The Best Place in the World

Here’s something I wrote 19 years ago, when I was still in California and basically living in the depths of despair. I just came upon and re-read it, and find nothing in it of which I should repent. The thesis is “an armed society is a friendly society,” and it mostly has to do with a place where I lived roughly 40 years ago – not unlike the place where I live today.

An Armed Society Is…

Aware that I was trespassing, that I was shabby and completely out of place, I began to retreat. But one man approached and asked if he could help me. He didn’t ask it in the usual way that really means, “what are you doing here?” He asked it as if he might actually be willing to help if the request were reasonable. I said I had just followed the sound of the guns, and he asked if I wanted to join them. The suggestion was ridiculous to me, but he was serious. He offered me the loan of a shotgun. I recognized the gun from my reading on such things. It was worth more than my car.

After a couple of rounds of skeet they invited me to join them at a local restaurant. This was how I met the older and more respectable core of my entire group of friends for the next five years. These people gradually became the standard by which I judged all others, and the frightening, barren landscape revealed itself as open, uncluttered and liberating.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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9 Responses to The Best Place in the World

  1. randall king says:

    Been read this blog for years. Glad you posted that old article.

  2. Atcavage says:

    I think you made a point that Heinlien wasn’t trying to make, or was, for the wrong reasons.

    I read something else on the topic that was critical of his dueling world, but you brought up something else. His world was rude and nasty and needed the guns. Yours was nice and didn’t need the guns, but yet they had them. Interesting comparison.

  3. Jonathan says:

    Thank you for the neat insight and window on your past.
    I once had a similar where I showed up to a range to curious and ended up using a loaner gun that was quite valuable.

  4. beaner49 says:

    Some of the best people I have encountered were members of the gunnie group

  5. Tree Mike says:

    Ditto that, 49!

  6. doubletrouble says:

    You do write beautifully, Joel. It’s almost as if you should write things for other people to read with the possibility of financial recompense for the author…

  7. Joel says:

    😀 Yeah, well, I tried that. It involves more than being able to turn a pretty phrase. You gotta be an enthusiastic marketer, and if I were ever that I probably wouldn’t be a hermit now.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Very well said. I’ve been around people that I was afraid of, and I’ve been around hundreds of people that were armed and had nothing to fear. Almost no overlap. If the writer of that email knew how many people were armed in her or his presence their brain would probably spin like a top.

  9. "Lee N. Field" says:

    I remember reading that piece, in Libertarian Enterprise, back when.

To the stake with the heretic!