What are your feelings about eating meat?
An interesting decision by a California DA has riled quite a few people. In a robbery of a convenience store, one of the two robbers shot and killed the clerk. The DA, though charging the wounded robber with various crimes, is NOT charging the man with murder. The argument is that because the store clerk defended himself by pulling out his own gun, he continued chasing and shooting at the two robbers after they left the store and the property. So, the DA reasons, the armed robber shooting back at the armed clerk was self-defense. The robber had, so I understand, the right to defend himself with deadly force against the victim of armed robbery because the robber did not initiate violence (force) against the clerk. The robber had clearly threatened the use of force but did not actually start the shooting. And the clerk, obviously no longer in personal danger (but riding for the brand) chased and shot at the criminals.
Now, hopefully, dear reader, you are asking what does the question about eating meat have to do with the DA’s refusal to seek charges against this criminal who is a killer?
Like those who “won’t harm a flea” but chow down on a hamburger or a chicken nugget, most people who “enjoy” the benefits of the American (or other) justice systems don’t want to get their hands wet with blood, or even dirty enough to throw the perp into jail. They are willing to let the professionals do it: the farmer or rancher, the packing plant employee with her humane killer and butchering utensils, and so forth. So kids growing up think that meat and milk don’t come from animals, they come from stores! And justice is something that is left (should be left) only in the hands of the professionals: the cops, the licensed security guards, the judges and lawyers and prison guards and the like.
It is, indeed an attitude that makes a lot of us want to throw up.
So, do we have righteous indignation about this killer not getting charged with yet another crime because he was exercising his God-given right to defend himself against an attacker? Was the attacker initiating aggression against the man who just robbed him at gunpoint?
To put it another way for comparison, if it had been a cop chasing the two hold-up artists, and fired the first shot or shots, then was gunned down by the criminal. Would the DA have chosen NOT to press charges for a cop-killer? While recognizing that this is California we are talking about. Where, among other things, the law indicates a person cannot pursue another individual to retrieve stolen property once the threat of bodily injury or harm to the victim has subsided. And where the wounded killer-robber might be able to get off on at least one of the charges because he didn’t actually steal at least $1000 worth of cigars and such. Or even be able to sue the dead clerk’s family and the store for the clerk for being wounded himself because they should have known that California doesn’t bother to pursue “petty” theft.
It sounds like a good man was killed and nothing will be done about it. Or was he a good man? Does a good man shoot a fleeing man in the back when he is no longer in danger? When the man has already dropped whatever it was he had stolen?
Was his action justifiable based on the idea that the killer would very likely again attempt to rob the store, again with a gun, and again threaten aggression? Was shooting at the fleeing robber a just action? Or just (pun intended) needless escalation of an incident that so far had avoided serious injury to anyone? Was a thousand dollars worth a man’s life? Or two lives?
Making laws – especially when those making them have demonstrated themselves time and again to be idiots, to have an agenda that has nothing to do with any legitimate reason (or excuse) for government – is a dirty, nasty business. At any time, and especially in the State of California in AD 2021. Enforcing those laws, both on the streets and in the courts, is difficult if not impossible. But even in a rational, liberty-loving and -practicing society, lawmaking is a nasty, messy, often completely fruitless.
Man is by our very nature lawless. Even in a society such as L. Neil Smith envisioned, unanimous consent is very difficult. If just one in a thousand men (or women) view others as just talking animals and suitable as prey, the only alternative is self-defense. Any coercive, mandatory government system to prevent and protect against the predator just is an opportunity for predators to take more. Using any reason, any excuse.
Which may be the reasoning behind this DA’s action (inaction). Using the self-defense argument in favor of some in the midst of criminal act, she turns the tables on those who seek to preserve our right to keep and bear arms. The tables have been turned. Some will be scared away from doing so.
But for individuals – again, possibly individuals with some sense of responsibility for their actions, but perhaps not enough – when does self-defense spill over and become vengeance and even aggression? When is enough enough? We here at TPOL believe this store clerk did go beyond self-defense. Beyond protecting life and property. And so lost his own. But his death was caused, directly but at secondhand, by the killer aggressing against him. We believe that a credible threat of aggressive violence against someone is still aggression.
But it is a difficult judgment call. What do you, dear reader, think?