Don’t Be An Accomplice to Evil

Once again, my friend AGirl over at A Girl and Her Gun has hit the ball out of the ballpark. She posted yesterday in response to a bunch of comments she’s received on her story. The commenter’s thrust was, in essence, was that it is morally wrong to use a weapon to defend ourselves because violence is, in his view, “short-sighted, counter productive and only serves in the long run to hugely worsen a bad situation of a violent and dangerous society where fear carries more weight than respect.”

I encourage you to read AGirl’s eloquent and powerful response in its entirety. I’ll only quote two little pieces here, and then I’ll add my comment afterward.

AGirl writes:

His entire argument to me is that my life has no value. That my daughter’s life has no value. That at the end of the day I should willingly give up my life and stand by and watch my daughter be murdered because in fighting back I am infringing upon the criminal’s right to Due Process. Compare that to the “Pro-Life Gun” folks who have told me day after day after day that I am valuable. That not only is it ok for me to fight back, but they showed me how to do it.

And then later in the same post:

If you get nothing else from this blog, please get this…YOU HAVE VALUE! Your life has value. All by itself your life has value. You have the right not to be mugged, raped, beaten or murdered, anywhere at anytime, by anyone and you most certainly have the right to do your best to stop someone who is trying to do any of those things to you. There isn’t a single moral, religious or statistical argument that carries more weight than YOU are valuable. YOU have worth. Not because you are a mother or a wife. Not because you volunteer at the local shelter. Not for any reason other than your life is a gift and as such no one has the right to forcibly take it from you and if they try then you have every right to say, No, not today. Not EVER!

I’m tempted to just say “amen, sister!”, but I wanted to respond to this because I want to talk about a couple of lessons I learned from my own encounters with violence.

First of all, I could not agree more with AGirl’s comment (which I’ve echoed here before): You do matter. Your life does have worth. Sure, if you’re a wife or mother (or husband or father), a daughter or son, an aunt or uncle, a brother or sister, your life matters because of the effect it would have on those people you care about if you died or were seriously injured. If you have a job or volunteer somewhere, there would be downstream effects if something happened to you. But even if you had none of those external factors, your life would still matter. Your life is still worth fighting for. Your life is still worth fighting to protect.

If you’re inclined toward a religious view of the world, I could say that your life matters because your life is a gift from the deity or deities you worship. (I say it in this way because I count Jews, Christians, Muslims, Pagans and others among my friends, and I believe we all worship the same unknowable divine presence no matter what names and images we know it by.) If you’re not religiously inclined, I could say that your life matters because life is too precious a resource to squander needlessly.

But whichever way you slice it, the fact remains that in the entire history of the universe, there has never been another “you”, and there will never be another in the future. You are a unique being, here in this mysterious and wonderful world for only a brief span of time, and once your flame is extinguished it can never again be re-ignited. You are precious. You are unique. You are worth fighting for. I am worth fighting for. AGirl is worth fighting for. We are ALL worth fighting for.

The other thing I wanted to say is this: Arguing that the good guys shouldn’t fight back is arguing that the criminal’s life is somehow worth more than our own. After all, the criminal may be arrested, tried (under armed guard), sentenced to prison (under armed guard) and then released back into society to victimize all over again. If he succeeds in killing us, he might very possibly end up sentenced to death – in which case he’ll likely die of old age before he’s executed. Either way, the State is protecting his life and his freedom to inflict suffering and misery, at the expense of the victims and their families, who pay the tab for his depravity.

There is nothing noble, or honorable, or moral about standing idly by and allowing the wolves that roam in our midst to inflict suffering and misery on the law-abiding. There is nothing just in being passive, helpless, ripe for  victimization. Allowing the predators to take our belongings, our bodies, our children, our lives is not noble, and it’s not defensible. I know what it feels like to be robbed. I know what it feels like to be assaulted. I know what it feels like to be raped. There’s nothing noble about any of those experiences.

What is noble and honorable and just is taking a stand against evil. It’s deciding that we are valuable, our loved ones are valuable, and that we and they are worth fighting for. It’s equipping ourselves with the skills and tools to safeguard ourselves and our families. It’s taking a stand and telling the predators: “Not me. Not my loved ones. Not today. Not ever.” And it’s being willing and able to back up that stand.

There is no nobility in choosing death – of the body or of the spirit – so that a criminal’s desires to take from us can be fulfilled unopposed. Nobility, if it is anywhere in the world, is in standing against evil and refusing to give ground to it.

Otherwise, you’re just an accomplice to the evil, and where does that road take you?

Comments

  1. I just wanted to say how nice it was, as a Pagan, to be specifically included in your comments. And thank you as well for articulating this so clearly. I am also a survivor.

    • Thank you for your comment, Selina. I am very cognizant of the fact that there exists a group of people out there who seem to think that “religious freedom” only means freedom for those who walk a Judeo-Christian path. I take a broader view, and choose to believe that how we treat ourselves and our fellow human beings matters a whole lot more than which mythology we use to explain our choices.

      May the blessings of the Lady be upon you and your loved ones, and thank you for commenting!

  2. Absolutely! Well said. This is the story of the man I had to shoot to save my life. http://www.thepriceofliberty.org/08/09/22/editor.htm

    I’m sorry he made the choices he did… but I am glad that I was able and willing to defend myself then, and even more so now.

    I live and therefore I am. I don’t need any other person’s permission to live or defend myself. I don’t need anyone’s vetting of my intentions or sanity, nor approval for the self defense tool I choose or how I carry it.

    I don’t NEED to explain myself. I don’t NEED any reasons at all.
    http://www.thepriceofliberty.org/2012/07/30/editor.html

    • Although I talk about the reasons why I am worth fighting for, you’re right that we shouldn’t have to justify why our lives, our bodies, and our loved ones are worthy of protection. Thanks for your comment, and for sharing your harrowing story!

      • Absolutely again, Tammy. Telling our story is very important to help others understand that they also own their lives and don’t need anyone’s permission to live… or to defend that life. That’s one of the reasons I became a firearms and self defense instructor. I share my story with each student, simply because they need to see the practical reality of it all.

        You do an excellent job of sharing without any hint of asking permission. Kudos to you and to all who stand up for themselves!

  3. It is odd that you even have to explain this idea to people. Food , water and shelter and knowing that you can only have what you can hold on to (which means your life) are the only realities of life. They can be your gifts to offer. Simply allowing these to be taken is the crime.

    • I don’t understand why people need this explained to them, either, to be honest. Why would anyone think our lives, our loved ones, and our bodies AREN’T worth protecting? I totally don’t get that.

      Thanks for reading and commenting, Wade!

  4. colt pacemaker says:

    violence is “short-sighted, counter productive and only serves in the long run to hugely worsen a bad situation of a violent and dangerous society where fear carries more weight than respect.”

    • How do you determine that?

      The answer to aggressive violence often must be a violent response. Anything else can easily result in death or massive injury to the innocent victim. I lived through such a situation and I would never take the chance again.

      RESPECT is ONLY involved in non aggression. Those who attack others have no respect for others at all.

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