Dearest Mugger,

At first , in this letter, I had wanted to apologize to your parents, namely your mother, if she’s the one doing your laundry. The mess you were in, when you came home that night five years ago, was no doubt a memorable one. But then I had second thoughts, it is her, I concluded after all this time, that owes me a heap of gratitude - that is if you arn’t already dead. No, if it wern’t for me, my girlfriend would have probably gone too far that night and put you in the ground sooner. No doubt you remember her ...

Niki lived in Atlanta all her life and has been street wise ever since I met her in Pittsburgh at the Art Institute. It was one of her many attributes I found appealing. Aside from being tall, good looking black woman with a great laugh and a super talented designer, she was a ‘bottom-line’ type of gal. I always knew where I stood with her, and as we’ve gotten close, I knew where she stood on allot of issues. There was nothing to hide with Niki, everything was on the table or there wasn’t a table. She didn’t have allot of friends, most couldn’t handle her candor, but the ones she had were true. I’m proud to be one of them, and glad, very glad that I was with her that night in Little Five Points, and not with somebody else. 

... you called her ‘sister’ after you drew your blade, and did your mugger thing as the streets taught you, or rather, as you let them teach you. You did have a choice, you know. But hopefully you didn't make the same mistake twice, and do the same thing a few nights after our encounter. Because there might not be a good-hearted person among them. But I don't think you did, the expression in your face, the tears in your eyes and shaking like a leaf. Then you fell on your knees when she showed you what was in her purse, besides money, and she said, "Your not my brother. You are scum and deserve to be put out ..." When she pulled back the hammer of her shiny new silver 38, I knew I had to say something. Luckily I did or I fear she would have squeezed a few off. There wasn't anybody else around and it was dark and devoid of any street lights where we were. "Niki, lets not ruin our lives here, tonight," is what stopped her.

She didn’t spend allot of time in this part of the city and advised we went somewhere else for dinner. She called it ‘the drug side of town,’ but I had never eaten Jamaican food and according to her this place, called Chicken Jerk, was the best in town, “unless my Ma be cooking it.” Her family was originally from Jamaica. She first offered to make it for me herself, but eating this food so much while she was growing up she hardly had the stomach for it any longer, and rarely ate it. She had a burger and salad to my 'house special.' Considering all that followed, we should have gone to Lenix Mall first and eaten there; where we had planned on going afterwords. She wanted to unleash her extravagance on me as she usually does when we get together. Her expenditures most of which was equal or exceeded the flight down here from Pennsylvania. 

In Defense Of Freedom
Tennessee Lawmakers Allow Guns in Bars

"I wasn't going to kill him, but my blood was up", she told me later, as to why she fired off a round anyway. "Just wanted to teach him a lesson." The bullet is probably still in that oak tree if you want to look for it. Can't remember the name of the street, but I guess you know it by heart and had possibly checked it out soon after it happened. I don't know, and don't really know what you've learned from that night, I only want to tell you - I've learned allot from that night; namely and quite blatantly, I've learned that we can never count on the police, and always count on yourself, that is, if you are protected.
And another thing I thought of in this time, if you still exist at all; you're parents shouldn't be all that thankful for me, they should be more thankful for the second amendment of the constitution. Because if it wasn't for this law Niki couldn't have had a gun, and you could have. And you most-likely would be doing the same thing, or in prison, or dead or whatever.
Well, I just wanted to let you know, dear mugger, that we can be thankful that you only shit your pants that night. It could have been worse. For you and your mother.
Best regards,

And, PS, if your wondering about Niki, (God love her) I just got back from her funeral. I guess she wasn't street-smart enough. It was a night she was out with her family, and just didn't bother to bring it. I'll miss her. What a gal !

 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 USM C (Ret) 

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