With the exception maybe of Shaolin Monks living in a mountaintop temple, violence is part of our everyday life; and it is not unique to humans. Every form of life exists in a constant struggle to survive in a world of unforgiving nature and hungry predators. Think of your daily exposure to violence: news reports almost exclusively focus on violent stories, movies and television shows which depict violence and immoral behavior are popular and make money.
What about video games like Grand Theft Auto (versions 1-5), in which the goal is to unabashedly kill and maim as many innocent civilians and police officers as one can? Ever been part of the equation of road rage on your daily commute? Scan the car radio for some music and I will bet you, out of 10 songs you hear, 3 of them have something to do with harming someone or promoting a lifestyle where the sanctity of human life means nothing. Whether we are aware of it or not, we are exposed to violence every single day.
The impact of Violence in Our Society:
What impact do these things have on youngsters growing up, and our society as a whole? Depending on where you look, you can find facts that suggest these factors are extremely damaging to morality or have no impact at all. I am not claiming scientific proof, but common sense would suggest that they must have SOME impact.
In a society that has become increasingly secular, with a diminished role and importance of a family structure, the moral character that would normally be instilled from religion or attentive parents has diminished. This leaves the opportunity for moral lessons to come from less virtuous places.
Using violence is bad right? I mean in general when defining the term “violence,” we would say that violence is using intimidation or actual physical force to injure someone or destroy something. Unjustified violence is not only immoral but criminal.
But is violence ever justified? Simple answer … YES.
Let me explain my answer to the above question. What a culture deems as violent behavior varies from place to place. Furthermore, what is considered unjustified violence is also subjective to the law of the land. Is the death penalty considered violent? Sure, but is it justified in some instances?
Is stoning someone to death for adultery violent? Yup, but is it considered justified in some cultures? Yes, it is. War is the ultimate expression of violence but without nations willing to shed blood and fight for a just cause, the evil and murderous ideology of Nazism and Communism which are responsible for the genocide of at least 110,000,000 souls, would have been allowed to propagate and lead to less freedom for people around the world.
Violence has its place and when appropriate, extreme, unrelenting, and focused violence may be the only thing that will lead to your personal survival.
Do I Condone Violence?
Before you believe I promote unfettered and indiscriminate violence, let me assure you that I DON'T. It is important to understand that when speaking of using violence, I am not referring to rioting, destruction of property, attacking innocent people or using intimidation because you do not like something. Instead what I speak of is a focused, violent response to someone attempting to end your life. I am a very humble man, and absolutely never go out looking for conflict with anyone. I attempt to avoid or de-escalate every situation I am involved in.
For anyone carrying a firearm, this should ALWAYS be the way we live.
We all must come to the realization that some people are truly evil. These people would just as soon slice your throat and watch you take your last breath, as they would say ‘hello.' There are people who think nothing of killing or seriously harming you in order to take property from you. These people are out there, and to deny this does not make you safer or a compassionate human being. Instead, this mindset absolutely ensures you are setting yourself up to be a soft target for these predators.
At the other end of the spectrum, there are people who believe violence is never justified. When I say never, I mean NEVER EVER, not even if your life is in jeopardy. These people are ideologues who do not live in reality. They would have you believe that allowing yourself to be killed is morally correct and using violence to defend yourself would be morally wrong. While people are entitled to follow this mantra, it is insane and dangerous. These will be the same people seeking the protection of someone who is willing to defend the sanctity of life (like a concealed carrier or police officer) if that time actually comes and their life is threatened.
It is human nature to want to survive and every human has the God given right to defend themselves against someone or something that would unjustly and gravely injure them or end their life.
Violence of Action:
And this brings me to the crux of what I want you to understand. When you do defend yourself, defend it with a Violence of Action that is unmatched.
Violence of Action is a term we used in the Marine Corps Infantry. What it means is that when appropriate:
- act decisively, swiftly and aggressively in order to repel an attacker(s) who may be of larger size,
- in the position of advantage
- or have a homicidal intent to end your life
When faced with possible death or serious bodily harm, your focus should be defeating the assault and surviving by any means. Remember that when responding to an attack, we are reactionary and never on the offensive, so we will already find ourselves in a position of disadvantage. For this reason, you MUST respond decisively, swiftly, aggressively and with this mindset. Failure to respond like this, allows the attacker to remain on the attack and thus maintain a position of advantage both mentally and physically. Many times, only by aggressively and decisively responding to the attack can you shift the balance in your favor.
Please understand that Violence of Action does not mean reckless and inefficient blind rage. On the contrary, Violence of Action starts with a mindset. At the necessary time, the switch flips and your mindset becomes focused on survival and defeating the attack. An instinctual application of your training kicks in and you now fight for your life. Your actions should be unrelenting and violent, yet measured and appropriate.
This is not the time that you question the morality or ethics of deadly force. Nor is it the time to wonder if you are in your legal rights to defend yourself. These are things that you should have addressed prior to carrying a firearm, or tool for self-defense. Regardless of the odds or incident, your mindset should be that you will survive.
The human mind is an unbelievably powerful tool, and when the will to survive has been ingrained in one's mind and becomes part of our being, we are capable of amazing acts of survival. We have all either experienced or read about an incident of extraordinary survival. During my time in the Marine Corps and Police Department, I was fortunate enough to serve with some extraordinary people, who because of their will to survive and their mindset, survived an incident that, had they not fought back, they may not be here today. One such story documented Officer Jarred Slocum's actions and how he Survived Being Shot in The Head. Officer Slocum is a former Officer who I worked with at El Cajon Police Department and his story is incredibly powerful.
Seek information, Read, and Learn From Others:
I also want to refer an author and incredible Officer and instructor by the name of Brian McKenna. When I first decided to leave the Marine Corps and become a cop I started reading as much as I could on tactics and use of force incidents. No book impacted me more than Brian McKenna's Officer Down! Lessons From The Streets. He has been writing a training column under the same name for Law Officer Magazine, documenting use of force incidents and presenting them in an after action report structure, in order to learn from each and every good and bad decision made during these dynamic incidents. He is recognized as one of the best tactical trainers around.
I mention Brian McKenna and his book because it is not only a book for police officers but anyone who may face the reality of a deadly force encounter. There are many incidents analyzed by Brian McKenna, but one has always stuck with me and I think is extremely relevant to this concept of how Violence of Action, coupled with the will to survive won the day.
The incident describes the 2008 shooting of an abhorrent, evil human who was fully intent on killing that day. Officer Marcus Young battled a subject (whom I shall not memorialize with a name) who was armed with a knife, .38 revolver, and a homicidal mindset. After being shot at point blank range in the face and side, and twice in the vest, Young battled the POS who now was trying to remove the officer's shotgun from the patrol car. Officer Young's hand was mangled in the assault but he was able to draw his firearm and place a shot into the attacker's forehead, killing him before the maniac was able to further injure Officer Young and countless others at the mall where the incident occurred.
I just mention a synopsis of the incident, but I suggest reading the entire breakdown of the incident here.
Officer Young is just a regular human like you or I, except he had the will to survive, and realized he needed to respond with unrelenting Violence of Action to end the fight and survive. Hone your skills, but don't overlook the mental aspect that comes with carrying a firearm for defense. Understand that if the time comes, your inner will to survive and Violence of Action will help you survive. Stay safe and God bless.
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