The Turn the Other Cheek Act

Attending to your own defense — “taking the law into your own hands!” shriek the fearful — is a process some people are simply not prepared to comprehend. Jennifer offers an explanation:

When did we become a society that regards morally justifiable violence as something repugnant? Something from which we should shield our children? We can celebrate athletes with rap sheets a mile long just as long as they put the ball in the right place again and again. We buy the shoes they tell us to buy. Why does the media vilify a neighborhood watch volunteer while venerating the thugs in jerseys?

I think I know part of the answer. As a society, we’ve separated ourselves from personal responsibility and community. Our reality comes from TV and not from interpersonal relationships. We’ve insulated ourselves from the consequences of our actions. It’s no longer our own fault if we get fat. It’s the fast food, here take a pill. Unplanned pregnancy? Just terminate it. Fail at business? Someone else is there to bail you out. And so on. It’s gotten to the point that it causes cognitive dissonance when someone takes matters into their own hands. The police are supposed to protect us, right? Sure. And our meat comes from the grocer too.

It doesn’t help that the highest form of existence acknowledged these days is victimhood: it’s much more socially acceptable to claim that everything and everybody is against you, even — maybe especially — if it’s your own damn fault.


  1. Francis W. Porretto »

    6 December 2013 · 5:28 am

    I’ve pondered this at length. Here are this morning’s thoughts.

  2. Mark Alger »

    6 December 2013 · 9:33 am

    She’s exactly right. Besides: what in Hades is WRONG with “taking the law into your own hands”? We’re supposed to be SELF governed. The law belongs in our hands — and no one else’s.

    As Heinlein put it: “Be prepared to shoot your own dog. Farming it out doesn’t make it better; it makes it worse.”


RSS feed for comments on this post