Meditations on self defense
Posted by Lissa on November 17, 2009
If a goblin broke into your house, set off the burglar alarm, and was holding you at knife-point, what would you expect the police to do?
You would expect them to drive over, show up, and talk the goblin into surrendering, right?
And if the goblin didn’t give up? If he steadfastly held a knife to your throat and promised to kill you if the police did not retreat . . . you would expect the police to shoot to kill, would you not? Certainly, you would expect them to be WILLING to do that, no?
So . . . you expect a total stranger to realize that you are in trouble, drive across town, correctly analyze the situation, and shoot to kill from across the room/house/yard, just because s/he signed on for a job that pays perhaps $50K per year.
But it is UNTHINKABLE that you would do the job yourself. (Around here, at least, it’s more or less unthinkable.)
You, who are already on the scene, who can very clearly identify which human in the scrum is the victim (that’s you) and which human on the scene is the goblin (that’s the one who wants to rob/beat/kill/rape you) expect a stranger to come from a distance to defend you, because you have no tools to do so yourself.*
Doesn’t this seem a little . . . irresponsible? Short-sighted? Foolhardy?
I spoke with a police officer in the Charlotte airport last weekend. Among other conversational bits, he gruffly declared that the motto on police cars — Protect and serve — would more accurately be stated as We can’t protect you, but we’ll show up after the damage is done and try to avenge you.
Don’t get me wrong — I believe that being a police officer is a tough, grueling, sometimes deadly job. I highly admire the dedicated professionals who serve their society as such.
I just don’t expect them to be at my house at the very moment I need them most.
Because, you know, telepathy and teleportation aren’t really where it’s at.
And oh, by the way . . . that situation I described above is highly undesirable from the goblin’s point of view. It’s much nicer for the goblin if you are quickly robbed/beaten/killed/raped and the beast can disappear from the scene BEFORE the police show up . . .
*Of course, a firearm is not the only tool to defend yourself. There are knives, clubs, baseball bats, teeth and claws available. It’s just that a firearm is most certainly the most EFFECTIVE tool to defend yourself, especially against an attacker who is much larger than you and/or may have brought his goblin buddies.