Friday, July 17, 2009

A Tale of Two Tools


Above are two tools. A handgun, and a hammer. Aside from a small degree of complexity, there is little difference between the two.

The hammer is a standard claw hammer purchased from Harbor Freight for $7. It has a rubberized grip to make it more comfortable to use, and blue paint to make it more attractive.

It can do many things depending on who is using it, and for what task.

A carpenter can build dinner table, a blacksmith can use it to shape metal into other tools, a camper can use it to drive a tent stake into the ground, a painter can use it to reseal his paint cans, a salvager can use it to break down furniture to reusable wood pieces, a sculptor could use it to make a timeless work of art, a humanitarian can use it to build homes for the homeless.

A thief could use it to break a window to get into a house, a mugger could use it to hit his target on the head, a home invader could use it to pry or smash open a home's telephone box to cut the phone lines, a mob enforcer could use it to threaten a shopkeep into paying "protection" money, an abusive husband can use it to break his wife's fingers, a terrorist could use it to smash the teeth of his captive.

The hammer does not object to being used to strike a defenseless woman, nor does it enjoy being used to build shelter for the needy. It is a tool.


The handgun is a Springfield Armory copy of a Model 1911 .45 caliber semi-automatic handgun. This particular model replicated the characteristics of the handgun issued to US soldiers in World War 2. It was purchased for $450 from a California gun shop. Aside from the Chip McCormic trigger, the NightHawk Custom 8 round magazine, and some polishing, it is just as it came from the factory.

It can do many things depending on who is using it, and for what task.

A security guard could use it to deter criminals, a police officer could use it to convince a criminal to give up, a reenactor could use it to honor the soldiers of WW2, a collector could place it in a display case, a senior citizen could use it to protect her home from the crime-heavy neighborhood she can't afford to move out of, a gun rights supporter could exercise his right to free speech by unloaded open carrying it to show support for CCW reform, an in-home nurse could use it to protect himself in the dangerous neighborhoods his work takes him to, a single mother working her second job as a waitress on the night shift could use it to feel secure on her walk to the bus stop, a farmer could use it to shoot the dangerous snakes on his land, a lone hiker could open carry it to show he is not an easy target to thieves, someone could trade it for a $200 gift card at a gun buy back, a father could reveal it to discourage the men surrounding him and his children, a professional target shooter could use it to set a new record, an artist could melt it down to make an anti-gun sculpture, a cafeteria worker could use it to stop a deranged murderer from continuing his killing spree.

A mugger could use it to convince his targets to give up their wallets, an idiot could use it to celebrate the new year by shooting it in the air, a gang member could shoot it at a house from his car to terrorize the occupants, a thug could brandish it to threaten someone, a mob enforcer could point it at a shopkeep to scare him into paying, a recently divorced father of three could use it to kill his family and himself, an anti-social lunatic could use it to kill as many innocent people as possible before killing himself.

The handgun does not object to being used to claim innocent lives, nor does it enjoy being used to protect them. It is a tool.

The moral and philosophical implications of the action taken with the tool lie with the human being using it. Because only a human can understand the moral and philosophical implications of the action taken.

3 comments:

Rush baby said...

God why put that trigger of homoerotcism on it?

The A1 is perfect. My granddad had 15 dead Nazis to his, why make a clone suck?

ErnestThing said...

I find the extended trigger easier to pull. Aside from shortening the pull, and reset, it puts the trigger where I can put more rearward pressure without wobbling left or right.

I didn't buy it as a replica, I bought it as a working 1911, so anything that helps it work gets put on. Anything that doesn't help, stays off.

da_truth36 said...

This has to be one of the best arguments against any type of gun control I have ever read. I've long thought that this is something the politicians have lost sight of, the fact that a handgun (or shotgun, or rifle) by itself is not the evil, it is merely a tool. It is the one who wields said tool that determines the positive or negative value of that tool. A hammer, shovel or baseball bat can be almost as deadly in the wrong hands. Nothing wrong with that trigger, btw. I had a Colt Officers Model, didn't care much for the pull so I installed an adjustable trigger similar to that. One of the sweetest shooting handguns I've owned.