Self-Defense, the ethics politics and practicalities. Part 1
But what about self-defense?
I mentioned in my post 'Virginia' http://rantsand.blogspot.com/2007/04/virginia.html that self-defense involves firstly, a comittment not to be a victim, and directed readers to Marc "Animal" MacYoung's site 'No nonsense self-defense' here: http://www.nononsenseselfdefense.com/
I repeat, it's worth your time to go over it.
In my post 'The Amish Tragedy' http://rantsand.blogspot.com/2006/10/amish-tragedy.html I talked about "soft targets". NNSD can help you evaluate if and what kind of target you might be.
You should at least be familiar with the sections of criminal psychology, the four motivations of violence, patterns of behavior that lead people into violent situations and what responses the law considered justified - versus what will get you sued or serious jail time, or both.
Nota bene: saying that people's own behavior leads them into violent situations is NOT the same as victim blaming!
That doctor in Connecticut who just lost everything he loves in life, wife and daughters, and now has nothing to live for but the execution of the men who took them from him, is not, repeat not, responsible for their actions. That does not change the fact that they entered through an unlocked basement door.
The McCann family (whose little girl went missing on a vacation in Portugal) without doubt did not realize that a resort area, while seeming like an oasis of tranquility, peace and pleasure, attracts predators like blood in the water attracts sharks.
There's no need to tell them that leaving small children alone in a hotel room is stupid, they're already torturing themselves with that knowlege. Now the least bad possibility is that their little girl was kidnapped by someone who wanted a beautiful child to raise as their own. The others are too horrible to contemplate - but I guarantee you as a parent that they are. Constantly.
Everyone with a working knowledge of self-defense (in the broadest sense of the term) experiences the same teeth-grinding frustration of observing the same patterns of behavior nearly every time a college girl goes missing. I could go into detail (see NNSD) but essentially it amounts to being unaware of the environment.
On an even deeper level, it's complete cluelessness about the fact that the world is a dangerous place. I believe that this is perhaps one of the most dangerous and most common illusions of our culture and effects everything from our personal safety to the safety of our nation.
In future posts, I'll be dealing with both.