)
 

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I agree with the concept that honor is found only in people and their actions. Inanimate objects may be beautiful, or useful. But they cannot have honor. Honor lies in the user.

I could be a world-class surgeon, then take a scalpel and kill or maim someone in a fit of rage. The same scalpel in my hand can remove a tumor, reconstruct a face, and save a life. The scalpel does not determine its use. Its owner does.

I can buy a vehicle. With it I can take someone who has been injured to the hospital for treatment. Or, I can get drunk and injure/kill in a collision. The vehicle is neutral. It is neither good nor bad. The outcome of its use is dependent on the one who owns/uses/wields it.

You or I can have honor. Inanimate objects possess no such value.
 

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I’ll agree that some weapons are more elegant than others, but honor purely rest in the one whom chooses to or not to use it.

In the age of swords, one had to not only master the weapon, but he/she also had to keep in top physical shape to use it. In eastern cultures mastering a weapon went hand in hand with martial arts, and physical, and mental training.

Today in the day of the firearm, we see in the morning news, where some BG shot some other BG with a cheap Saturday night special, last night. The normal disagreement is over women, money, or drugs, but the results are the same.

Someone with little or no training, had killed someone over a simple disagreement. A few centuries ago, the outcome would have been the same only a knife in the back would have been the weapon of choice, and if you go way back I believe the first murder was committed with a rock to the head.

Those of us who what to defend ourselves, have to train with our weapon of choice. Today that is normally a firearms, and while that training may have some physical aspects, it is nothing near what was required a couple centuries ago.
 

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A great post in a philosophic sense. And I agree in theory and spirit.

Basically, the weight of nobility and honor falls squarely on your shoulders.
The above is the operative phrase, in my humble opinion.

However, if and when it comes to the protection of those I love, honor is very low on my priority list - unless honor and survival can be used interchangeably.
 

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It was somewhat common for the Japanese samurai class to bestow a name on a sword. A katana in a well-written novel was given the name "Iss Hogai", or "For Life". The intent being that the wielder would use the sword to protect innocent life.
The bar for personal conduct has certainly been lowered these days. Its good to hear that some folks still take concepts such as honor to heart.
 

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Violence, and the instruments with which it may be effected, are pure. It has no color of morality or conscience. The world is full of violence, from volcanoes, hurricanes, genocide, to self defense. Where natural violence, such as a tornado or a wolf killing a lamb, would seem to be a matter of chance, human violence can be said to have an element of choice. It is that choice that gives honor or dishonor meaning.

Quemadmoeum gladius neminem occidit, occidentis telum est."
(A sword is never a killer, it's just a tool in the killer's hands.)
literally (Just as the sword kills nobody, it's a killer's tool.)
-Lucius Annaeus Seneca "the Younger" (ca. 4 BC-65 AD)
 

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We shouldn't confuse "respect" with "honor"....unless you are saying that it is a "honor" to carry a weapon.

In the words of Robert DeNiro:

"Some people respect the badge...but everyone respects the gun."

Respect the gun.....but don't honor it.
 

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Interesting discussion. It is possible that a Cult of the Firearm has developed in today's world and that 'Cult' is far different that the Cult of the Sword. The main difference is that anyone can fire a gun. As much as those on this site practice they are probably going to have to defend themselves against a thug who has litle or no training, but much resolve.
So, we get to the moral ethics of 'everyman' in the defense of life with an easilly acquired inanimate object.
 

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"Honor", like any other admirable trait, is a cultural benchmark. To some primitive tribes it is considered honorable to eat the heart of slain enemies. In their culture the act is well-respected, morally/religiously acceptable & gains both status and "honor". The gun has simply lessened the physical requirement of self-defense (or fatal aggression) from the skilled, powerful use of a stone, stick, spear, arrow or sword to the 4-5 lb. wiggle of an index finger. This capability increases the percentage of people within that culture who may exercise their new-found "strength". There will always be "honor" associated with the prudent use of the highest form of deadly technology available to any culture. Yet it is the prudence, not the power, upon which the trait is judged.
 

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I think that the idea of nobility in weaponry is related to the mode in which they are used, and the interactions between two opponents, moreso that the weapon itself. Certainly there have been occasions were gunfights were considered noble, espeically duels, such as where Alexander Hamilton died in a duel with Aaron Burr. But how one uses a gun affects the perception of nobility. It is not considered noble to shoot someone in the back (or to stab/impail someone in the back with a knife or sword), or to shoot an unarmed opponent. In the real world, there may be situations where either of these could be justified homicides even though they aren't considered "noble." I think swords were generally considered noble because it required opponents to interact, and even to converse with each other during the encounter, thus recognizing the humanity in each other.

I would disagree that the only purpose of a gun is to kill. The functional purpose of a gun is to stop a threat. Often this is accomplished by the mere presence (or perception of presence) of a gun, without the gun being drawn or pointed. Even when the gun is shot at an attacker, the purpose is not to kill but to stop the threat. Now this is a distinction of intention on the part of the operator, but an important one nonetheless. A gun has many other purposes as well, such as being an instrument in sporting, a piece of art, etc.
 

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I recoil whenever I read/hear an anti-RKBA sheep (or a wolf in sheep's clothing) refer to an "evil gun". Any condemnation of a gun of that sort is attributing ethical properties to an inanimate object.

My recoil to a "Noble Gun" wasn't as automatic, but it took little thought that to see that the idea was a mirror image of "evil gun" and my recoil is equal.

:aargh4:

BTW -- not to say that I don't have a "Noble shotgun" (Nobel Manufacturing Co. of Haydenville, Mass operated from 1953 to 1971). FWIIW, it's not a good gun. I inherited it and just haven't gotten around to sell it. It's a pump that I'd classify as low grade. The trigger group looks like pot metal and the action bar/collar also looks like pot metal. OTOH, I have an A5 I would call a good gun, a sweet gun, a forgiving gun, etc. Note that all those adjectives when applied to people could carry moral/ethical attributions. However, when applied to an inanimate object they are assessments of function, or expressions of the eye of the beholder -- not moral/ethical attributions.

Now, if we want to attribute value laden adjectives to firearms lets keep them to how well the firarms shoot, to how well they function, how well they are made, to how good they look, etc and let's leave the moral/ethical attributes to the antis.
 

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The "honor" given to any inanimate object is rooted in its use. Any type of weapon has, is and will be used crudely and for base purpose. Matters not whether it be sword, gun, or fist. The honorable weapon is used by an honorable being in honorable enterprise.
 

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A great post in a philosophic sense. And I agree in theory and spirit.



The above is the operative phrase, in my humble opinion.

However, if and when it comes to the protection of those I love, honor is very low on my priority list - unless honor and survival can be used interchangeably.
Defending your family is the definition of honor in my book.

OP,
Great post!
 

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I agree with the concept that honor is found only in people and their actions. Inanimate objects may be beautiful, or useful. But they cannot have honor. Honor lies in the user.
Boy do I agree with this statement! + 1000 on this!
 

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It's a direct extension of the character of the person holding it, much like a glove, stick, knife or pen. But it's the person with the character, honorable or otherwise. The tool in hand has zero to do with it.
 

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It's a direct extension of the character of the person holding it, much like a glove, stick, knife or pen. But it's the person with the character, honorable or otherwise. The tool in hand has zero to do with it.
+1 :wave:
 
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