Wrong Separation of Powers/A Slip in Time 

Wrong Separation of Powers/A Slip in Time

In our holiday talks this weekend we got to talking about how self defense became such a "bad thing".

Think about the "Subway Vigilante", Bernard Getz. His crime was that he carried a gun when it wasn't legal for him to have/carry one. But the news played up the whole this as him "taking justice into his own hands". Excuse me, he feared for his life, he shot in self defense.

In thinking about it, and since I came from a semi "anti-self defense" point of view, is that the logic behind it is a confusion of the concept of separation of powers. The concern is that a person who act in self defense is acting as "Judge, Jury and Executioner". And furthermore, the murder/rape/assault often hasn't happened before the person defends themself. So the logic goes "What happened until innocent until proven guilty, and shouldn't these 'powers' be separate?" How can someone defend themselves, especially by shooting which can kill the attacker.

This from the same society that plasters "guilty celebrities" all over the papers before they have come to trial.

The thing is, in self-defense it isn't about judging a crime after the fact. It is about preventing the crime from occuring. If it was after the fact, and the crime had been committed then it is true one person shouldn't be able to be "judge, jury and executioner". But crimes can and should be prevented, and a victim shouldn't have to die/be raped/be assaulted for the criminal to be stopped. Self defense is justifiable and right (and a right). By threatening a life that attacker moved from being a human being to being rodef, one who can be killed.

After the fact, the crime can no longer be stopped. The action that would be justified in prevention may not be justified as punishment. But while the crime can still be stopped force is justified, even if it means taking a life.

To deny the right to self defense is to create a situation like in England where more than 100 people who defended themselves sit in prision while their attackers go free and have even been able to sue for "losses from inability to work", as a criminal.

The logic is a simple slip in time and not recognizing the difference between prevention and punishment. The problem is that confusions like this can become widespread (have become widespread) and the danger of what can come from this, where criminals have more rights than the victims means that the logic should be corrected.

If you have a chance, talk with someone about this today. And if they are confused about the difference between prevention and punishment, see if you can get them to think about it and realize the difference.

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