Imagine if the 2nd Amendment read “Because the right of self defense is an innate right of all living creatures, the right of a citizen to learn as many martial arts as he or she desires, including up to an including the use of weapons, shall not be infringed.”
Of course, they didn’t use the term “martial arts” at that point in time, but still. Imagine something that codified our right to self defense but didn’t specify firearms.
At the time the firearm was considered the “great equalizer.” A weak shopkeeper with a gun might be more powerful, at least briefly, than a skilled swordsman. Assuming he had a loaded weapon on hand, of course. It was the era’s version of “hope you can get your gun out before the bad guy shoots you.”
There was a time when anyone with any money whatsoever couldn’t go anywhere without a guard, if he or she wasn’t stupid. Before guns. Before modern culture. See, back in the day if crops failed there were no bailouts. If crops failed, farmers could become bandits in a matter of days. Desperation leads to desperate acts.
I think this notion that “guns = self-defense” is contributing to some bad shit in our country. And most people realize it too. We’ve tried to suppress the non-lethal forms of violence while allowing the means of lethal violence to remain relatively easy to obtain. The guy who used to punch his boss and walk out now walks out, gets a gun, and returns to shoot the boss. And others unlucky enough to be in the area.
Penn and Teller did an episode of their bullshit show “Bullshit” (I dislike Penn intensely, btw) about how effective the martial arts are in self defense. (Penn’s a Libertarian. I’m pretty sure his argument was “guns work better.”) Wanker.
I’ve used the martial arts several times to save my ass, and others. And not only do those trained reflexes work in a fight, they also help me react quickly in other circumstances. I once snatched a flailing air hose out of the air before it could whack me in the face. It helps reduce reaction time, training synapses to fire faster.
Just the other day I fell down the stairs. If not for my training on falling I could have seriously injured myself. But some of my oldest training came to the fore and I landed without serious injury… though I hurt for days.
Here’s why I think kung fu is better than guns. I’ve never heard of a kid finding kung fu magazines and accidentally killing people with them. Strong-arm robberies using martial arts are quite rare. People are not having lethal martial arts battles in the streets. Guys aren’t killing their girlfriend’s kids practicing Tae-Kwon-Do.
No one can steal your Karate. And you don’t have to buy a trigger lock or a safe to store it in.