Violence

This is going to be something somewhat different from my typical political rant, but it was something inspired by a video a friend on Facebook, Charlie Harlan, posted about the use of violence. That video forms the basis of much of what I am about to say, but I am also throwing in my own thoughts as well. What I’m about to say may shock some of you; but to tell you the truth, maybe that’s what people need.

What is violence? Well, depending upon where you seek your answer, it can be many things. The dictionary defines violence as: behavior involving physical force intended to hurt, damage, or kill someone or something. The law says that violence is: the unlawful exercise of physical force or intimidation by the exhibition of such force. But are those accurate descriptions?

Violence is like a hammer, or a handgun; it is a tool that can be used for both good and bad. If you were to pick up a hammer and bash someone’s brains in, you would be arrested for committing violence upon your victim; either in the form of aggravated assault or attempted murder. Yet society would not call for a ban on the private ownership of hammers; saying only carpenters have a need for hammers.

The same goes for automobiles; if a person gets behind the wheel, and with purposeful intent, drives it into a crowd of people, they can be charged with the same crimes. Yet if someone were to do such a thing, most likely would not hear a public outcry calling for the banning of private vehicle ownership.

So why is it that the one item that is specifically designed to bring violence to another human being is the only one that people are so afraid of; the one that every time someone uses one in the commission of a horrific crime, that we hear a call for tougher laws regarding what type firearm people are allowed to own; what size magazine they are capable of holding; and even who can own these type weapons?

I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating; I have many guns…not as many as some of my friends…but more than some others. It is none of your business how many I own, and it should not be of concern to my government either…until I use one in the commission of a crime. Not once I have pointed any of my guns at another human being; let alone pointed one at someone and then pulled the trigger. So, my guns have never committed violence against someone else; yet according to the typical views of many, my guns are inherently violent. So what, are mine broken? Should I take them back to where I purchased them and tell them I want a gun that randomly kills people of its own accord?

Guns are simply a tool; the violence comes when an individual picks one up and uses it against another individual. But the violence is also a tool. It’s funny, people can sit in the comfort of their homes and watch a boxing match, or a mixed martial arts competition, and think nothing of it. Yet aren’t those events nothing more than controlled violence; violence with certain rules to ensure that no serious harm comes to either competitor?

If I were to walk up to you and punch you in the nose, you would consider that an unlawful use of violence and probably retaliate or seek to press charges against me. But in a boxing match the two competitors can punch each other in the nose as many times as they want; and they are not charged with a crime. Yet isn’t the actual act of punching someone in the nose the same thing in both instances; it is just the circumstances in which that violence is used which change our perspective of whether it is acceptable or not.

So what is it that dictates how society views the use of violence? I think it is just like anything else, there are a multitude of influences that form our opinions of when violence is acceptable. Some might believe that violence is not the answer; that people should turn the other cheek and never resort to it.

Now that might be fine in a Utopian society where violence does not exist; where people coexist peacefully amongst each other. Unfortunately, as we all know, we don’t live in such a Utopian dream world; violence can come upon us anywhere and at any time, and if we wish to protect ourselves and our property, we must be ready and willing to meet violence with violence of our own.

Yet, haven’t we seen that society frowns upon the use of violence as an answer to violence? How many laws do we have that tell us when, where, and under what circumstances we can use deadly force in the defense of ourselves or our property? The thing is, criminal miscreants don’t follow rules; they don’t live by the same set of standards that most in a civilized society adhere to. That being the case, we as a society have but two options; either accept that we can become victims at any time, or equip, train, and be ready and willing to meet violence against us with violence against those who seek to do us harm.

Let’s for a moment talk about martial arts; many in this country take martial arts classes, and even more have seen either a Jet Li, Jackie Chan, or Bruce Lee movie. Now if you have ever seen a martial arts movie, there is a lot of violence in them; with many people dying on the big screen. People see these films and aren’t upset when they see this violence. But, if a person who is trained in martial arts uses their training to defend themselves, they can be charged with a crime if they bring about serious bodily harm or death to the person they use their skills upon.

I can understand such laws IF the person using their martial arts skills is the aggressor in a conflict. However, if they are only defending themselves, I say where is the crime in putting a quick end to any confrontation? Sure, a little bit of common sense should come into play; you wouldn’t kill someone who pushes you with the intent to initiate a fight, but if you get punched in the face, I see no problem with using your skills and breaking the arm or leg of your attacker to end the fight as quickly as possible.

Look at the whole Karate Kid movie franchise which saw poor Daniel LaRusso pitted against the evil students of the Cobra Kai. Daniel’s mentor, Mr Miyagi teaches Daniel that martial arts are for the development of internal peace and should not be used as a means of bringing violence upon others; and that the instructor for the Cobra Kai is evil. Yet if you look at the history of martial arts, even something as peaceful and serene as Tai Chi, they were all developed as a means of offense and defense against other human beings…or in other words, a way to bring violence to others.

Now I have absolutely no problem with people attending martial arts classes and going to tournaments to pit your skill level against the skill levels of others. But in those instances there are rules by which one must adhere to, and a referee or judge to hand out points and ensure the rules are adhered to. Real life has no such referee; it is kill or be killed.

If you go into a real life conflict never having trained to fight until the fight is over and one of you is no longer standing, YOU WILL LOSE! In real life you don’t punch someone, back off and wait for the ref to award a point to you; you keep attacking until your opponent can no longer fight.

I took classes in the Ed Parker brand of Kenpo Karate while I was stationed at Eglin Air Force Base back in 1983. My instructor taught me a valuable lesson one day. He put two people on the floor to spar and had them go at it for 2 minutes. When that two minutes were over he would rotate one person out, but keep the other person in. He repeated that, keeping that one person on the mat until they had fought the entire class. When it was my turn to be the guy on the mat he came in at the end and sparred with me. I was beat; I could barely keep my guard up. He then said, “In a real fight, if you’re tired you die. Your opponent won’t stop attacking you just because you’re tired; they will stop when you’re on the floor; and sometimes not even then.”

I’ve NEVER forget that. Martial arts competitions are fine to test your skills against other martial artists and different styles of fighting, but in real life your goal is to put an end to the danger facing you as quickly and decisively as follows; and if that means breaking an arm or a leg of your attacker, or ending their life, then so be it…after all, if they initiated the conflict, they must accept whatever consequences follow.

If someone attempts to bring harm to me or my family, or take from me what is not theirs to take, I will use whatever power I have to stop them…END OF STORY! I do not care what laws or rules society has imposed upon me to restrict me from doing so. As the old saying goes, “I would rather be judged by 12 than carried by 6”; meaning I’d rather live to face a jury than be carried in a pine box by 6 pall bearers.

What that means is that if I’m attacked, or my wife or son is attacked, I will bite, claw, punch, stab, or shoot anyone who initiates that violence against us. Now if that upsets you, or offends your sense of right and wrong then tough shit. Society is a fragile thing that is held together by the willingness of those within society to obey the rules. When someone violates themselves from society by initiating violence against the person or property of another, they have abandoned the protection society provides; meaning if they die, then it is their fault for initiating violence against others in the first place.

Most people have no qualms about calling the police to defend them or their property; when those police might be called upon to use deadly force against the person violating your rights or threatening your life; so why should society take offense when an INDIVIDUAL uses the same level of violence against someone threatening them or their property?

Now I want, or at least I hope, that you’ll read the following passages from Locke’s Second Treatise; for they explain this concept in greater detail, “And hence it is, that he who attempts to get another man into his absolute power, does thereby put himself into a state of war with him; it being to be understood as a declaration of a design upon his life: for I have reason to conclude, that he who would get me into his power without my consent, would use me as he pleased when he had got me there, and destroy me too when he had a fancy to it; for no body can desire to have me in his absolute power, unless it be to compel me by force to that which is against the right of my freedom, i.e. make me a slave. To be free from such force is the only security of my preservation; and reason bids me look on him, as an enemy to my preservation, who would take away that freedom which is the fence to it; so that he who makes an attempt to enslave me, thereby puts himself into a state of war with me. He that, in the state of nature, would take away the freedom that belongs to any one in that state, must necessarily be supposed to have a foundation of all the rest; as he that in the state of society, would take away the freedom belonging to those of that society or commonwealth, must be supposed to design to take away from them every thing else, and so be looked on as in a state of war.

This makes it lawful for a man to kill a thief, who has not in the least hurt him, nor declared any design upon his life, any farther than, by the use of force, so to get him in his power, as to take away his money, or what he pleases, from him; because using force, where he has no right, to get me into his power, let his pretence be what it will, I have no reason to suppose, that he, who would take away my liberty, would not, when he had me in his power, take away every thing else. And therefore it is lawful for me to treat him as one who has put himself into a state of war with me, i.e. kill him if I can; for to that hazard does he justly expose himself, whoever introduces a state of war, and is aggressor in it.”

In 1829 James Madison arose to speak to the Virginia Convention, stating, “It is sufficiently obvious, that persons and property are the two great subjects on which Governments are to act; and that the rights of persons, and the rights of property, are the objects, for the protection of which Government was instituted. These rights cannot be separated.”

Yet all power given to government is but delegated power, with those delegating that power never relinquishing the fundamental right to defend themselves and their property. Government may institute agencies to perform that task; such as law enforcement, but they can never deprive us of that right until they are ready to put a cop in every household to protect and defend each and every American.

In his book The Law, Frederic Bastiat states it like this, ” Each of us has a natural right—from God—to defend his person, his liberty, and his property. These are the three basic requirements of life, and the preservation of any one of them is completely dependent upon the preservation of the other two. … If every person has the right to defend—even by force—his person, his liberty, and his property, then it follows that a group of men have the right to organize and support a common force to protect these rights constantly. Thus the principle of collective right—its reason for existing, its lawfulness—is based on individual right. And the common force that protects this collective right cannot logically have any other purpose or any other mission than that for which it acts as a substitute. Thus, since an individual cannot lawfully use force against the person, liberty, or property of another individual, then the common force—for the same reason—cannot lawfully be used to destroy the person, liberty, or property of individuals or groups.”

Samuel Adams stated it thusly, “Among the Natural Rights of the Colonists are these First. a Right to Life; Secondly to Liberty; thirdly to Property; together with the Right to support and defend them in the best manner they can–Those are evident Branches of, rather than deductions from the Duty of Self Preservation, commonly called the first Law of Nature.”

These are natural rights; meaning that they are superior to any law imposed by man. You may not choose to exercise them like you may not choose to exercise your freedom of religion by attending church services, but the right to do so can NEVER be taken away from you without violating the fundamental laws of nature.

And I would be remiss if I did not mention that violence against you, your rights, and your property does not always come from the criminal element of society. Government can, and often does, initiate violence against our property and fundamental rights by the laws they pass and the agencies they have at their disposal to enforce those laws. Our Founders recognized this, and they rose up against it.

When the patriots of Lexington and Concord marched out to Lexington Green to meet the British, do you think they went there to share coffee and donuts? No, they saw the threat to their rights posed by the oncoming British and they went there to give violence to those who brought violence to their rights.

That is the fundamental principle that America was founded upon; that it is our right to defend ourselves against any violence brought to bear upon our rights, by anyone; even our own government. And just as if you are unwilling to use violence against a criminal you become a victim, if you are not ready to use violence against those who violate your rights, you become a slave to them.

Violence can come to you at any time; and if you are not prepared to meet it with violence of your own, YOU WILL become a victim. All these victims of mass shootings probably never thought that when they woke up that morning that violence would come into their lives…but it did. But instead of making our schools or public places safer by providing people ready to inflict violence upon those who bring violence, we have created a target rich environment for those who seek to victimize those who are unable to defend themselves.

You can choose not to think about this; to walk around with your head in the clouds thinking that violence will never happen to you; but that is foolhardy if you ask me. Violence can come to any of us at any time; and if you’re not prepared, both physically and mentally, to meet it, then you will lose the confrontation.

The Boy Scouts used to have a motto, Be Prepared. That’s all I’m saying here; be prepared to defend your life and property should violence come into your life. It is your right to do so, and if you allow societies feelings about it to prevent you from taking the necessary steps to prepare yourself for it, you have allowed societies feelings to mark you as a potential victim.

In closing, I’d like for you to read two final quotes; one from Malcolm X and the other from George Orwell. Ponder them and then think about how prepared you are, both mentally and physically, should violence come into your life.

-People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf. ~George Orwell~

-If someone puts their hands on you make sure they never put their hands on anybody else again. ~Malcolm X~

Sleep tight America, but keep a loaded firearm within arms reach…

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