Stephen Kahn

To violent or not to violent?

In Hard to tell on August 13, 2011 at 10:44 pm

In my last post before I slowed down so much, I told of a woman many years ago who banged on my door to escape her brother-in-law who was beating her up. While she was getting succor in our house, the varlet slashed a Good Samaritan in the face with a knife.

Trucie and David suggested (sensibly) not to open doors to people banging on them in the night. As good as this advice is, it hardly solves the problem of the existence of sociopathic/psychopathic//behavior-disordered people among human beings. The Internet—perhaps the main source these days of all misinformation—estimates the percentage of people fitting this label at anywhere from 1 to 4 percent. Without getting more into the scientific study of the percentage of evil among us, I think it reasonable to conclude there are quite a few bad people out there. Locking the door (and not answering it) is one solution, and not a bad one, but hardly a complete solution or even a completely accurate one.

For example, perhaps by foolishly answering the door those many years ago, I saved this woman’s life, or at least saved her from some harm. I have no follow-up to the story. As I mentioned, she lived in a house of loosely connected people. By the next morning, the inhabitants were all gone. I don’t know if the sheriff’s department caught up with the scoundrel (whom they knew by name and considered a notorious bad dude). I don’t know if the victim achieved a normal and safe life after she was released from the hospital.

I will admit that if the cops had spotted the bad guy running up and down the street with his knife, I would hope that (in those pre-taser days) they would have been able to overcome and apprehend him without physical injury to themselves or to him. However, if they had felt compelled by circumstances to use violence, up to and including deadly force, I would not have felt very badly about it, would have defended their actions, and would have been glad they had the training and carried appropriate weapons for doing so.

It all gets very complicated and difficult, one of the reasons (along with a perhaps over-slow pulse), I did not post more thoughts for a while. To keep my blood sugar up I went home and ate lunch, and this evening will go to a harvest dinner with some very kindly and peaceful people who for the most part seem to feel that living on an island is more or less the equivalent of not answering the door to violent knocks in the night. I will not argue with them about it, but I will post more in this series, perhaps talking about Norway and lesbians and violence.

  1. Glad to see you blogging again. Let us know (as I’m sure you will) what the doctors say.

  2. Hi Karen, always good to see you, and I appreciate you dropping in to visit my blog. After the doctor checks me out, I will let you (and everyone) know what he says

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