Self-Defense v. "Vigilantism"

The Daily is covering the story of Detroit’s soaring rate of self-defense killings, but as usual, the liberal slant on the story quickly abandons the notion of self-defense and instead re-labels it “vigilantism.” I have a serious problem with the shading of this story as one about vigilantism, because if a thug breaks into my home and I kill him, I’m not a vigilante, but a home-owner and citizen exercising my right to self-defense.  Only in a place where violence against innocent citizens is considered tolerable at some level could it be possible to see this as anything other than what it is:  A direct response by the citizens of Detroit who refuse to be victimized because big government has failed them and is now collapsing under its own weight.  Instead, they blame it on the citizens, comparing Detroit directly to the Wild West.

From the article:

“It’s a lot more acceptable now to get your own retribution,” the official said. “And the justice system in the city is a lot more understanding if people do that. It‘s becoming a part of the culture.”

The problem isn’t that it is now acceptable, but that it hasn’t been all along.  Had it been acceptable for the last fifty years, Detroit might not have spent most of that period at or near the top of the country’s Murder Capital list.  It’s well past time that the citizens of Detroit begin to act in their own defense, in recognition of their predicament, because despite the propaganda, cops cannot protect us.  The Daily spends a good deal of time talking about the response times for Police in the Detroit area, but the truth is that most things happen faster than cops can be called, never mind respond, as one officer points out:

“It’s not about police response time because often the act has already taken place by the time the police are called,” said Sgt. Eren Stephens. She said citizens have a right to defend themselves.

“Anytime a life is lost, we’re concerned,” she said. “But we can‘t be on every corner in front of every home. And we know that there are citizens who will do what they have to do to protect themselves.”

Of course, this is obvious to we residents of RealVille, USA, where we understand that bad guys aren’t really impressed by cops, and don’t tend to wait around for them to respond.  They hit, take what they want, and flee.  There’s not going to be time for a response when thugs strike, and relying on police to take care of your self-defense is a very risky proposition, since they can’t be everywhere at once.  The article concludes with this story:

Early, the director of the criminal justice studies program at the University of Michigan’s Dearborn campus, reasoned with the men for more than 20 minutes before he sensed they were about to shoot him in the head — then he ran. As his attackers fled in the opposite direction, neighbors emerged from the street’s stately homes with shotguns.

“All I could think of was my daughter coming home,” Early said. “I didn’t want her to see me shot dead.”

Weeks later, Early packed up his home and left Detroit. He hired Threat Management to supervise the move.

“Where else do the police come to your house after you’ve been robbed and ask you, ‘Why did you call us?’ ”

I don’t blame the gentleman for moving, but the ugly truth of our current cultural and economic collapse is that the thugs will eventually follow.  It’s not as though these are folks who are inclined to take a job at a gas station or fast-food outlet. I’m actually happy to see that the people of Detroit have finally had enough, and are now adopting the habits of a vigorous self-defense.   I wonder how many people have lost their lives over the years waiting for a Police response that would never arrive on time.  That’s not a complaint about the police, either, but merely a recognition of what sort of shape we’re in as a country.

There is no easy way around what is likely coming, as our economic problems aren’t likely to substantially improve, and may indeed become dramatically worse. The sooner we realize that just as good fences make for better neighbors, that a well-armed citizenry makes for a more polite society, the better off we’ll be.  It’s not vigilantism but instead a simple recognition that the cops simply can’t cover it all, and as the resources of government are shifted from their most important roles of defense and public safety to a focus on welfare statism.  If you wonder why people no longer wait for police, it’s not because they want to pack arms like the old days of the Wild West, but because increasingly, it’s the only rational alternative to ending up on a slab in the morgue.

Leftists can piously suggest that this had been about vigilantism, but it’s nothing of the sort.  The people of Detroit are merely exercising the vigorous defense of their rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and in all of this there is a lesson for all of us, both in what we must be willing to do, but also in the fallacy of liberal-induced social complacency.

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