Making the decision to defend yourself.

Imagine a mosquito landed on your arm. Would you swat it? Simple socialist logic suggests that you should let it be. After all, all biting mosquitoes are single mothers who need your blood to complete their reproductive cycle. Moreover, the sting isn’t fatal or even disabling to you, merely slightly itchy. Transmission of malaria and West Nile disease is only a factor in some areas, so there’s no long-term threat to your life and health. Let the mosquito be!

Somehow, I get an impression that you would kill that poor, benighted insect that was only following its instincts. So you have no trouble using deadly force to stop a small imposition on you by a being with no moral sense. Fine! Let’s talk about cute, cuddly puppies instead.

Imagine going on a hike and getting surrounded by a pack of canines, wolves or feral dogs. They are obviously hungry and intend to kill and eat you, not necessarily in that order. Like the mosquito, they are driven by necessity. They have no concept of your rights and act quite naturally. Should you give yourself to them generously and nourishingly?

What, you are not keen on being eaten? You really are no friend of nature! And what’s that about a stout stick I am seeing in your hand? Don’t you know that an animal with a broken leg has no chance of survival in the wild!

From the two examples, it follows that you — and most other people — have no trouble using deadly force to rebuff impositions by animals who are only doing what comes naturally to them. A wild animal has no moral sense that it has to ignore in order to prey on you, and so it is as innocent in thought as it is determined to get your flesh and blood.

Now consider an attack by a person. Preying on a member of its own species for food is not natural for humans or apes, as we are not typically cannibals. Attacking to gain material or reproductive advantage is rather more common, but usually not necessary for survival. So a person who attacks you for gain or spite is doing so by choice and not by compulsion. Your life and health are of less concern to him than the expected gain, however minimal. And that disregard comes from a person who should have had at least some exposure to the ethical concept of nonaggression.

Should a person whose immediate survival does not hinge on attacking you and who should know better be given more consideration than the ethically ignorant mosquito and wolf? If so, why? While you are thinking about that, consider also that a person who preys on you won’t change his ways after one attack.

Animals who develop a taste for blood, keep it for a lifetime. Your pain are as much a positive reinforcement for them as the proceeds of brigandage. And worse, the screams of your kids or parents are turn-on as well. It’s conceivable that the spirit of self-sacrifice would lead a person to be a passive victim, though being victimized by a nominal human is no less painful or more romantic than being chewed by by a hyena or a crocodile. Even if you don’t mind death or a lifetime disability from injuries, what of the safety of family and friends? An attacker who kills or maims you will be encourage to do the same to them, while an attacker who gets scared off but not neutralized will just pick easier victims the next time. If a healthy adult proves too dangerous, a human predator will go for a child or an elderly invalid, just as their counterparts in the wild do.

Technical details of self-defense are easy to figure out. The first-world problem we face is making the decision that Human Life is Worth Defending in general, and yours in particular.  Other people can’t make that decision for you. You can.

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12 Responses to Making the decision to defend yourself.

  1. Jim says:

    Well said,Oleg.

  2. Henry says:

    Only thing I’d add is if you decide to defend yourself you must give 110% effort:no ladylike slaps,etc.,& forget fighting “fair”.

  3. Pingback: Making The Decision To Defend Yourself | The Weapon Blog

  4. Kristophr says:

    Ebola virii need love too!

  5. Paul Koning says:

    “So a person who attacks you for gain or spite is doing so by choice and not by compulsion.” Probably often true. Not always; there are homicidal lunatics. Also not relevant. The motivation of a violent criminal is completely besides the point; the fact of aggression is sufficient to justify armed self defense.
    The notion that motivation matters is what leads to the newfangled concept of “hate crime”. Wrong. Having wrong thoughts is perfectly legal in a free country; committing wrong acts, and that alone, is the crime. A murder or assault is evil and justifies defensive force no matter what motivations (if any) the attacker had.
    I pointed out some years ago that “even mushrooms understand self defense”. In other words, those who oppose self defense are stupider than mushrooms.

  6. Bob says:

    It ALL comes down to that, when talking about gun control or gun rights. Do you believe that you have the right to defend yourself? Does everyone else have the same right?

    If the answer is yes, then we can start a real conversation about gun control/rights.

    If the answer is no, then you obviously have no respect for human life, you are morally repugnant, and any further discussions with you are pointless.

    • Braden Lynch says:

      I’d add that when the critic of my ownership of weapons for self-defense wants me to be disarmed, while they retain the right for themselves (e.g. Bloomberg, Feinstein, POTUS) they go beyond morally repugnant to an absolute pile of excrement. That attitude is why we have had democides.

      Molon Labe!
      Never Again!
      I Will Not Comply!

  7. Y. says:

    I don’t think it’s a good idea to use the phrase ‘simple socialist logic’. Socialists do not (as a rule) believe animal needs go above human needs.

    That is more of a green idea.

    • Oleg Volk says:

      In Europe, perhaps. US socialists put animals above humans all the time, though most likely more as excuses to destroy industry and farming.

      • HSR47 says:

        This: The “green” movement has been co-opted by the left as a means of advancing their agenda. In reality, they’re nothing more than watermelons: Green on the outside, red on the inside.

  8. Gregory Peter DuPont says:

    Someone far wiser than I said this:” When your choices are limited to cowardice or violence, choose violence “.

  9. Rivrdog says:

    This succinct argument needs to be required reading for all of those who are inclined to refuse the moral/legal/practical justification for human defense.

    That is all.

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