Mourning Violence While Considering Reasonable Force

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Top Tier Gear USA

Today is a terrible day. This post is certainly late to the story: 28 people dead, 20 of them children at the hands of a lone gunman in a Connecticut elementary school.

As a gun blog, folks will likely assume I will fall to so called “political” lines, that the choice here is keep guns legal and increase risk or to ban guns and to create safety. It is my experience that most crimes like this have little or nothing to do with the tool, and everything to do with two things: how we manage and address force, and how we handle emotion.

In terms of force, the key question I think our society needs to consider is what is force to be used for? Can we reach some common ground on use of force? So many of our conceptions of force are about getting revenge or getting advantage. I am not one to blame media, but I believe it can be a representation of perceptions people hold in society. The fictional character Dexter in the HBO hit show captures and slaughters people he perceives as “killers” in an attempt to reach justice that cannot be attained through conventional policing. The show explores what may be a broad perception of a justice gap between what can be proven through legal means and evidence that cannot make it to the courtroom. On ABC television Revenge tells the tale of Emily Thorne, whose father was cast, unjustly, as a terrorist. Emily, through a web of subterfuge, endeavors to bring down the family who caused her father to go to prison and who murdered him while he was there.

In my current research I have even been reading about nonviolent coercive force, such as used by activist groups around the world. In these circumstances, protests against business, governments or between political factions is used to GET something.

In all of my reading on force the only uses of force that are NOT for the purpose of getting something are policing (all aspects, including SWAT, Bail Enforcement and daily patrol), security, and self-defense (including all aspects of martial arts and concealed firearm training that I have studied).

I think, and this is a little off the cuff, that when people feel an emotion like, fear, frustration or anger, they jump to the conclusion that they are not just feeling the feeling, but that they are wronged in some way, and that they have to “fight” to get justice. They immediately lash out, often becoming offenders, assailants – offenders that feel like victims. By the time that someone has reached that level it is almost impossible to pull them back. There are some organizations that try to restore this type of offender, but often, in my perception, they only increase the risk of the community they try to bring these offenders into.

This mindset, to lash out to get justice, includes broad swaths of our society. It includes liberals who ostracize, castigate and disparage people who do not think, act or buy the ‘right’ way for social justice. It includes conservatives who do the same, rejecting people because they don’t utilize big box discounters, “prep” for disaster and rely on family and community support over federal agencies and social safety nets. It includes “in clubs” from elementary school to business associations that act to manage and control members and to ostracize others to remind members why they must hue to the norm.

To explain my approach, to the above issues, I’ll prep for emergency as best I can while not judging others who are ill prepared. I’ll work for social justice, but I’ll take social justice messages with a grain of salt and I will refuse to participate in mass movements and ideological positions of all stripes. I avoid “in” clubs. That’s that.

The way that the security mindset differs from what I’ll call the ‘reactive/assaultive justice’ mindset is that protection is more important than emotion. Would you protect the person who cheated on you in college? Would you protect the person your former partner cheated with? Would you protect someone you perceived had wronged you in the past? Would you protect someone who you believe failed to protect you when you believe they ‘should’ have? If you can answer yes, and I certainly can, then you have the security mindset. You are a protector.

I believe this is at the core of today’s challenge. You can take every weapon from somebody except those that matter: their hands, their legs, their head and their mind. What no one can regulate is what goes into the mind, what occurs in the mind, and what comes out through action.

To provide a couple of examples… (continued)

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Contributed by Alan Murdock of The Gun Tutor.

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