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He didn’t deserve that

My local news has a story about a (probable) self defense case that happened a few miles from my house. Comments on the story include: “Calling him a lunatic…did you know him? He also didn’t get what he deserved!! He deserved to live his life with his family and friends…”

The thing that gets me about that — it’s such a common thing for people to say, that a violent attacker doesn’t “deserve” to be killed — is that it betrays a very fundamental lack of understanding about what self defense really is.

We want it to be about justice. About fairness. About taking out a less-than-human monster who “has it coming to them.” We want it to be about someone who “needed killing.”

And it’s not.

It’s just about staying alive. It’s about staying on your feet and able to breathe until the guardians of our civilization can get there to take the offender into custody and (eventually) into court where calmer people can decide what to do about his criminal offense against you.

If you do everything it takes to stay alive when someone attacks you, that might sometimes include using deadly force to stop him from killing you. When you use every ounce of force you have available, just to stay alive, you are not deciding what the attacker “deserves.” Staying alive does not make you the judge of the other person’s actions.

It simply makes you the survivor.

3 Responses to He didn’t deserve that

  1. Jennifer says:

    Yes! Exactly. I have had to explain this to several people recently. It’s not about whether or not the perpetrator deserves to die. I deserve to live and will use whatever means necessary to do so.

  2. dorangolv says:

    My wife said once,
    “He came into the house and decided someone was going to die. I decided it wouldn’t be me.”

  3. kukuforguns says:

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