My good friend Eric, who I refer to in this blog as Bluedreaux, is a kind, polite, gentle, and thoughtful man. He brought this article (click on the link at the bottom of this blog entry) to my attention.
Bluedreaux is a guy who thinks a lot. He comes up with different ways of looking at things, and I appreciate that about him. But he's also a practical man. And he is also a violent man at times.
You see, violence is part of Bluedreaux's job. He is a police officer. Like all cops, he's learned how to employ violence to bring people who choose to act in violation of Society's laws back inside the bounds of those laws. He does so at Society's behest, with Society's permission; in fact, he is obligated to do so!
The idea that violence is sometimes necessary to the preservation of one's life or the preservation of social order is ancient. NO society that has ever survived long enough to have records of its existence has ever pretended otherwise. But we have a growing sentiment in America (and to a lesser degree, western Europe as well) that pretends to believe that violence is always bad.
This alarms me. For people to actually believe such a thing, they have to commit the most incredible contortions of logic and understanding I can possibly imagine. Yet they are doing it, in increasing numbers, and their viewpoint has become a serious factor in social discourse in our day and age.
Now, my regular readers (all 3 of you, thanks for that!) know that I am a physician. My training and temperament, unlike Bluedreaux's, are not geared toward rapid deployment of force or violence when a difficult situation arises. (And believe me, such situations are not uncommon in the ER!) My first instinct in such a situation is to try to de-escalate the situation as rapidly as possible so we can make sure that people who need care can get it in a timely manner. Almost all the time that works. But sometimes it doesn't, and in those circumstances, I call the police to settle it down.
But if the police can't get there before some bad stuff is going down, I will not stand down nor run away. If my people are at risk, I have to act in my (and their) own defense. I once had to fetch a loaded rifle from my car and bring it into the ER--thank God I didn't have to use it, but if the situation had devolved as I felt it was likely to, it was either send rounds downrange or die. Fortunately, none of my staff mentioned my action to the Corporate Pukes who ran that hospital, or I'd likely have been fired and God knows what other bad things might have happened (even though at the time I was a sheriff's deputy, you never know with Corporate Pukes!) But my staff made it clear that they appreciated my willingness to face the wrath of the CP's in defense of their lives, so that was nice... but truth to tell, I could not have done otherwise and continued to look at my face in the mirror every morning.
Violence--or the threat of violence, the willingness to use violence--is not always the answer. But sometimes it is the only answer. And when it is the only answer, no other answer will serve.