Victims and volunteers

Two articles of interest:

First one: ‘World peace’ hitcher is murdered

Why is anyone surprised by this? The world is not a Frank Capra movie. Its a place full of human beings who are quite capable, and sometimes eager, to hurt you very badly for no good reason whatsoever.

And another one from Scrotum Free America NPR: A Victim Treats His Mugger Right

I posted about this elsewhere and was met with this:

I would say that the guy in the story evened the odds a lot. Certainly, as a 56-year-old woman with no weapons skills, I have a better shot at his style than an aggressive one.

My reply:
Let me gently suggest that if, given a similar situation, your only recourse is docile compliance with a desperate hope that you wont be hurt (or worse), perhaps taking the opportunity to learn a simple and fundamental weapon skill (such as purchasing a small handgun, learning how to use it, and obtaining a license to carry it) might be worth exploring. Physical limitations imposed by age and gender in a possibly violent confrontation are greatly mitigated by proper basic gunhandling.

And, yes, there are people who feel that when their lives are directly threatened – as in right here, right now, dark-alley-with-a-knifewielding-mugger – their best recourse is to somehow ‘defuse’, ‘de-escalate’, ‘ramp down’ or otherwise becalm the situation with soothing words and rational discourse. Morgues have seen more of these optimists than not. Certainly it may work in some situations, but playing the lottery with your life at stake seems like a bad practice.

Rational discourse usually achieves its best results with rational people. A person willing to possibly kill you over a matter of money (or, if youre an attractive woman, something a little more personal) is probably not terribly rational. Even if they are, is your life worth so little to you that you feel your best course of action is to gamble on your assailant’s better nature?

“Never appeal to a man’s better nature, he may not have one. Appeal to his self interest instead.” Survival is everyone’s top self-interest. A mugger may not have a ‘better nature’ that will compel him to desist out of some on-the-spot moral epiphany. However, he almost certainly will ‘come to jesus’ when he realizes he brought a knife to a gunfight. I will wager a large amount of money that more violent confrontations have been ‘nipped in the bud’ with “Get out of here before I shoot you” than with “Put the knife down and let’s talk about this”.

I think there is nothing wrong with believing that there can be rational, well-reasoned alternatives to violent confrontation. However, the moment to try to learn to fly a plane is not when the pilot has a heart attack and keels over. Similarly, the time to try peaceful, nonviolent resolutions is not when you’ve got a knife pointed at your belt buckle.

“There are no victims, only volunteers” is a quote I remember from somewhere. There is absolutely nothing, not one thing, noble about submitting to a violent criminal if you have the ability not to with reasonable expectation of success. No great cosmic, karmic destiny is fulfilled by allowing yourself to victimized. Even famous ‘peaceful’ icons such as Ghandi and King were open to the idea of violent defense of self when necessary.

I say this not as some sort of ‘gun nut’, ‘right wing nutjob’ or ‘racist hater’ (although all these descriptions are probably applicable in some regard or another), but as a person who has the highest respect of an individuals personal rights. A person threatening me with harm in an attempt to take away my property (or my life) is an attack on several fundamental rights that, to me, are more important than that attackers well-being. If he’s just a ‘misunderstood youth’ then theres absolutely no point in him becoming a ‘misunderstood adult’. He needs a fast lesson that when you violate another persons most basic rights its going to cost him a nap on the concrete sidewalk, a trip to the hospital and a few years in a cell.

Nonviolent responses do have a place in the scheme of things but the time for that option is not when your being mugged.

0 thoughts on “Victims and volunteers

  1. I really get upset at people who are always saying “Just give them what they want”. That is no guarantee that they won’t kill/injure you afterwards. Besides, all you are doing is encouraging their bad behavior. If someone got hurt every time they tried to rob someone, sooner or later either they would get killed or smarten up. Problem is solved either way. Violence isn’t always the solution, but sometimes it is the best solution.
    Just my opinion.

  2. As a rural DA who prosecutes around 600 cases per year, I can attest that these attitudes are fatal. Many predators will hate you simply because you are a middle-class person with a job. They need no more rationale than that. I always look at such situations, and think: what a difference a J-frame Smith in the pocket would have made.

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