In his excellent book, Facing Violence: Preparing for the Unexpected, Rory Miller talks about “glitches.” Glitches, he says, are the things that cause us to hesitate when we should be moving. A glitch can be caused by an unexpected emotional reaction, an unresolved moral dilemma, or an unanticipated concern we haven’t addressed before the encounter. A glitch can make us freeze rather than fight or flee, and it can cost us our lives in a bad situation.
One common glitch lies in the financial area. I’ve talked to a lot of people over the years who were extremely worried about getting sued by the criminal or by his surviving family if they defended their lives. Some of these folks felt such a strong fear of lawsuits that they were unwilling to carry a firearm.
A fear of lawsuits isn’t unreasonable, because lawsuits do happen. For example, from the news this week, there’s this story about a 90-year-old man who shot an intruder after the intruder had already shot him—and now the criminal, who survived, has sued the old man for negligence. This particular lawsuit will almost certainly go nowhere, but that’s not what I wanted to talk about today. Nope. What I wanted to do here was to ask you a question, one that you may need to think about before you answer. It should help you think through some of your own boundaries and maybe find a glitch you didn’t realize was there.
First, one more piece of background. When the intended victim fought back, he had every reason to believe the criminal was going to kill him, and that his only hope of survival was to shoot the attacker. He chose to survive.
Okay, now the question. It’s a “think it through” question, so don’t just toss off a knee-jerk answer. Think about it. Ready? Here it is:
Which is more important to you—your bank account, or your life? Why?