Light Over Heat #12: Can Violence Be Virtuous?

In Light Over Heat Ep 11, I mentioned that some people address their needs via outsourcing, including outsourcing their violence to others like the police.

Related to this is the fact that there are many people who have little-to-no direct experience using violence. These people often only see the downsides of violence and, by extension, think of guns as fundamentally bad because they see violence as fundamentally bad.

But, as I suggest in this week’s video, violence can be virtuous.

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7 thoughts on “Light Over Heat #12: Can Violence Be Virtuous?

  1. Interesting. I’m now on the Santa Fe Public Safety (citizen’s) Committee, where we have monthly briefings and Q and A with the SFPD and SFFD. We have recently mobilized two Alternative Response Units that try to deal with situations that don’t involve violence, or where we need to do more to de-escalate rather than respond with uniformed, armed officers. So far it is working. But we also respond with SWAT when appropriate, but even SWAT tries to de-escalate, but of course holding both the carrots and the sticks.

    One of the questions that came up with the ARUs was “well, what if the situation suddenly turns violent?” One clearly wants to have appropriate force as backup available ASAP but as one law enforcement specialist said, not in a way that is obvious or whose deployment causes a person who is the focus of the response to immediately escalate to violence.

    David, you mentioned meat. I think most Americans consider eating meat to be a form of virtuous violence, if they think of it at all, given we grow up in a meat eating culture. I’ve hunted, successfully, and to quote from Monty Python’s Constitutional Peasant scene, have been, up close and personal, part of “the violence inherent in the system”. I finally got to the point where I stopped hunting and became a vegetarian, seeing other options as hypocritical, esp. after reading Mason and Singer’s Animal Factories (and having a former set of in-laws with a dairy farm who also raised veal on the side). My wife was raised Hindu, and has long avoided anything involving killing “any being that had a mother”.

    I’ve got a CCW and consider violence an appropriate response when all else fails, when de-escalation doesn’t work, or when the Holy Shit Moment leaves no other options. Its just that in the case of Bambi, there are far less violent options. Or as I tell the guys at the gun club, a block of tofu is always a clean kill.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Yes, interesting. I actually think most people who eat meat try not to pay attention to where it comes from because then they would have to accept the violence inherent in it and consider whether it is virtuous or not! At least for hunters the connection is clear.

      Liked by 1 person

      • My brother Steve accepts the violence in his own meat eating, as long as it is done, as he likes to say, honestly. To him, that means he will eat what he shoots or hooks and reels in, but not store-bought meat as it has an undisclosed history. I find that to be virtuous as it is connected.

        Humans are animals; I don’t think it is inexorably our dharma to be vegetarians, but perhaps to be connected enough to the world around us to know where our food comes from and what happens before we eat it, for health, environmental, and ethical reasons. Fortunately for me, the worst is over, as I can now get awesome vegan Italian Sausage (Field Roast brand).

        Harumph. If cops are bad guys, then so are we…and so our soldiers. See if the Ukrainians who are arming up to preserve their nation buy that.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. There has always been “two sides to violence, the one being anti-social violence, that which goes against the mores of society and the social violence, that which supports the mores of society. In our society it is generally considered that violence is acceptable/virtuous by the government in defense of the mores of society or in the defense of one’s self or others. Now of course what the mores are can and do change. There are many you view capital punishment as unacceptable under any circumstances and others that say after all avenues of revue it is acceptable because society the triggering action is unacceptable in this society and that needs to be made very clear.
    The question becomes: how does society say this behavior is un acceptable and here are the consequences?
    I guess that I should also state that I grew up in NYC and was mugged coming out of school. That was a very defining moment for me.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Academics and Anti-Gunners Can’t or Won’t Recognize That Violence Can Be Virtuous – LightWeapon

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