"An armed society is a polite society" - - Robert Heinlein.
Thanks to Gareth Brickman for the article and the title to the blog entry through the Mises Institute.
That figure from the American Old West, the gunslinger, a man-at-arms, as popularized by Hollywood, performing a vital and important function, finding a modern parallel, those private security concerns that go by the name of Blackwater, Sandline, Executive Outcomes. Too, during the Rhodesian Bush War, persons serving in the capacity of stock detective.
NOT government officials or law enforcement but private for-hire individuals and companies providing security and using quasi-military weaponry and tactics to do so.
Trained and quite often combat experienced military men whose skills and courage are needed, the archetype from the Old West in this regard being Tom Horn. Tracker/Translator/Stock Detective. Persons NOT operating outside of the law, but within, but willing to take risks for gain and do so fully aware of the danger involved.
From the Gareth Brickman article:
"Defending the Gunslinger"
"gunslinger" to refer to an armed man who offers the service of his presence and skills to protect a client's material interests."
"The gunslinger provides solutions to several problems":
* "First, he is willing to absorb the risks his employer would take"
* "Second, he is a specialist . . . more skilled and accurate with a firearm"
* "Finally, the gunslinger actually acts in part for the broader, law-abiding community."
The private security concerns ARE a growth business? I am not thinking of the unarmed security guard who merely observes and reports. I am thinking of armed men with military experience and training who function in the quasi-military role. Sandline, Blackwater, Executive Outcomes fill a void created by ineffectual or totally absent government!
* The American Old West did contain a goodly amount of armed men, but if you stayed away from saloons, gambling dens and brothels you probably would lead a long peaceful life.
* The American cowboy generally carried a sidearm for three reasons, none of which had to deal with shoot-outs with other bands of cowboys. Those reasons being: 1. Shoot skunks on sight [rabid]. 2. Shoot a wild mustang horse out of control. 3. Shoot a wild and out of control Texas long horn steer.
* Almost all men of military age living in the Old West had some sort of American Civil War combat experience and were not to be trifled with armed or otherwise. Courtesy and politeness were A MUST! "An armed society is a polite society"